Today I naturally woke up at 6am (local time), feeling like I actually had a good sleep, for the first time since maybe forever. That may or may not be due to the fact that I went to bed at 6pm…but hey – whatever works, right?
I am finally here, in my tiny (and thankfully temporary) apartment just a short walk from the University. The journey went relatively smoothly, but it was long and exhausting. Especially considering that my two carry-ons probably weighed more than 100 combined pounds. I was quite the sight clambering through the airports and ungracefully navigating the narrow aisles and undersized overhead compartments of the airplanes. I definitely got looks of judgment for my seemingly everything-but-the-kitchen-sink packing-job, and I just wanted to wear sign around my neck that said, “Look, this isn’t just a weekend in Florida, mmkay?”
It turns out that LAX is one of my least favorite airports yet, and Fiji wasn’t all that great either. I mean, the view (in the latter) was nice, but the international terminal was basically a too-small room crammed to the hilt with people, and the few shopping/food options seemed like the vendors you’d find at a carnival. There was a group of men on guitars and ukuleles (I think?) singing native music though which was pretty cool.
The school arranged a taxi to bring me to my room, and the whole moving in process was pretty painless. Once I made it inside though, I was pretty disappointed. The place itself isn’t that bad (however dimly lit), I just think that it was finally sinking in that I was now on the other side of the world, indefinitely, and this little lonely room is one lousy symbol for the end of my arduous journey and the beginning of the next. I was also feeling really isolated because I had a hard time connecting to the internet, and there is no wifi in my room – I actually have to pay by the gig (on top of the ridiculous price I’m paying in rent) and have my computer plugged in (so no use of viber on my phone yet). But I felt a little better after taking a much needed shower and pretty much fell right asleep.
So now I am ready for my first real day. I have plenty of time to read and drink some tea before heading out to hunt down a church, phone store, bank, and grocery store. FYI, I am 17 hours AHEAD of all of you in the EST (though this number changes with every season). AKA early morning Sunday here, early afternoon Saturday there. Or, if you don’t like to do the math, you can just trust that if I say I will call you at a certain time, I will call you at that time. Not to name any names 😉