Let's begin with the flight. I'm a big believer in getting to know the person sitting next to you - after all, you only get to meet him or her once (unless, of course, something freaky happens and you end up going to camp and then university in Cambridge with the kid sitting next to you on the flight to New Mexico - but that's a story for another time.) If you're shy and can't think of something to say, here's a suggestion: "SO, what brings you to [insert destination here]?" As an example, here's what happened this morning (GMT)/evening (EST):
Me: SO, what brings you to London?
Guy: Oh, I'm not going to London - I have to change there for my flight to Nepal.
Me: OH MY GOSH, YOU'RE FROM NEPAL?
Me: I took this class in the fall called Linguistics, and my partner was from Nepal! I interviewed him about Nepali, and wrote a few papers about the language.
Guy: Oh, really??
Me: YEAH! //super pumped
Guy: :D! //also super pumped
We chatted for a good hour or so - about Nepali, Nepal, and London...about MIT and how gorgeous the Charles river is (he works in Kendall Square!) and how the Beatles are awesome and how people in Nepal are turning their backs on the traditional folk music in favour of more Western influences (LAME ALERT). I won't transcribe the entire conversation (though I recorded a decent amount of it in my journal immediately afterwards for fear of forgetting) but here are a couple of excerpts that I particularly enjoyed. From now on, let us refer to "Guy" as "ANG", for "Adorable Nepali Guy", because he was 1. from Nepal, 2. a guy, and 3. small and adorable.
ANG: So, where do you live?
Me: On MIT campus. My mom told me to enjoy it now, because after I graduate I won't be able to afford a home with such a nice view.
ANG: Oh, yes! The Charles river is so beautiful - I like to walk along it, especially at night, with all the lights.
Me: YES. The best part is seeing the reflection of the lights in the water.
ANG: Yes!!! That's it!!! It gives dance to the scene.
I really liked the idea of giving "dance" to a scene. Totally accurate.
Me: *putting notebook away*
ANG: So...are you writing a book?
ANG: You were writing in that notebook.
Me: Oh, haha, no. I just wrote down what the flight attendant said over the loudspeaker; when people say things that I want to remember, I put them in my journal so I don't forget them. I thought what she said was interesting.
ANG: You could publish that! If you think it's interesting, perhaps other people will also think it is interesting. It could be...it could be...
Me: Oh! Like...a collection of quotes and excerpts from random people that I've recorded. That could be nice.
ANG: Yes! It would be very unique.
Awwwwwww. I WANT TO GO TO NEPAL AND PUBLISH A BOOK.
Anyway, moving on. Other noteworthy aspects of the flight:
-The guy listening to Beyoncé on the plane's entertainment system, because he reminded me of Noah (although I bet his name isn't as cool as NOAH MAXWELL ARBESFELD). I swear I wasn't creeping on him, or anything - I just happened to be standing behind him for eight billion hours while waiting for the toilet to become vacant. Speaking of plane toilets, there is actually no sound in the world scarier than the flush of an airplane toilet. Since before I can remember, I've been going through the same routine - I press the button, then immediately shrink against the wall with my eyes shut and my fingers in my ears. Otherwise, the sound makes me jump.
-The couple sitting behind me: otherwise known as "The World's Most Annoying Old British Couple". They complained about pretty much everything. Including me reclining my seat during the flight while I tried to sleep, which is ridiculous.
-Randomly bumping into two girls I know from my FPOP (Sophie - Carissa and Rachel were on the flight! Apparently Rachel has family in London). They had the misfortune of encountering me 30 seconds after I woke up from my nap, which is just...a terrible time to interact with me.
-Finding out that Antigua has 365 beaches - one for every day of the year. Let's go.
-Accidentally groping the foot of the old man behind me, while trying to find my own shoe. I thought it felt a little too leathery to be my sneaker...
-Being showered by sunlight when the plane turned after landing. It was like London was happy to see me :)
I don't want this post to drag on too long (and goodness knows what I'm saying, in my state) so I'll wrap up. After I dropped my stuff off at home and took a shower, I walked to school (across Abbey Road!) and delivered hugs to my friends and old teachers. I played the trumpet in jazz band, and played Halo in Physics C (apparently they do nothing productive whatsoever anymore. Shhhh, don't tell anyone.) I chatted with my old computer science teacher and his new wife (my old college counselor - AHHH) about America's public education system. I had lunch with my sister and then spent four hours in Regent's Park with two friends - one goes to uni here in London, and the other to uni at Beloit. Now I'm sitting in my bedroom (with my first and only roommate...otherwise known as my little sister) listening to my mom practice the piano, getting ready to go to bed (where by "go to bed" I mean "sleep for 30 hours straight"), and missing all of you very dearly. I love you! Take care and keep me posted. By posting. On this blog.