Friday, September 30, 2005

Et In Amman Ego...

So, after a delayed flight, a nonexistent driver, and a reservation-less hotel, I am now in Amman, Jordan (for the next 7 hours, at least). Amman has managed to set a record of its own - my (impromptu) cab driver from the airport asked me out on the way to the hotel.

I'll give him a little credit for sheer gumption, but when you've been travelling for 26 hours, let's think about things you're willing to consider. Stopping for coffee with a stranger in a city you've never seen at 9:30 pm? Not on the list.

I'm not sure I can handle the 7-hour daytime layover that I had this morning (the lucky and unforseen upgrade to business class, however, I am quite sure I can handle). I fell asleep on the plane to Amman without even realizing it - before we even took off!

In other news, my country clearance came through by email today, so apparently the State Department is A-OK with sending me off to play in Irbil. Way to cut it close, World's Greatest Bureaucracy...

On the detail level, I find it totally weird that Diet Coke is different in Palestine and Jordan. It's "Coke Light" here, and there's a pull-tab, rather than a pop-top. Just in case anyone was curious. Also incidentally, mayonnaise should not be an ingredient in caesar salad. FYI.

And the winner is...

Greetings from Amsterdam!

Amsterdam, although fairly boring at 7 am (as nothing that anyone goes to Amsterdam for is open yet), has just edged out London! That's right, folks - I was in the city for a grand total of 26 minutes before a lost tourist asked me for directions.

Amsterdam is, however, totally beautiful. Next time I go, remind me to stay a bit longer than 3 hours.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Goldie Hawn Moment

So, I'm on my way... I got approval today, and am about to ship off to sunny Irbil. Actually, I've heard that it's beautiful.

My mother doesn't believe me.

Meanwhile, the forces of bureaucracy managed to converge on me, and in one week I spent 2 hours at the passport office, 3 hours at the doctor's office, and a day at jury duty. Stellar. But now I'm legal, immunized, x-rayed (and yes, I don't have TB, to no one's great surprise), and have performed my civic duty for the next two years.

And now, I am headed to a place where (regarding protective gear sizes, at least) "small" refers to anyone under 170 pounds and shorter than six feet tall. Gulp.

More to come soon...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Off to New Horizons?

Well, I just found out that I might be headed off to Erbil, Iraq, for a few weeks. Most people seem to think I'm crazy. But how can I turn down a chance to go somewhere that I thought would be impossible to access?
Anyway, it would be a long, crazy journey, but one that I can't see myself passing up. Stay tuned, and I'll keep you all posted (pardon the pun)...