Do y’all know what twenty-four hours of uninterrupted travel feels like?
But, I’m at my hotel and home for the next thirty some days and struggling to stay awake. Local time is 5:30pm, back home it’s 5:30am. I told myself I’d stay awake until at least seven tonight, eight if I can. You would think with a sixteen hour flight I wouldn’t be tired. But no. I don’t know how many hours of light dozing equals one solid hour of actual sleep but apparently sixteen is not enough.
I also found out at the nine hour mark that I am prone to airsickness. Not vomit bag levels, but dizzy nausea that will make any trip miserable. Add in sleeplessness and a quick two hour layover followed by another turbulent four hour plane ride and I. Am. Done.
There weren’t any complications though. My major stress point was getting from the Newark, NJ airport to JFK in NYC. I got a shuttle, ETS Airport, and the guy was awesome. You guys, I’m an aggressive driver but this man was a damn Master. He was pulling stunts in a passenger van I wouldn’t have tried in my Grand Prix. It was amazing. Seriously, I think the brakes might have been out because we never went below 40mph. I also learned that the “tail end” of the NYC rush hour is about the same amount of traffic as Indianapolis’ peak rush hour.
I will never live in that city.
And I’m pretty sure unless I have a driver I will not visit that city because, Damn. The skyline was so pretty though. I tried to get a couple pictures of it but it was full night and, like I said, we were bookin’. So they’re pretty blurry, but really, it looks just like the movies. Pick any movie that shows the NYC skyline at night and that’s what it looks like in person. It’s almost unfathomable how that many people can exist in such a small space.
So I made it to JFK with plenty of time to spare. I was going to get dinner there since I had about four hours to kill. Now, Indianapolis International has a couple of little restaurants you can go in and sit down and just relax for a couple seconds before shooting off again. My original plan was to change to my pajamas and find a small restaurant and get a solid meal in me before this grueling flight.
JFK does not have these things. The only sit down place I saw had deli style sandwiches and every chair and table was full. So I wandered down to the end of the terminal to a little panini stand. You know how much a turkey and cheese panini will cost you at JFK? Take a guess.
Yeah. I got a small bowl of fruit and a bottle of water, $7.85. And I think the water was more expensive than the fruit.
Now, I’m sure when most people think of Worst Case Scenario While Flying it involves a lot of screaming. Mine is more being surrounded and unable to move. So for my 16 hour flight the gods saw fit to put me in the middle row in the middle seat between a lady with a chronic cough and a guy with no sense of personal space.
If I can’t choose my seat I’m not taking the damn flight. I want an aisle seat. You heard that right, aisle. Not window. I can live without a view, I just need some space so I feel like I can breathe.
And there was only one screaming child on the flight, but she didn’t start screaming until about two hours before we landed and at that point I couldn’t blame her because I was ready to scream too.
Taipei has a really cool airport. Easy to navigate, pretty architecture, and SO MUCH STUFF TO LOOK AT. Man, I wish I had the six hour layover in Taipei instead of JFK. A.) Food was cheaper and B.) They have a garden, a museum, and a LIBRARY and a shit ton of smaller shops. Since my layover was only three hours and it took me an hour to get through security and find my gate—Chiang Kai Shek is a Massive airport—I saved my money and watched TLC for a couple hours at the gate.
This was the only delay I had, in the whole freaking trip. The flight from Taipei to Cambodia was delayed about thirty minutes. That’s it. That was the only hiccup in the day. Then when we came in to land at Phnom Penh we hit the tarmac too fast so the pilot pulled up and circled around for a second, successful, landing.
The best, absolute best, part of my day was the Tuk Tuk ride to the hotel. A Tuk Tuk is a scooter with a cart strapped to the back. The other guy who was picked up with me had four bags, I have two, and we stuffed all those bags onto this little cart and then squeezed ourselves in. That ride in Boston was nothing. We probably didn’t go faster than fifteen, but there was no distribution of load. All those bags were heaped up however they fit and the two of us just had to hold on while the driver whipped in and out of traffic.
So. Much. Fun.
And I really can’t wait to get out and walk around this city. We passed some amazing art, incredible carved furniture, and fruit stands with fruits I haven’t seen before.
But that will be for another day. Probably Sunday. Because I am exhausted mentally and physically. Being around people like that, crammed in with no space to myself, drains me dry. So tonight, I’m going to see what weird TV shows Cambodia has and maybe start a book before I finally get some sleep.