Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Realities (Full)

Things, of course, did not go according to plan.

August 14th
I got to the San Antonio airport at 6:30, went through security, and my flight was cancelled once everyone was on board. There goes my connecting flight. I left at 4:45 PM and flew to another city entirely for my connection, where I was supposed to have an hour and twenty minute layover, but instead had a 20 minute layover because we couldn't take off from San Antonio for an hour because it was too hot. I'm completely serious. I arrived in Hartford, Connecticut at around 12:30 AM, and met my old friends. They got big, they got buff, their voices got deep. We caught up, we had icecream, we saw a movie, and I bought some clothes.

August 17th
I was woken up at something like 4:00 AM and my friends' father drove me to New York because he works there and likes to leave early in the morning to avoid the traffic. I left Connecticut around 5:00 AM, and did not get to the orientation site around 8:00-9:00 AM. I sat in his office for quite a while and waited for him to get out of a meeting, and we finally got to the double tree hotel (which is in a residential neighborhood, it's really out of place), and I sat around meeting people and messing around until 5. I met the other exchange student going to Iceland, and I nearly choked her when I first saw her. Epic hug. That night, I was getting out my key to go to my room, and my key fell from my hand and under the door. Sigh. As I was calling the elevator, my roommate came up and (at the time I didn't know who he was) and asked him if he was in room 1222. Then we went to sleep, and...

August 18th
Orientation stuff happened. I don't really remember much, but I didn't really care since I was going to Iceland in a matter of hours, right? WELL. During me and Margot's country call to Iceland I got called into what is equivalent to the principal's office, except it's for AFS and there's a bunch of girls in there. I had a skype call with the visa coordinator and she said I couldn't leave that day. I was very frustrated, so was the staff, and especially Margot. It was a sad day, and I was infinitely sad to not leave that day, but right before I left I wrote on Margot's hand "Þetta reddast," which is an Icelandic phrase that DOES NOT translate literally at all that means "It will work out." Apparently when she got there all of the AFS volunteers were just overjoyed that she had something like that written on her hand. I spent that night in a suite next to the only AFS in the building, because ALL of the exchange students left by 5 PM. We ordered Chinese takeout in Queens (which incidentally isn't that great), watched the travel channel, and talked about how we both ended up with AFS.

August 19th

Wake up at 2 in the morning wondering why there is a very confused New Yorker in my room with his luggage. He apologized then left. So I went to the airport around 10, and was on my flight at 2. Then we left at 3 after doing circles on the tarmac for an hour. I got there very tired and excited around 12:30, got to the orientation around 2, and in bed by 3, asleep by 4, and..

August 20th
Awake at 6. I greeted one of the volunteers, Eydis, in Icelandic and she didn't know if I was another volunteer or the new exchange student. :D
I didn't miss any of the orientation, so we started that morning. We made lots of circles, did lots of talking, and did lots of games. Same goes for the next day.
Buuuuuutttt, on Saturday, it was culture weekend in Reykjavík, so the volunteers drove us to the fireworks, unbeknownst to us. It was a spectacular way to spend my first 24 hours in Iceland.

August 21st
AI met my host parents, my mother doesn't speak much english, and my father speaks even less. I ordered in Icelandic at a kaffihús, and I fell asleep on the way home.

So far, a Texan doesn't feel so out of place in Iceland.

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