Thoughts From Over the Atlantic

As of writing this I am 5 1/2 hours into my flight. Almost halfway done, yay! It’s going well so far. I’ve had dinner, which I would describe as the higher-quality airplane food, watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and slept for at least a few hours. If you want to figure out how much sleep I’ve gotten take 5 1/2 hours and subtract the running time of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

When I arrived at Newark International Airport this afternoon (later than planned because the President was in town and caused massive traffic jams *insert Thanks Obama joke here*) the majority of my group was already there. We are four girls and one guy plus our program leader. I love that we have such a small group! As I mentioned in my brief pre-departure post, so far they are all fantastic. We had plenty of bonding time in the airport and it was actually a lot of fun! Awkward at first, but we got over it. We’re from all over the U.S. so we were comparing accents and words for things. Apparently no on else on Earth pronounces crayon like “cran” or calls that grass between the sidewalk and the street a parking strip. If you do, let me know so I can prove them wrong. Our program leader seems really nice and very laid-back plus she doesn’t treat us like incompetent children, thank goodness. That would be my worst nightmare on a trip like this. The six of us have definitely clicked as a group, but who knows if that’s because we actually have things in common or because we’re all crazy enough to get on a plane to India with five complete strangers. Only time will tell, I suppose.

I have to share with you all my dumb moment of the day. When we first arrived at our gate, the next flight out was headed for Mumbai, India. Naturally, many of the people waiting for that flight were Indian. In my brilliance, the first thing that popped into my head was, “Huh, there so many Indian people on this flight! I wonder why.” That’s literally something I thought. Please laugh at my expense. I deserve it.

Brief rant here. Feel free to skip to the next, less frustrated paragraph. The man in the seat in front of me has somehow managed to push his seat back farther than these seats are supposed to go. So not only is it invading my space, but the tray table won’t close because I can’t push it all the way in. Plus he shifts every five minutes and makes the whole thing shake and jab towards my face. He’s a lovely person (we talked a bit before the flight because he noticed our AFS shirts and was curious) but this is ridiculous. Okay I’m done. Back to our calm, regularly scheduled programming.

Weirdly enough, I don’t feel at all nervous to arrive in India. Maybe that’s because I’m currently in a dark metal tube with no sense of time passing or end in sight and I’m slowly losing my mind, but I don’t think so. My family has hosted multiple exchange students before, four for short 1-2 week programs and one for all of last year, so I know what the host family experience is like. It’s comforting to know that, at least I hope this is true, my family is as excited and nervous for my arrival as I am. It’s amazing knowing you have people waiting on the other side of the world to welcome you and who will be genuinely happy to see you. Actually when I say it like that, I’m not nervous at all. I just can’t wait.

Writing on a plane when there’s over six hours left in the flight is dangerous because I could very easily spend the rest of the time working on this post. I have a plug where I could charge my laptop and nothing I need to do so this could get bad fast. I’m going to force myself to stop now so that I don’t bore you all to tears which I’ve probably done anyway. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You either are an awesome person who is genuinely interested in what I have to say or you’re incredibly bored. Either way, thanks for reading! I’m not entirely sure what our schedule is once we arrive in Ahmedabad, so all I can promise is that the next post will be up sometime on the 23rd. By the time you’re reading this, I will be in Delhi! And extremely exhausted and jet-lagged. Until next time,अलविदा!

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