Thursday, April 15, 2004

(The Flight to Barbados and Getting on the Ship)

 

Well, when they scanned my baggage, they were a bit worried by the weight. I had to wait around (since it was locked) in case it had to be unlocked, which of course it did (it passed the scan, but they couldn't figure out why it weighed so much). My main bag was about half-full with books, which is where the weight was coming from. It had been VERY tough to pack just right so that everything fit, but they got it back together, and kind of laughed when they saw that the weight was. I had a bit of time to kill in the airport, I had come pretty early since I was flying outside the US. I decided to buy a Carl Hiaasen book (as it hadn't occurred to me to get one of the books out of my bag before I checked it). It is called Strip Tease, and (like all of his books) takes place entirely in South Florida. It is pretty good, a murder crime story, but funny at times. I flew from Miami to Aruba in a large jet. I was in the isle, but since they felt sorry for me, the moved me to the wing, where the emergency exit gave me lots of leg room. It took a while, and I read about half the book. It was an absolutely gorgeous day out. I went through the airport to my next terminal, where I hopped a puddle-jumper. Same deal, they moved me to the wing, but this time the wing was above me. However, the prop kept blocking my view. We landed at some very small island to refuel, and it was gorgeous. There were sailboats galore, islands and mountains everywhere, and more. The water, weather, and clouds were gorgeous for the rest of the trip. After the first stop, I moved to the very front seat, which also had a lot of room but wasn't under the wing.

I finally got to Barbados at a bit after 6, went through customs, and hopped a cab. There are lots of cars there that aren't in the US, and of course they drive on the left side of the road. It was also cool that they used roundabouts rather than stop signs. Actually, for the first 25 of the 30 minutes from the airport to the ship, I saw no street signs or stoplights, other than a type of yield-shaped sign that said "Give Way" around the roundabouts. It was cool, since we never had to make a stop. Also interesting was that there were no speed limit signs (including through a large residential area that we went through), and everything (including residential areas, curves, hills, and streets that weren't really wide enough for two cars) is a passing zone. We were running about 60 through a curvy, hilly, very narrow residential area, passing cars randomly along the way. The fare was only $20, which I didn't think was bad. It wasn't nearly as long of a walk to the ship as he said, but it was still pretty tough with 100 lbs of luggage. A girl ended up helping me walk it up the pier, and put me with the people to get my paperwork done. I didn't exactly feel the most manly, having a 5 ft tall girl holding the other side of my bag. At one point I was tired and would have stopped, but felt like a bit of a wuss since she was obviously fine. My back and neck were killing me for days, though . . .

I had been up for a couple of days, so I was pretty tired. I got to my room at around 8:30 or so, and met my roommate. I was worried about packing too much and not having collapsible luggage, it turns out that I only filled my drawers half way, and had plenty of space for luggage. I, of course, now wish that I had brought the rolling suitcase that the hotel bought me. I figured it was better to err on the lighter side, though. My room isn't very big, but there is definitely enough closet and drawer space. I can also store bags in IS closets. For some reason (and, of course, the way that my luck runs nearly everywhere I end up living), the particular area that my room is in happens to be the hottest part of the ship. With my air on full, the room is unbearably hot. When you walk into the hall my room is on, the temperature in the hall is 5 hotter than the hall outside. It is insane. :( So, of course it has been nearly impossible for me to sleep. I planned on the small room and the tiny bed, but wasn't prepared for it being this hot. The sad thing is that one of my trainers has her air off, and her room is 10 colder than mine and she's freezing. It just isn't fair . . .