The next leg of my journey began quite positively. I was able to get into the Rijksmuseum and enjoyed their current display of bird paintings. Truth be told, my favorite piece had nothing to do with birds, but rather was a beautiful old ship, like the ones that were in Boston 2 weeks ago, painted on Dutch tiles.
I conveniently bumped into my colleagues en route to the gate and enjoyed another cappuccino with them before going through security for the next flight. I was asked to step aside and immediately began reaching for the 7 million medical documents I have on me, assuming that was the issue. Much to my surprise, I was bumped up to business class – a first for me! It was a delightful flying experience, and it made the twelve hour trip infinitely more bearable.
We were met at the airport by Raymond, our driver, who gave us a “tour” of the city. His tour was more pointing out where fun landmarks would be if it were daylight. Raymond has lived here for his whole life, and clearly his time here has given him unique night sight in this city.
Checking into the hotel was a bit of a mishmash. Lots of details, mental conversions from Rand to dollars, etc. Despite my best attempts to get a room on the same floor as my colleagues, Michele and Kumkum, I wound up four floors down on my own. I started the process of unpacking after skyping my parents to tell them I had landed. As I opened a drawer to the dresser, I saw bugs scatter. And by bugs, I mean roaches. I immediately called the front desk and requested a new room. The new room is 11 floors up and apparently has a mountain view ( I trust I will see that in daylight too.) I have unpacked by sorting my clothes between the various bags I have. Maybe I’m being overly paranoid, but if my mom has taught me nothing, it’s that it is a costly venture to get rid of roaches once you bring them home. Though I have seen nothing yet in the new room, this is one lesson I don’t want to learn the hard way.
I am kicking myself for not bringing my mac here. We paid for a weeks worth of wireless connection at checkin. My phone connected immediately, but I am still unable to get my trusty JSI Dell to recognize the wireless connection. This will make Internet connectivity with group wise tricky this week. Again, I will try again in daylight.
Though I love travelling for work, I find big hotel rooms lonely. In an effort to make the room seem less quiet and big, I leave lights and tv on. I am eager for tomorrow and for the sota to begin. I trust that later in the week, I will be busy enough and ultimately tired enough to fall asleep.