Thursday, January 04, 2007

Unexpected adventures.

Here's a brief run-down of the unwanted occurrences of the past few days.
1. The night before I flew to Washington my computer stopped worked. Well, to be precise, it works fine on battery, but the plug thingie is not working. So, I can't plug it into the wall through the AC adapter, or use my external battery. Which means there's about 30 minutes left of power in it. Sigh.
2. I took the subway and bus to the airport. This took too long, and then I got off at the wrong terminal, so had to trek back to the right one. This made me a bit nervous because I was already late!
3. Got to the correct terminal, and it was a madhouse! OMG, there were hundreds and hundreds of people lining up for US flights. I was very impressed with the airport staff. They went up and down the huge lines, gathering people up for specific flights and moving them ahead so people wouldn't miss their flights. A clump of us DC-bound people ended up spending way more time together than we'd ever imagined! (At this point, though, my being late to the airport didn't matter anymore, since the guy right ahead of me in the customs line had been there 2 hours early.)
4. Security was very tight. The customs agent asked me all kinds of questions, even about what my dissertation was on! My checked luggage was then inspected by hand. And then the regular carry-on checking. I then rushed down to the last gate, and waited in another line. I was very thoroughly checked with a metal-detector thing. Very. And ALL my carry-on items were opened and carefully inspected. Wow. I finally made it onto the plane just a few minutes past the original take-off time. So the flight wasn't delayed that long. Crazy times. I was on the go (or waiting in a line) from 6:45am until I got my luggage at Reagan National Airport at 11:30am. Good thing I didn't have to go to the washroom or get something to eat!
5. I ate my first soft pretzel at the airport. Yummy! Why don't we have these things in Canada? Or do we?
6. My new landlord picked me up at the airport, and gave me a quick tour of some of the tourist areas of DC before taking me to my new home in College Park, MD. He then ordered food for us, because at this point it was approaching 2pm, and we were both starved.
7. I slept for several hours that evening (Tuesday), and then woke up to start worrying about what to do about my computer situation. I need one for my research. HD and her mom promised to fedex an old laptop to me the next day! They are too awesome. Good thing I have a US cell phone with me, because it was my only means of communication with the outside world. (The cell comes from HD's mom too, so extra thanks to her.)
8. Wednesday morning I discovered the metro and a local mall and bought groceries. In the afternoon I took the bus to the archives, survived more super-tight security, and started my research! Yay! I also got to check my e-mail for the first time in a couple days.
9. I waited almost 45 minutes for the bus to get back home. Oy. Once here, I turned on my computer (with battery) and transferred all my files to my external hard drive. The I hung out with one of my new roommates for a bit before doing some work and going to sleep.
10. This morning I woke up to wait for my Fedex delivery. And I'm using my new/old/temporary laptop now. While waiting I read some of my supervisor's newest book. It is so good. Wow. She is amazing.
11. At the moment I am installing some programs and transferring important files to this new computer so I can start using it at the archives this afternoon.
12. Phew! And if you actually managed to read this far, you are crazy, but I love you anyway ;-).


Anonymous said...

wow...insanity! Glad you're okay and that things seem to be getting better. Happy researching!

E :) said...

HD and her Mum are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Jen - We totally have soft pretzels in Canada - next time your in Ottawa I'll meet you at Rideau Centre and we can go to PretzelMaker.