Sitting in the airport on Dubai

Got in with no problems. Actually, the whole trip has gone really, really smoothly so far. I think that part of it is that I am flying on “off” days and the airports aren’t so busy. Flight took off and got in right on time. The piolet said that it was “a little warm at 30 degrees celcius.” My rough conversion puts that at around 2000 degrees farenheight. It sure does seem like it coming from NYC and dressed in jeans, a wool sweater, and a light jacket. Those are all of the cool weather clothes that I brought. I knew I would need them in NYC and they wouldn’t actually fit into my luggage, so i wore them over. Can’t wait to pack that sweater until I go to Malta..Anyway, I’ve wandered around a little and I’m trying to decide if I want to get a hotel room or not. I’m willing to bet that I can’t afford one here, but I am beat, really need a shower, and the prospect of sleeping in the airport doesn’t really appeal. It is quite a bit better here than any other terminal I’ve ever been in, they have nice chez lounges availible in “quiet lounges” to sleep. Despite that, I do see quite a few people stretched out on the floor… wonder what that’s all about. I’ve also come face to face with my first “foreign” concept, the squat toilet. It’s amazing how intimidating it is when you first open a stall and see one… Anyway, I think I’ll wander around a little, maybe buy a new shirt (this one is a little grungy now) and settle in for a nap in the lounge. Not sure when I’ll be able to post from Sana’a, but I will as soon as I can!

Isaac

Flight to Dubai

OK, for the record, Emerites Airlines rocks. Not only was everyone very friendly, did their job, and had decent food (really!), but they had this nifty entertainment doohicky at every seat. You could pull up dozens of movies, games, and lots and lots of music. They had a pretty good selection too. I listened to “Remain in Light”, “Dolittle,” “London Calling,” “A Love Supreme,” “Let it Bleed,” “Raising Hell,” “Blonde on Blonde,” and many other single songs too. It made for a rather pleasant trip. I managed to doze off a couple of times. It felt like it was only 15-20 minutes each time, but I actually killed about 4 hours of the flight sleeping.

That brings me to Isaac’s method of avoiding Jet lag. Here’s the drill… Sleep really late the day of your (evening flight). My flight left at 11PM and got into Dubai around 8PM the next day. Try to sleep as little as possible on the flight and then go to bed at a normal hour in your new place. Hopefully that’s all it takes, I’ll let you know how it turns out:-)

Isaac

NYC trip

It was great. Saw Jen for the first time in probably 10 years. Dean and I couldn’t remember the last time we got together, so it has probably been quite some time as well. Other than catching up with those two, I saw Grand Central Station, walked down broadway to Times square, saw the southern end of central park, the west village, had to learn the subway system (or at least art of it) rather quickly. I was told to take the 7 train into a station in Queens from Times Square. Problem was that on sunday the 7 was shut down between Tomes Square and the Queensbourough station. It was fun in a way… Anyway, I liked it more than I thought I would, I’m glad I went but mostly to see my friends:-)

Isaac

Sudden change of packing/photography plans…

…or how to apply the concept of a sunk cost into Isaac’s world. I’m in the process of packing and I have finally figured out how many bags I would have to take in order to take everything I want. I believe that it would take 4 bags (plus my carry on) in order to do it. Here’s the problem, I’m allowed 2 bags for free, each extra bag would cost an extra $135 each way. Hmm, that’s a total of $540. Ouch. On the other hand, if I don’t take any film equipment, I could bring the total down to two bags.

But I spent all that money on equipment and film! Surely I should take that stuff. Well, I’d like to, but not for $540. After I calmed down I realized that whatever money I’ve spent on film and equipment is gone (for the time being), I need to deal with the situation right now. I do have a digital camera. It’s true I don’t think that the results are as nice as the film cameras, but to be honest I haven’t been Mr. serious photographer in some time. So I’m going all digital, leaving the picture taking as it should be, the snapshot. I will also be doing video, so I think I will be more than enough to keep me busy. That extra $540 buys me a month+ extra in Yemen and/or some really nice times in Malta. Not bad for some equipment I’m not sure I’d use much anyway…

Jenny, you interested in a WHOLE LOT of film and maybe the use of a medium format camera? Email me and it can be arranged, doesn’t look like I’ll be using it after all…

Isaac

Christmas is looking up

I made my reservations in Malta for Christmas and New Year’s last night. I had to bag the whole Italy thing since it was going to be way too expensive. A hint for anyone looking for a warm getaway in the winter, Malta is crazy cheap in the off season. The flights are pretty reasonable too. I’m going to spend a total of $600 for 3 weeks in a hotel, and 1 1/2 weeks of that is with two people! And that also includes two holidays! Granted, this isn’t exactly the best place on the island, but they seem to be a lot better than a Motel 6 or something like that. I’ll be staying in St. Julians, which is in the heart of the urban area of Malta and a quick bus ride to most things on the island. Beth (my cousin) and I will have a blast…

Isaac

I’m sure the NSA is listening now…

Made my first cal to Yemen today. I had to confirm that someone would be there to pick me up at the airport. Those of you who might want to call me once I’m there may think about stocking up on international calling cards, preferably ones made specifically for the middle east or Yemen. I used a standard calling card that I had floating around. It had 120 minutes on it for domestic calls and 6 minutes for calls to Yemen. Yeah, it was 20 times more expensive to call Yemen than anywhere in the US… I’ve seen some cards made especially for this sort of thing and I’m sure that you can get better rates than that. In any case, I’m glad I made the call, being met at the airport is a much better idea than trying to go at it alone! Only two more days!!!! I can’t believe it!

Isaac

Getting there…

So I’m going back to DC tomorrow (at my mom’s house right now) to finish packing. There’s still a bunch of little things I have to take care if before I go and I hope I remember them all. It’s getting really close, right now I’m much more worried about the flights going smoothly. I’ll deal with living in Yemen when I get there I suppose.

Isaac

Going a little crazy..

So much to do and so little time to do it… The place is starting to look a little empty. Most of my cds and almost all of my books have been packed up. The stereo is gone (thanks Jenny!), and I just have assorted crap and junk strewn about. I think I’ll need another case to put stuff in, but I might not, it’s a little tough to tell right now. I’m finally starting to “get” the fact that I’m moving to the other side of the earth, it’s starting to sink in…

Saw Jenny and Jaime today, just need to catch up with Giane next wed. and I think I will have seen everyone I needed to see before I head out. I got home around 12:30 tonight and realized that I needed to finish my laundry if I wanted to sleep on sheets, plus I needed to clean up the upstairs. Catching the train tomorrow will find me a bit bleary eyed. It’s funny, I don’t really worry about that now. When I was working I really worried about it and I seemed to need more sleep. Getting up at weird hours doesn’t faze me, I’ll just take a nap if I get tired:-) Tomorrow I’m in Connecticut, come back on thursday, go to dad’s on sat. and come back up here to finish packing on monday… Whew! It’ll be nice to settle into a regular schedule once I’m in Yemen:-)

Isaac

Off to Dad’s

I’ll be at dad’s place today, and then I’m off to my mother’s. I’ll be back sat. night, off to Jenny’s on sunday (yay!), and then I catch a train to Connecticut on monday. Then it’s back to dad’s for the final amount of moving crap… Things just really busy. The final flurry before the big trip!

Isaac