I am now sitting in my room in Kirovograd – how quickly we go, in our day and age, from one time zone and type of climate to another one.
My flight left at 6 a.m. Bangkok time. Well, that is when it was scheduled to leave, anyway. After getting up at 2 a.m. (not being able to sleep until after 10:30, and not sleeping much at that) to get to the airport to check in at 3, then waiting, and waiting, to board the flight (we boarded around 6:15), I settled in for a long ride.
Unfortunately for me, if I sleep at all on any type of transport, it is for maybe a half hour of napping. I don’t know why, but I have never been able to sleep on airplanes, buses, or trains – or at least not well. Thus was the case on Saturday – after we got on the plane, most everyone else closed their eyes, got into strange contortionist positions, and went to sleep. Not me. I listened to podcasts, I read, I listened to music, but could not actually sleep – I only got a couple of half-hour naps.
And as this was an Aerosvit flight, and it was a 767, the back of the seat consoles were there, but they do not invest in the programming for coach – only for business class – so there were no movies or other things to entertain me.
What I did get a lot of, though, was not one, but TWO screaming children, three rows up. Siblings, both under the age of two from the looks of it, and they screamed, either alternately or together, for most of the flight. I am not kidding. By the end of the flight, my nerves were so shot that when I went shopping for some food that evening and heard a kid screaming in the store, the only thing I wanted to do was run.
So we arrived in Kiev at around noon Kiev time, which my body was thinking was 5:00 p.m. I went to Peace Corps and had to find a place to stay because unfortunately the friend with whom I was going to stay was terribly sick. As the day wore on, I started to feel more and more exhausted. Perhaps it was not only the time difference, but the fact that when I left Bangkok, it was 35 degrees Celcius, and when we arrived in Kiev, it was 0 degrees and snowing.
Yesterday after waking up at 4 a.m. for no good reason other than my body thought it was 9 a.m., it was back to Kirovograd, and off to find food. Since then, I have to admit, the only thing I have “accomplished” is watching downloaded episodes of “The Closer” and getting my Internet back. I woke up at 4 a.m. again this morning, and could not get back to sleep. Jet lag is fun!
I have been given the what for a little bit by the women who work in the building where I live – the one who is in charge of everything said they were even calling people at the university, asking where I was. I asked if anyone called Peace Corps, as they could have explained that I was going to return, and she looked puzzled. Hmm.
And so my last four months of service begins. Sometimes it is hard to believe that is all the time I have left – other times, not so much. I hope to get a few things done yet, and strangely, feel a little bit behind because of my six-week Thailand interlude. But I am glad I got to go.