Moving To a Small Town Called Fort Smith

I’m usually not a huge fan of flying with anything more than carry on baggage because in most airports, like Pearson International in Toronto, it takes about 2 hours to go through the entire baggage claim process (this isn’t even an exaggeration – I had to stand in a line basically a kilometre long to go through security). However, since I was taking the tiniest plane I had ever seen

In a Boeing 737, you wouldn't be able to see the ground at all with a window right by the wing!

In a Boeing 737, you wouldn’t be able to see the ground at all with a window right by the wing!

….to the tiniest airport I had ever been to (and I used to think regional airports in Peru were small),

Peru being all fancy with their decoratively styled baggage claim carousels!

Peru being all fancy with their decoratively styled baggage claim carousels!

baggage claim took all of 45 seconds – my suitcase even beat me to the terminal!

My work had agreed to meet me at the airport and drop me off at my new apartment, so before I knew, I was off into town. Before dropping me off however, my boss had to pick up her kids from school, so I decided to wait by the road.

You know you're in the middle of nowhere when streets in town are called Wilderness Road!

You know you’re in the middle of nowhere when streets in town are called Wilderness Road!

As it turns out, this was a traffic-stopping-ly bad idea: every car coming down the street (all 2 of them) ended up slowing to a stop right in front of me and school. At first I thought they were parents looking for their kids, but when my boss came back, she gently pointed out that the drivers thought I wanted to cross the street and were waiting to let me go by. Even though I showed no inclination to move, they had each waited almost a minute before finally taking off again. For me, this small event was shocking on a couple of levels:

1)    Cars were actually stopping for pedestrians and giving them the right away

2)    They stopped for almost a full minute without getting impatient

3)    Everyone here would die at a street crossing in Vietnam

After making a mental note not to recommend Vietnam as a travel destination to anyone, I was on my way to my new place. The whole “moving in” thing went pretty smoothly.

Welcome card from the roomies!

Welcome card from the roomies!

Before I knew it, I was building my own shelving unit (in true Fort Smith-carpenter style having it not even come from IKEA– we had the best carpenters in the north in Fort Smith back in the day) and getting settled in – despite being basically moving to the polar (haha, northern jokes) opposite of my previous life in Singapore (get ready for a full-blown comparison to come).

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