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