Saturday, December 27, 2008

I didn't plan on not writing for two weeks, but it just happened. My addiction to late-night crime-based dramas intensified to the point that I was watching two episodes of Cold Case, which I hate, every night, just so I could experience the ups and downs of a murder investigations. Just two months ago, I had never heard of most of these shows save Law and Order, and now I watch about 4-5 hours a night. The result is that I have less time for everything else: running, sleeping, eating and, yes, even blogging.

Yes, you can look to the trusty Elliot Stabler for why I'm on track to run a fourth straight dismal marathon, haven't slept much of late and never manage to do all those little things like pay my bills (on days where I finish work early, I choose to go home to catch up on sleep instead of going to the bank). However, now I'm back in Canada for about two weeks, where I can't watch TV in bed. Clearly, there is a chance for a new beginning, one where I run everyday, sleep at reasonable hours and dramatically reduce my risk of bedsores.

It wasn't easy getting here. I've never been someone whose Christmas Day has been anything to envy, but even for the most hardcore Christmophile, my 40-hour-long Christmas Day was not something to envy, mostly because it was thoroughly devoid of anything even remotely enjoyable. It began like any other day, with a midnight episode of Without a Trace, but then I couldn't sleep until 3 am, which was bad because I had to wake up at 6 am.

Four countries, forty hours and one mystified Nepalese who had never left his country or been on a plane later, my day came to an end. The only person who had it worse was the Nepalese, and his day was far worse than mine. We met in Tokyo, but he had flown from Kathmandu via Bangkok, where he had spent about 8 hours waiting. There were about a dozen other Nepalese scattered on the plane, who formed part of the strangest corps of humanity I had ever seen: there were Koreans, massively obese Americans, Chinese, Canadians, Filipinos, Thais, and one American or Canadian with long hair and a massive beard who was wearing a tank top and shorts. Oddly enough for a flight originating from Japan, there were no more than a handful of Japanese.

Everything was new to the Nepalese I sat next to, who spoke the best English of the group. His story, though touching, was so bizarre that I just wanted to laugh. He was on a multiple-day plane trip through hell, which included lengthy stopovers in Bangkok, Tokyo and Minneapolis, with the end result of studying biology somewhere in North Dakota (seriously). During the entire 11-hour flight to Minneapolis, the Nepalese conferred among themselves constantly about how to fill in their arrival card for US customs, deliberating on each question (eg "have you been around livestock in the last two weeks?") as though it was a matter of life and death. They also talked endlessly about what they saw outside the window, choosing to ask me if it was really controversial.

Anyway, there's now a Nepalese student at an American university near you. Please be kind to them.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting

maji said...

You are no wonder a great writer