Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What a Ride!

What a ride so far.

Traveling for business is much different than any personal traveling I’ve ever done. First of all, it comes with about $1500 worth of excess baggage. No really. I had two white enormous, 90 lb boxes, one huge 80 lb suitcase and two teeny tiny carry ons for myself. (My previous experience with KLM has taught me to carry all my personal affects with me). Note to self: overweight, excess baggage is not for plebians. I was totally blown away by the cost, until I overheard the guy next to me checking a 36 inch flat screen tv to Nigeria – and paying cash.

It’s fun to admit you’re on your way to Africa for anything because people get extremely impressed. Two spring-break backpackers in the baggage line happened to look at all my boxes (market: Holiday Inn, Nairobi KENYA in big letters) and said “Whoa. That’s hardcore.” I looked at them, motioned to the excess baggage and said, “It’s all shoes.” I think they believed me.

Now, it’s not my general M.O to play chatty-chat with other traveler’s in the many line’s (ticket/baggage/check in/taxi) one finds themselves in due in part for security measures (as a woman traveling alone, you can’t be too careful), but from time to time it’s necessary to be polite. While checking-in in Amsterdam, I happened to be in front of two other spring breaker’s (note to self: don’t travel in March) who were on their way to visit boyfriends. After telling them where I was headed, one girl asked “Boyfriend?”. Ha, I smirked internally – won’t be doing THAT to Kenya again! Instead I said, “No, just business.” Ahh…satisfaction.

Apart from the slight superiority factor I can’t seem to shake, there’s a lot more pressure to “get things right” while traveling for business (hence my relatively sleepless night last night). I am now spending my Sunday in front of a computer and phone, trying track down lost luggage (sigh. Yes, AGAIN), trying to track down my lost suitcoat (left in the backseat of said taxi) and finalizing tomorrow’s agenda. All of this, instead of ducking in and out of boutiques/exploring the city/poking around/generally being curious, which is what I REALLY want to do (although, getting my suitcoat back would be nice).

While the hotel is nice, it’s not big on adventure. I hope to get all this stuff straightened (they’ve at least located the boxes and my suitcoat is now on the way) out by early afternoon and off to some poking around. Hopefully I’ll have time to post again – but I’m not sure. True to travel (business or pleasure) you never know what’s gonna happen next.


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