Sunday, June 22, 2014

Airport leftover

I wrote this as I layover in Amsterdam - just a week ago!

The first things I noticed on landing in Amsterdam from Tanzania was the t-shirts. (OK - the very first thing was the surgically clean fully functional working lock on the door ladies room stall) Suddenly people wearing GAP shirts and Micky Mouse products that looked like they had actually been there. It is an airport - no one is dressed up to fly anymore but everyone has on something unpatched, unripped. And the sandals are new new looking, not a pair of rubber flip flops anywhere.

So I am, in a jolt, deposited in a world of platform shoes, masses of college girls in matching team jerseys, high end watches to pick up duty free between flights, and where my clothes are no longer an oddity but on the conservative side of the norm. Not a donation bin ensemble in sight.

And choices - shops with cheese (which I now realize I have not had since I left the State), massage and spa treatments, restaurants with multiple sandwich choices and options. Not a single place serves the green leafy vegetable that has been at every meal in Tanzania.  The closest I have come to a translation is "wild greens" readily available beside any highway. Fried up with a little soy sauce...

McDonalds and Starbucks are here, of course.

I am remembering, as I always do, that I was only a visitor to the world of ironed underwear and Deet as makeup foundation. Three weeks is enough time to glimpse and glaze the surface, but I always know - and am grateful - that there is a hot shower waiting at home.

Now only hours away!

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