You can know something for a long time before you finally fully realize what it means. This period of less than complete awareness of a situation is usually described by people who have just won the Super Bowl or have experienced the passing of someone close to them. It usually goes something like, “I’m waiting for it to hit me” or “it hasn’t had time to sink in yet.” Later they find themselves at Disneyworld or they open a drawer to come across an old picture and awareness is heightened.
Yesterday I had a moment like this as I embarked for South America. Though I have not formally introduced it in a post, I’ll be in Bogotá for the summer working with researchers and their data to develop my thesis. I knew I was going but it doesn’t always set in that you’ll be in a foreign place until you are confronted with some of the differences. The Avianca plane that carried me from Ft. Lauderdale to Bogotá provided this (see left) subtle hint that there was no tuning back and gave me a deeper understanding of exactly where I was. Ironically it did this by confusing me. I thought I had the sign figured out but I asked someone today why there was a “K” and they had no idea. No worries I had the aisle.
One thing that becomes very clear with a fair amount of travel is that the same books keep popping up over and over again. On each of my flights yesterday I was sitting one seat away from a woman reading ‘Wicked.’ Maybe I’m jumping the gun here, but when I was traveling several times a week for work at Akzo, it was the DiVinci Code. That thing was everywhere (they had everybody on that case). Maybe it’s because they only sell certain books in those airport magazine stands. If someone gives you one of those books as a gift, they probably picked it up, last minute, at the airport.
In any event I arrived safely, found my accommodations and have since begun my work.