A day in the life
I apologize in advance for this blogpost, which will be more or less a recap of my day yesterday. Because it was quite a day, from my perspective.
It started normally enough with a shower followed by a breakfast of cheese on toast and green tea. By 9am I had gotten all the things I wanted to take with me from my room, the guest room, and Palmer's room packed into a suitcase. But by the time Ko-leen stopped by at around 10am with some apples, I was in slight panic mode, as the realization was settling in that all the stuff I wanted to take with me from the kitchen and my office and my storage closet were not going to fit in my other suitcase. She wisely made a quick exit, but a few minutes later my friend Smári came by with some paperwork for my car (he is going to try to sell it for me while I am away). By the time he left, it was nearly 11:30, and I was hungry. My stomach asked if we could please go to the postoffice with the books I wanted to mail and get some food, but I had to tell my stomach to be grateful for the left over almonds and apples I had, and make do. You see, I had still not gone through all the files in my office and pack the kitchen stuff.
That is right, at 11:30 am, on the day of my flight, I still had all my files to sort and pack and all my books to ship. By 1:30pm, I had finished a haphazard run through and thrown a bunch of miscellaneous pictures and papework and files (and an ipod player) into my roll-on suitcase. By 2pm, the dishes I wanted to take to California (padded with some dresses I never wear but hate to give away) were in my carryon shoulder bag. But the boxes of books were still in my hallway, unlabeled.
Fear gripped me. I had the distinct feeling that I would miss my flight if I tried to go to the post-office, or more precisely, that I would flip out from hunger and stress if I tried to go to the post-office. My ride was scheduled to come at 2:30. Thankfully, there was some bit of me that still had her wits about her, and that part of me said, "You have gone 5 months without these books. You will be back in Iceland in 3 months. You can get them them or ship them then." When my cousin Maria arrived to take me to the airport, she described keeping three boxes of books for me as "minsta mál". Ah, svo létt að heyra.
This combined with Ko-leen's willingness to get rid of whatever was left in the apartment (I at least did take a few loads to the dumpster myself) allowed me to finally take a few brief minutes to actually walk around the apartment and attempt to say goodbye. Although I did not really live their full time until last year, I did have the place for four years, which is longer than any other apartment I have ever lived in.
The thought of getting to the airport made my stomach happy - it had decided well ahead of time that it was going to get the grænmetis hringlok. And the check-in process at Icelandair was smooth. I was calming down. I even started looking around for my friend Valdimar, who had told me he'd be on the same flight.
Two movies, three tv-shows, five games of computer chess, and about an hour of steady crying later, the Icelandair flight arrived in Seattle.
Now I had the hassle of gathering up all my luggage, going through customs, and checking into the Southwest flight to Oakland. Being a US citizen helps a bit with this, since I got through immigration and customs quicker than for instance, Valdimar, who was still in the immigration line upstairs as I was on my way to the main terminal. I had an extremely helpful baggage hop help me get my bags up to Southwest, and next had to figure out whether or not my colleague Eric Nelson from the Nordic Heritage Museum was actually going to make it to meet me for dinner or not. A dead American cell phone did not expedite that process.
Over dinner he told me in fact that that was the third time in 24 hours that he had been to the airport collecting Icelandic people - the Nordic Heritage Museum is hosting a fashion show organized by Norænna husið in Reykjavík in September, and they were having their planning meetings the last day and a half.
On board the two hour Southwest flight to Oakland, I had a rather restless sleep, knowing I still had to get my bags, get my car, and drive over to Palmer's house before I would be able to really sleep.
It wasn't until I was chatting with the baggage hop helping me out to the parking shuttle van at midnight Oakland time that I suddenly realized my day had started 24 hours earlier, at 7am in Iceland. It was indeed time to call it a day.