… but I have to admit even I did not expect that I’d be sitting here writing this blog at 10:40, having been awake and sorting myself out since 9:00 and still be the only one up! This isn’t quite as crazy as it seems, I must add, because the Peacock office I’ll be working in is open from 1pm-9pm, but I’m still feeling fairly smug about my productivity. Anyway, here’s a long-ish post about my journey and some first impressions.
Pathetic Fallacy Alert
I did somewhat get the sense that I was driving into the unknown as we drove towards Heathrow and so, just to make the whole event that much more sinister the British weather kindly obliged and produced a nice patchy mist.
Other than that the drive to the airport was dull and uneventful as you might expect, which was exacerbated by Radio 4’s unhealthy obsession with a Brazilian runner’s artificial legs, which clearly everyone is meant to care deeply about.
‘That’s Jermaine Clement??’
The flight was pleasant enough, except I didn’t manage to sleep a wink. I watched Men in Black III, in which Jermaine Clement (one half of Flight of the Conchords) was meant to be in. It took me a good 5 minutes after first seeing his character to work out it was him, as the production team had decided that in order to make him look more gnarled and alien-y (he’s the villain), they’d have to slap generous amounts of play-doh all over his face, which actually worked quite well in a way. So too did his halting space-zealand accent which strained to be as menacing as possible and to ensure the audience who know his FOTC work did not drift off into ‘Albi the Racist Dragon’ midway through the film.
My only complaint was that the woman sat next to me was playing puzzle games on her iPad, and I couldn’t help watching. This wouldn’t have been a problem were she not so excruciatingly useless at them. I had to fight very hard not to interfere and the temptation to watch was immense. Oh well.
U.S. Highway no. 1
It took me an hour and ten minutes to get through immigration but I’m not going to complain because the volunteer whose plane got in an hour before me actually spent so long queueing and filling in forms that I got out of arrivals about 10 minutes ahead! We were driven down U.S. Highway 1 to our destinations (3 hours for the other volunteer going to Marathon, 4 hours for me!) by Heron Peacock’s executive director who told us all we needed to know about our work.
The guy driving us (I’m not using names at the moment because I have yet to ask permission) lit up a thick cigar and finally the image was complete. He was driving a Chevrolet fatmobile into a glorious Caribbean sunset, wearing a Hawaii shirt, reclining at about 45 degrees as he drove with about 2 fingers on the wheel on average, with his dog riding up front with him in the car, cracking jokes and then, to top it off, smoking a cigar. If I don’t see anything more stereotypically American for the next 6 months I will still be satisfied by yesterday.
Anyway, as he drove from Marathon to Key West we took a detour to his house to see the endangered miniature deer that dot the neighbourhood. These deer really do not give a shit by the way; he drove right up to them with his headlights on full and they looked at us as if to complain that we were interrupting their sleep.
When we got to Key West I briefly said hi to my manager and an older volunteer then collapsed in bed, aware that I had not slept in 22 hours.
Reverse Pathetic Fallacy alert
This morning it absolutely chucked it down for about an hour whilst I wrote this. I am very happy with how it’s been so far. All is good. The dog whose name I’ve forgotten decided to sit and watch the storm with me, and I took some pictures of my room to prove that it’s tidy and sorted out.
Now to find out how to get on the Wifi so I can actually upload this…