Monday, January 09, 2006

Flight to Brazil

Right now it is 7:13PM EST and approximately 10 minutes ago American Airlines flight #981 left DFW. I’ve called Mom and Joe a couple times just to let them know where I’m at and what’s up. I’m gonna call Caroline tomorrow at 11AM (-3:00), which will be I believe 8AM EST, to wish her happy birthday (she’ll be 20 years old). My 22nd birthday (January 8th), will be spent at a big Brazilian BBQ with all of the other exchange students, host families, and professors. We’ll also take a nice tour of the campus.
I’m going to meet Caio at the airport as well. I brought him some Chocolate Crème-filled Hostess Cupcakes and a 6-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper. He said when he was studying English in San Diego that he loved those things, but they are nowhere to be found in Brazil. I am gonna go visit him the first full weekend of my stay in Brazil and he is gonna show me all the awesome stuff in São Paulo. I have a Frommer’s guide to Brazil that has all the cool places to go for all the major areas of Brazil, so hopefully I can make it to them all.

Flights have been awesome and there has been no problem with security or any hassle at all. Both takeoffs have been really smooth and nice, and the landing at DFW seemed perfect. The pilot for the flight to Brazil has told us we will flight over Houston, Galveston, the Gulf of Mexico, Bogota, and a few other major international cities before finally hitting São Paulo. He says we should arrive there at 7:40AM. So considering when we left Dallas it was almost 6PM, and taking into account a 3-hour time difference, the flight should be about 11 hours. I plan to sleep most of the time. I will eat and have something to drink, then I might watch one of the DVDs I brought with me (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Sin City, Anchorman, and The 40 Year Old Virgin.) I’m not sure what the in-flight movie will be, so I guess if it’s any good I may just watch that one and save my good ol’ American English films for a later time. It’s interesting seeing the night sky from 35,000 feet in the air. There are really very few stars out tonight it appears and it’s a new moon, so it will probably be pitch black the whole time. I’ve tried taking a few pictures out the window but with the overhead lights on, the camera picks up the reflection. I did get a couple nice shots of the sunset and also a nice shot of Houston lit up at night. Hopefully I’ll get to take a picture or two over Bogota and any other big cities we fly over. The pilot said it’s about 72ºF right now down there, so it’s quite a difference. Not only will I be experiencing a bit of culture shock, but also a climate and season shock as well. It’s summer there right now, and in June when it’s 95ºF in Winston-Salem it will be about 50ºF in São Paulo.

We’re flying over the Gulf of Mexico right now although I wouldn’t really have any idea where I was at if the pilot wasn’t telling us. It is 100% dark outside, except the flashing lights on the wing of the plane.

I just got finished eating. Pretty good stuff considering I’m not sitting in First Class and through Student Universe I saved about $1,200US, so I’m not complaining.
It included teriyaki mixed vegetables, two wheat rolls, a pretty good sized piece of salmon, some pretty good tasting tuna, with the entrée being chicken stroganoff with bowtie shells and some sweet and sour zucchini and squash. Capped it off with a pretty good piece of raspberry pound cake that had powdered sugar on the outside and tasted like it had some cinnamon inside. Overall, it was pretty good. I’m just listening to some music right now, and the movie tonight I overheard was going to be “Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” I’ve seen it before, so I think instead I’ll watch “The 40 Year Old Virgin” on my laptop.

It’s 9:05PM EST right now, so it should be about 11:05PM in São Paulo. So, only 9 more hours to go. Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight on the plane without waking up the entire coach/economy class cabin. And I guess if I do wake them up… well, at least I’ll be asleep.

So it is now 4:47AM BRST. I think I woke up about 45 minutes ago or so, and surprisingly, even though my sleep was in spurts, it actually was a pretty good sleep. There has really been no turbulence at all this entire flight. Most people are still asleep so they haven’t announced where we’re at right now or anything, but we should be touching down in a little less than three hours. I’m definitely looking forward to it, and since we’re in the Southern hemisphere I’m thinking I’ll see the sun come up pretty early. Nothing too much is going on right now, but I think they’re going to serve breakfast around 6:15AM. I’m not so sure I should eat anymore airline food because I think they put massive amounts of salt on this food, since apparently altitude and pressure affects taste buds and sinuses and stuff. So my mouth still feels kinda dry from earlier and it’s starting to get to me, even though I have a full liter of water in my bag.

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Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usLooking over Houston.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usKosher!
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Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usLooking down on São Paulo
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMore São Paulo
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFlying over some mountains

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