Posts Tagged ‘surprise’
thinking about summer reminded me of my family’s big move in 1995. as you know, summer in the northern hamisphere is winter in the southern hemisphere. in august of 1995, while it was still winter in south africa, we got on a plane and headed to the US. we boarded the plane wearing jeans and turtle necks and huge winter jackets and doc martens on our feet. we had a couple hours lay over in hong kong where we had planned to find a place to take a shower and get refreshed, so we carried an extra set of clothing to change into then, but that didn’t happen.
none of us (me, my younger sister, or my mom) had never come across chinese food before…ever! so on the plane we were served strange food with strange taste and strange smells. and our stomachs couldn’t handle it – especially my mom, who was 8 months pregnant at the time. so we flew from south africa to hong kong with no food and upset stomachs. as soon as we got to the hong kong airport we went on a mission to find a restaurant we recognised, that served food we knew. we finally ran into a mcdonalds and we gobbled that down. but the time it took to search for the restaurant and eat and stock up for the next plane ride took up our lay over so we didn’t have time to go refresh…
we got back on the plane – our next stop: los angeles. it was hot. not unbearably so, but hot. my dad was at the airport already waiting for us, and we hadn’t seen him in a while so the heat and all of that took a back seat. anyway after the “hellos” and “how has your trip been so far” and “wow hong kong is weird”, we got back on the plane and headed for nevada.
we stepped out into the reno airport – in america – to a group of complete strangers we didn’t know, holding up a welcome sign in my home language – tswana. so super surreal. apparently they had asked my dad how you say “welcome to america” in tswana, but he didn’t know what they were planning. so our little welcome party at the airport was a complete surprise – and a beautiful one at that.
anyway, we soon found out that our luggage hadn’t made it to the US with us…and as we walked out of the airport we were greeted by a heat wave – 105*F, hottest day of the summer so far – coming from the cold south african winter, dressed in our cold-winter clothes.
and that was our welcome to the Nevadan summer…unforgettable.
This post is part of the One Word at a time blog carnival. Check out more posts on the theme of “Summer” here.