|Wednesday, Day 8
Reverse Culture Shock
Today we fly home. Its 7:50 am and we are waiting for our plane in the departure gate at the Port au Prince airport.
Peter warned me about it: The reverse culture shock is already hitting me. People are bragging about getting upgraded to first class for $150. People are changing $5s and $10s so they can buy souveniers. Missionarires are swaggering around the departure gate feeling good about themselves in their matching tee shirts. Rich is upstairs getting some water and food and we’ve started to fantasize about what we’ll eat first when we get back to the States (a big juicy burger, water from a drinking fountain). I’m wondering why everyone else’s painted toes still look so cute when my polish has been partially melted away from all of the Deet I’ve been using!
When we land in Miami everything is big, bright, shiny, clean. The duty free shop sells a bottle of designer perfume that is as big as a fish tank. When I ask the gate clerk about her day she is cranky, saying that the day has only just started, suggesting it wont be a good one. I think to myself, we just left Haiti - things are looking up.
Our plane from Miami to SFO is turned around due to a medical emergency. One of the passengers got very ill shortly after we took off and we hand to turn around. Then we were grounded due to a thunderstorm. We missed our connection by four hours and got a free room (thanks American) for the night. We bought sandwiches at the airport and brought them to the motel, thinking there wouldnt be food there. Turned out there was a nice restaurant and bar at the hotel so we ordered drinks which we took to our room with our sandwiches. Upstairs, a soft king bed with crisp white sheets, granite counter tops, clean water and A/C were waiting. I could have eaten off the bathroom floor, but I didnt.