Walking out of the LCCT Airport, there was an overwhelming sense of western influence. Starbucks, KFC, McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Boost were all present in the outdoor food court. But the atmosphere was not western. It was not like home. We’d travelled 8 hours and there was such a sense of familiarity, but it felt completely different. It didn’t seem real. It felt as if we hadn’t moved at all, and that we were simply in unfamiliar surroundings. Slowly but surely, strange things started to come to my attention. I started to come to the realization that we were now far from home.
We bought tickets for a bus to Sentral Train Station (we were astonished that they only cost us $3 each). As we approached the bus, I tried not look too much like a tourist because, let’s face it, I stand out enough as it is. Unfortunately, my bag is new and I’m not used to it yet. So I spent about five minutes trying to unclip my day bag from my backpack while the driver and passengers were waiting for me. Thankfully, the bus driver shone a light on my bag after a few minutes of struggling. I let out an appreciative “Hey hey! Thanks man!”. This must’ve seemed over zealous to him because he just looked at me like I was a weirdo.
The bus was quite nice, and well decorated, not at all what I expected. The driver had placed a large decorative spider smack bang in the middle of the bus windscreen. I was intrigued by this and searched google for it’s significance, but couldn’t find anything. The driver probably just liked spiders. The curtains on the bus windows had gold tassels and we’re made out of fine material, and they had about 7 air fresheners hanging from the ceiling. I was absolutely exhausted but I couldn’t go to sleep. Everything was fascinating to me, and I allowed myself to be swept up by it all.
As we were driving on the bus, I saw a mosque, a block of concrete apartments, and a small warehouse, all within a few meters of each other. More and more new things kept popping out at me, instantly grabbing my attention. My mind was racing but I didn’t utter a word. I was bouncing off the walls with excitement but I didn’t move anything other than my head. I was completely incapacitated by the circumstance in which I found myself. It was at that point that I noticed that the man sitting next to me had a Samsung phone that he was using to check his Facebook. I looked over and saw that his phone was set to a different language. I let out mutter of surprise, to which the man looked at me like I was a weirdo (Note to self: stop being a weirdo). It wasn’t that I was surprised by the fact that his phone was in a different language, I was definitely expecting it to be. It was just that that was the moment that it hit me. We’ve done it, we’re here now. We are by ourselves, in a different country, ready to start our journey. For the first time that I can remember, I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do. I am finally traveling. What a monumental achievement! Here’s to the start of our adventure…
When did the feeling of freedom sink in for you? Was it when you got on/off the plane? Have you had a crystallising moment? Let us know by leaving a comment or emailing us at Dirtypawsblog@gmail.com