So, I'm still stuck in Chicago. It's officially been 24 hours. I've done a lot of good people watching and am trying to deepen my understanding of the difference between American fashion and Canadian fashion. The two primary differences: The men look more metrosexual (at least certainly more than Colorado men), and the women have shorter hair and tighter pants. But women everywhere have tighter pants than us Colorado hicks. These are the types of things you start thinking about when trapped in faraway cities for large periods of time.
I waited on standby for a flight into London at 2, but couldn't get on (even though I was number 1. Darn!). So now I'm waiting for a flight to Toronto. I'll get in to Toronto at 9 pm, then dash with all my might to try to catch a 9:30 shuttle to London. As it turns out, Toronto is fresh out of rental cars. Who knew there would be such a shortage? But at least rather than braving those scary Canadian roads myself, I'll have some trusty driver to do it...if I make the shuttle.
If I miss the shuttle, I'll catch the next one at 11:30 pm, arriving at 1:30 am. Blerg! Then I'll no doubt be unrested with bags under my eyes and frizzy hair to meet my new coworkers the next day. Oh well, my plans to be good looking and charming upon first introductions are always foiled. Pride goeth before a fall, and all. Which reminds me, have I told you about my first impressions in China? Yes? No? I'll tell you anyway, as a nice wrap up to my post and as I have nothing else to do anyway.
So I've travelled half way across the world, and I'm all excited to meet the people I've been working with in the Asia area for about 3 years and, naturally, want to look my best. The only problem is that me and humidity don't really mix. Bring me the desert any day. China was unbelievably humid. It was so humid that the Indians were complaining about the humidity, which is saying something. I'm a sweaty gal to begin with. Then on the first day, before the others arrived, Rick and I hiked Moon Hill. It was a hard hike and besides that, it was as if we were hiking through the sea, so wet was the air. Our Chinese ladies who insisted on accompanying us up the hill kept saying, "many, many" to me, indicating the sweat dripping down my face, nose, everything.
My shirt, by the end of the hike, was as wet as a swimsuit. Needless to say, in that kind of humidity, shirts don't dry out. So as we arrived back at the hotel, I met Provashish and Jayaseelan for the first time. Provashish, the most earnest man I've ever come across says, "Amber, you are very wet," indicating my shirt, my face, my everything. Awesome. Of course, Rick was just as wet, but men are allowed to be gross. So there was one first impression down the drain.
Second first impression: I met all my other Asian coworkers on the 2nd day, and by this time the humidity had begun to do a number on my already fragile desert complexion. So I had one large blemish smack dab between my eyebrows.
I met Tonny, from Indonesia, and he said, "Amber, what is wrong with your face?" indicating the general brow region.
"Oh, I'm just having a little trouble with my complexion in this humidity," I said, trying to brush it off.
Not to be put off, Tonny replied, "Well, is it going to get any bigger?!"
"Well, I sure hope not," I replied, hoping we could now move on with the conversation.
No, Tonny kept pressing on. "Everyone, gather round. Everyone, we need to take a group picture. Everyone, hurry, before it gets bigger! It's going to get bigger, hurry!!!!" he yelled to the entire group of 9 coworkers whom I was meeting for the first time.
So, see what happens when I try to make a good impression? Mass humiliation. I should just give up and adopt that whole humility thing I've read so much about.