Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

The jet lag report

We are in the US. The kids woke up at 4am today - too early to really be awake, but too late to go back to sleep. I'll hope for better tomorrow.

We flew DXB to SEA-TAC (14.5 hours), then SEA-TAC to PDX. My SIL asked me what we did with Sterling for 14.5 hours on an airplane, and the truth is that I don't really know. Time just passed. I do remember looking at the flight status page at one point and seeing that we still had eight hours left, and then feeling like I was in the depths of despair. Fortunately, the girls are old enough to watch movies and they took advantage of the chance: Miriam watched movies for about 12 hours, and Magdalena for a little longer. I'm so proud of them.

The most intense 2 minutes of my parenting life came when the beverage cart stopped in the aisle right by our seat and those tiny bottles of liquor were directly at Sterling's eye level as he sat on my lap. There was nowhere to go; he could not be distracted; the bottles were inches away from our faces. It is a miracle he did not grab and smash the whole lot.

We used the self-service kiosks at passport control - you scan your own passport and then it takes a photo of you. I wish we could have kept the printed passes instead of turning them in to the passport agent - the photos did a good job of capturing our travel fatigue and disorientation.

Anyway, we're here now and Sterling met a bunch of family members for the first time. I had Marshmallow Mateys for breakfast at 4am. Then, because it felt like 3pm to me, I had some spicy Asian cabbage salad.

Movies "watched" on the plane (=were playing and sometimes I watched them but sometimes I was taking care of Sterling): Avengers: Age of Ultron; Into the Woods; The Imitation Game; and Unbroken.

Going out in public in the US vs UAE

June 2015 books