Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nine movies in 24 hours.

Saturday/Sunday, July 23/24

At the Amboseli airport, waiting for the flight back to Nairobi.

Finally, after 23 unforgettable days in Africa, it was time to return home to the U.S. It would take me 24 hours and 15 minutes, including a 16-hour flight over the North Pole. Actually, if you want to count from the time we left Amboseli, it took 38 hours and 45 minutes - plus the two-hour drive from San Francisco to my home. That's right, we had a 14-hour layover in Nairobi, which we spent at a little cafe at the airport because we really didn't have anywhere to go in the city. I did get to try Pineapple Fanta, however. That was exciting.

I have now tried Citron, Fiesta, Apple, Pineapple, Orange
and Strawberry Fanta. It's kind of a game for me now.

Mom was flying straight to Switzerland for work, so we parted ways in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. I had a semi-quick layover in Dubai, which gave me the following impressions: Shiny! Western. Unbelievably hot. I felt like I was in a kiln the moment I stepped onto the jetway, despite the fact it was 4:50 in the morning. In the airport, I saw a familiar green straw, so I wandered about the terminal for a few minutes and - sure enough! - there was a Starbucks in the airport. I didn't get in line, though, because I didn't know if they would accept my gift card.

I flew Emirates Airline from Nairobi to Dubai to San Francisco, and boy was it nice! International airlines are definitely higher class than domestic ones, as I've mentioned before. I didn't sleep at all during the trip, but I did get to watch nine movies! The rundown:

1. Prom: I didn't know this movie was Disney, but I shouldn't have been surprised. I really only watched it because of Aimee Teegarden (boy, do I miss Friday Night Lights on NBC), but it wasn't horrible. Final verdict: Typical, feel-good teen romance. **

2. The Adjustment Bureau: I also picked this movie primarily because of the cast (I love both Matt Damon and Emily Blunt), but the plot was intriguing. It was definitely a Damon-quality movie, though not his best. ****

3. Africa United: I learned about this movie from an article I read while in Rwanda. One of the actors is a survivor of the genocide who lives in England, so when I saw the film on the list I figured I had to watch it. It tells the story of a group of children who walk 3,000 miles to South Africa for the World Cup. I probably wouldn't watch it again, but it was a great mix of a realistic portrayal of the negative aspects of African life and childish humor. ***

4. Conviction: This is the true story of a woman who becomes a lawyer to help get her brother out of prison. Hilary Swank is flawless (as usual), but the movie was a little slow. I actually fell asleep once or twice and had to rewind to see the scenes I missed. ***

5. Toy Story 3: I don't even think I have to comment on this one. It's Disney. And it made me cry. Five stars, all the way. *****

6. Catfish: Hmm. I can't even say anything about this movie without ruining it for you. Just hmm. **

7. Never Say Never: Disclaimer: I would never pay money to see this movie, and I can't think of anyone who would watch it with me at home, so I figured why not? Conclusion: Justin Bieber was a cute kid, but the documentary as a whole was a little creepy. Some of his preteen fans are downright scary. *

8. The Next Three Days: GREAT movie! I love Russell Crowe, and he is phenomenal in this movie. It's a little long, but I found myself literally jumping in my seat and empathizing with his every emotion. *****

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One: Obviously, this was a rewatch, as you should know from my pathetic Harry Potter blog last month. I cried when Hedwig died ... and Dobby ... and I'm sure my neighbors on the plane were wondering what the heck was wrong with me. And again, just as obviously, five stars all the way. *****

Photo to come ... of the North Pole from the plane.

Finally, I landed at SFO and was welcomed back to the U.S. by a very nice man at the customs desk. My dad happened to be flying for Texas for work that day, so I was able to meet him for a quick hug in the arrivals lobby. Then my little brother picked me up, and it was home to the Central Valley for two weeks of doing absolutely nothing except Netflix and fast food. (Don't worry, we stopped for In-N-Out less than ten minutes from leaving the airport.)

No comments: