Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 20 - Washington

After 45 minutes of waiting and watching, we decided that we’d better try to contact someone. We’d arrived in the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., following an evening flight from Charlotte, NC, had collected our luggage from the baggage carousel, and waited, looking for someone who might be looking for us. Deciding that we must have miscommunicated somewhere, I opened my briefcase, pulled out my laptop, and fired it up, planning to check the e-mails for a phone number.

Meanwhile, Kathy powered up our Canadian cellphone. It was probably going to cost more to use it than a local pay phone, but we didn’t want to move far from the baggage claim area in case the person picking us up came by.

I found a number, but it looked like an office one (it had an extension number after it), so we had our doubts that there would be anyone there on a Sunday night to take my call. I called it anyway. What choice did I have? It was the only number I had!

After several rings, a lady answered. You should have heard her reaction when she heard who was calling! “Oh no! I was supposed to pick you up at the airport!” Apparently she’d gotten busy with something and just totally forgot :) And yes, using our Canadian cellphone did definitely cost us more! Almost $10 for a 3-minute call.

After depositing our luggage at the place we were staying, we went out to get a late night bite. That complimentary drink they’d given us on the plane just wasn’t going to cut it for supper. Fortunately, there was a place called “Whole Foods” just around the corner. This wasn’t just a grocery store. It was a food emporium! It had all kinds of food ready to eat and a place with tables to sit down and eat it. They had a salad bar, an international food buffet, and more. The unique thing is that they charged for meals by weight. You just grabbed a paper plate, filled it up with whatever you wanted from the different bars and buffet tables, and then took it to the checkout counter where the cashier weighed it on the scales to determine how much it was going to cost you. An interesting way to buy a meal!

Today, we spent a fair bit of time riding the subway in Washington. First from where we are staying to where we had our day of meetings. Then to meet friends and former colleagues from Burkina for supper and back again. Fortunately we never got lost, or got on the wrong train (both have happened to us in Paris!). It was nearly midnight before we got home again, so I’m looking forward to getting a few hours of sleep before it’s time to get up and at ‘em again early tomorrow morning.

Here’s a sign we saw on a door of the building we’re staying in. Guess they wanted to make sure pet owners get the point!

1 comment:

Laura Dun said...

like both the photos! hope no-one else forgets to pick you up!!