Monday, May 21, 2012

The internship begins

My excitement for starting my internship could have almost died with my alarm going off at 7AM this morning. But it didn’t.

Up, shower, breakfast, email, news. Oops, running late…again. Power walking to the UN Complex, I hear hooves behind me. No way I say, this ain’t happening! Coming from where I do, I expected to see a cart . Yep, one of these:


Coz that’s what you get for living in the EU!

My, oh my, was I wrong. Less than a minute later a boy riding a horse passes me. Seriously?! With backpack on, at quarter to 9 , he looks like he is going to school! Relaxed, sitting up; knock-knock the hooves go on the asphalt. And I’m smiling like the idiot that I am to myself, in the street… Had I not been walking past the U.S. Embassy, I would have taken a picture. But it just so happened that I was. “No picture” the signs say. And there are plenty of bad-ass-looking-machine-gun-carrying security guards to enforce this rule on non-compliant residents. Let’s not risk it and be late for my first day.  I walk on, looking at the boy, smiling.

U.N. Complex line for visitors: I know people try and they want to be friendly and all… But for the last time: I DON’T SPEAK RUSSIAN! There is more than one Slavic language that uses the Cyrillic. No joke!

Let’s skip up ahead to late afternoon. Day is over at 16:30. Everyone leaves their posts. And so do I. I take my stuff, walk down the flight of stairs and through block M into the main lobby. Suddenly, I see a monkey crossing the hallway. Wait, what? Did that just happen? My eyes follow, my hand reaches in my bag and I rummaging for my camera. Never taking my eyes off the target. Gotta be quick, any second is crucial. Open, zoom, shutter:


I look up from the screen, it’s disappeared! But where did it go? I stand, I look around. 20-30 seconds. Too much. I’m conscious of looking silly, so I turn to continue. And there it is, another one! Sitting on the stairs, eating an orange! Looks up at me, bored and a little judgmental, it takes another bite of the fruit.


Distractions continue and this time I take a picture of the hedge-made giraffe.


By the time I make it back to the main entrance, all the U.N. buses are already leaving. One, two, three.. .all of them? I look at my watch, its barely quarter to 5! Good thing I can walk home.

I never saw the horse walk on the sidewalk, but as I stride past the U.S. Embassy once more, I see it. It was the smell the hit me first, it always is… horse poop.

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