First impressions

We arrived in Mississippi last night for a few days to get an idea about the place before I move here officially in August. For back story, Qatar sent me off in a very Qatari way – food poisoning and absolute misery for the 16 hour + flight.

Here are my first impressions…

  1. Memphis airport was shockingly disappointing. We arrived at the “A” gates… and it felt like being back in Montana, hardly like being a city. I have hope for gates B & C. I do think that it should be a disclaimer when you get a job offer that the nearest airport is over an hour away, but here we are – more cause to explore the area.
  2. People are REALLY friendly. I expected folks to be friendly, but not so welcoming/hospitable. Mississippi in that sense is a lot like Yemen… perhaps there will be more comparisons in the coming weeks.
  3. The snake stereotype is one for a reason – my entire like I kind of thought that the south in general is full up on things like snakes, alligators, and bugs. So far I’ve found little evidence to the contrary – I nearly stepped on a snake yesterday while walking back from dinner, and I was less than amused with the mosquitos in the Memphis airport.
  4. It is beautiful here – not in the way that the Rockies are beautiful, but in its own way. I’m okay with that.
  5. Things here are easy – incredibly easy. After working at a place where bureaucracy is the norm, and “helpful” isn’t, it’s nice to be somewhere where it’s easy.



5 years or so

5 years ago I was packing to go to the Gulf under some pretty precarious circumstances… by that I mean it was the night before my flight to Manama, and I hadn’t packed anything, and may or may not have been under the influence of a bottle of expensive white wine that the restaurant gifted us at ladies night.

To put it one way, with the intention of leaving for a year I had a bag filled with less than 20 pounds of various items. To put it another way, I had not idea what I was doing and some how only packed one pair of shoes, which ended up being totally inappropriate for sandy marble and were quickly replaced.

Fast forward to three major international moves, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten a lot better about it – usually I’m packed a few days before hand. The last few moves I’ve planned meticulously what I might need, and what I don’t have any need for.

Now though, I’m three weeks out of a move back to the US and I haven’t even started. A lot about this move feels like the first one to Bahrain…there is a fleeting, temporary quality about it. It doesn’t feel like this is the big move – the one where you put your feet down and settle in. This feels like the next adventure, thanks to the knowledge that this contract is finite to some extent.