Airport Confessions

camel-taghazout-morocco-animal-cruelty

Vegan

In college my first Official Boyfriend was a liberal (nearly socialist) guy that had strong political views. He wasn't afraid to jump into debate with any right wingers and always had the perfect fact, figure or quote to fuel his points. In turn, I also became fairly politically active, protesting the US involvement in Iraq and Bush's quest for WMDs. I didn't feel like an impostor, because standing up for truth felt right, however I never felt like I quite belonged because I wasn't a great debater. I think this also disappointed then boyfriend, that and the fact that I wasn't Russian nor did I look like Heidi Klum. 

I'm vegan now. And there are so many reasons why, but I don't feel like arguing with you about them. I think one of the most beautiful things I've ever done is to stop seeing animals as mine to use and I hope to inspire by example and to use my energy on making things better for them. 

Bed Bugs

However, I still don't see bed bugs as valuable in the same way they see me. Thanks to that I am sitting at the airport in Doha with a new outbreak (yes a 2nd one) of 7 hives from Moroccan bugs. Spectacular. Can we please bring back DDT? No not really. But maybe... These itches.

Diving Deep

clouds-ryan-air-blog-barcelona

Tomorrow, right around the time the US announces the new President, I will be checking in for 10 days of Vipassana in South Africa. Silent meditation and no technology. Quite frankly, I'm scared as fuck. There is a part of one's self that modern distractions conveniently help us avoid - work, friends, social media, dilly-dallying, the works. Strip those away and you are forced to have all the conversations with no real reprieve. I don't have any expectations for myself or the 10 days but I know I'll be swimming in some deep, potentially shark-infested waters. 

2017...

OMG I am going to be in the USA in 35 days, a grand total of 425 days out of the country! My passport needs more pages (I am down to 4) and I don't have any flights booked yet once I'm "home" in Buffalo. It can be a complete and utter recharge to take in what I've learned and where I want to go. I've already got Epic Anderson Animal Rescue Road Trip planned with my brother down the east coast, a surgery on my ever-exciting reproductive system, and a purge of 80% of my belongings planned! Ah yes, I also want to start a nonprofit funding dog sterilization around the world, no biggie... 

Infested

Tonight I made pesto pasta in the electronic teapot in my hotel. And it made me so fucking happy. 

Little pleasures like this really matter while enduring a harrowing bed bug infestation. In the last 6 days I've accumulated around 50 bites covering my upper back, face and arms, oh and 9 on my knee, for good measure. For those of you that don't know, bed bugs hide in mattresses, bed frames, walls and travel in clothing and other objects. They can lay dormant for up to a year as they wait for their favorite thing, human blood. For some reason, they LOVE mine. So although I was staying in a relatively nice hostel, someone before me must have left them behind, because, 24 hours post check-in the nasty bumps made their debut. 

(L to R: selfie on day 2; note-to-self in phone; gratitude journal, May 17th)

After a day of scratching I went to a dermatologist who immediately diagnosed me and prescribed some stuff (ugh $). Then I washed all 15kg of my clothes on the hottest setting and was moved into another dorm room in the hostel, with promises of an exterminator. But hello, I woke up this morning with new bites. Cue 3 more rounds of laundry, bagging of belongings, checking into a hotel to cortisone my naked body on repeat while I Netflix & chilled with bae (me), and the teapot pasta. 

tick infested pups, bed bug infested Lulu. samesies.

tick infested pups, bed bug infested Lulu. samesies.

Most of you haven't had a skin condition that marks you in such a miserable and obvious way since the chicken pox, so let me explain, the red bites come in clusters, mostly on your arms, back, face - they can raise into hives, and are so itchy that each night I wake up scratching the shit out of myself. These welts then either blister or open into sores, and as of Day 6, are still quite visible. Did I mention they were on my face? A quick Google search yields interesting responses to bed bug outbreaks such as alienation, depression, oh and suicide. Nice. 

So, I did what any logical woman would do. I joined Tinder. Insert Marilyn Monroe voice "If you can't love me at my worst...blah blah..." In fact, this was not my reasoning but still pretty funny. My first dating experience in Portugal was nice, but isn't that the kiss of death? Nice. Although my sores didn't frighten him away, his lack of a job did frighten me away. 

Through all this I've managed to work, buy a bike, find an Airbnb for the next 2 weeks and volunteer with the dogs at Goldra (a dog sanctuary with 110+ dogs!!). While picking ticks and fleas from the body of an abandoned 4-week-old puppy, it dawned on me that maybe I don't have it so bad.