Random thoughts from a jetlagged mind or My husband has a point

I am 10 hours into my 19.5 hour trip to Almaty. Generally, I would spend less time counting, but as I am sure that I will be doing this trek at least 3 more times (round trip), I am paying attention. Was that a run-on sentence?

I sleep on planes. It is a blessing really; a skill that I can thank my mother for—she has sleeper genes. When I traveled to Moldova as a Peace Corps volunteer, some of the other volunteers on the plane decided to start drinking tiny bottles of wine and seeing how many of the caps they could build in a pyramid on me before waking me. It was a lot—I think nine! Ironically, we were on our way to the same airport that I sit in now: Frankfort.

Last night, while sleeping fitfully in a middle seat, I did something that my husband accuses me of all the time: I stole my neighbor’s pillow. I, of course, had no idea. I was asleep! Nonetheless, in my sleep, a stole a stranger’s pillow and proceeded to sleep with it all night. He claims to have not slept a wink.

Is this something I should feel bad about? I had no idea that I was doing it.

My husband complains endlessly about me stealing blankets and pillows. The matter is made worse because I prefer a cold house and, therefore, once I have stolen all the blankets, he is left freezing. We have so many pillows that I am pretty sure he survives on that front.

To make up for it—what little I could—I had a nice conversation with the man over breakfast. He was a Jordanian English teacher converted into a school principal. He, and nine Jordanian colleagues, had just completed several weeks on a program in the U.S. to visit schools and learn about U.S. curriculum. He visited D.C., St. Louis and Chicago. When I asked his opinion—always interesting to hear what other people think of our institutions, what they see and what they miss—he told me two things. (1) The schools are very well equipped. (2) Democracy in the school is bad for the children and the learning environment. Further inquiry told me that by Democracy he meant freedom—freedom to eat in class, to play chess, to disrespect teachers, to do homework or not. In his mind, democracy, and the school system in the U.S., were chaos.

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