Tuesday, September 16, 2008

United Nations Headquarters Day 1

It's too hot to wear a suit, I can tell you that much. It's humid and hot and even though the subway is air conditioned, it's too hot for a suit.

And I can't decide whether I feel stupid, kind of fancy, a fake, or just unaccustomed when I wear it. And I can't help wondering what other people are thinking when they see me.

"Oh, there's an insecure Swedish girl on her first day as an intern at the United Nations Headquarters."

Yeah, like they notice me at all. New York is kind of the city where you don't really stand out, no matter what you wear. I mean, people where suits and flip-flops here. Together.

Anyway, we had orientation today. About 200 post graduate students from more than 70 nations around the world sat and... oriented... inside Conference Room 1 in the Secretariat building on 46th street and 1st ave. You know, that big building with all the flags outside of it. Some wore suits, some wore jeans.

"You should be proud of yourselves," they told us. "You should be proud over yourself, because out of about 3000 applicants, you have been selected for an internship at the Headquarters this fall."

And "You are very lucky," they said. "You are very lucky, because the General Assembly starts this week, and come next week your heads of state and foreign ministers from all over the world will assemble in this very building, and walk around in these corridors."

This, of course, means that security is going to be crazy the coming days. They are closing off 1st ave and only people with UN ground passes will be allowed to walk into the closed-off area, and only via 42nd or 46th street.

But, of course, I have a ground pass now. Flora with the light brown, hair spray stiff curls who speaks to herself printed it out for me at long last. There were some problems with the machine, and she had to call Steve to get it sorted out.

"Rridiculous!" She exclaimed with her heavy French accent, and kept on mumbling things I couldn't make out. But I got my badge. Crappy picture, but I didn't expect anything else. Because, as we all know, there is a universal law that says that you can under no circumstances look good on your driver's license, your passport, you id, or (most importantly) your UN ground pass.

Okay, so it's getting dark and my auntie Toni and I are going out for New York pizza. I know I don't eat cheese and stuff, but... I'll get back to being my normal vegan-ish self after I get settled in properly. Insha Allah.


PS Oh, that reminds me, log on to www.peaceday2008.org if you want to get your personal message for peace out to the leaders of the world in the coming days. All messages that come in, will be printed out in a book and delivered to the UN General Assembly on the opening day.


Married to a Muslim said...

Hihi, I left my question for the Peace Day now :D Thanks for the tip, hun'.

Keep on blogging-- u rock my world!


Ruby said...

But stupid me FORGOT TO TEXT!!! :'( I was telling Toni we should do it as soon as we got back from the Cental Park picnic on Sunday, but then it got late, and what with the dogs and Ron and cooking dinner and all, I clean forgot. Jaklarns skit. And now the book is already delivered and I shall never again be able to get my message out to the General Assembly. Alas!

Unless... I go over there right now and STEAL the microphone... yes...