Upon arriving in Panama, my body again felt the need for sustenance and as luck would have it, there was a Subway near my gate to I took the opportunity to have a familiar meal in a somewhat unfamiliar place. While I ate, I began my second movie of the trip; Bullet to the Head. A shoot 'em up with Sylvester Stallone about a hitman whose partner gets killed when they are double-crossed after a job. Stallone's character of course decides to get to the bottom of this while exacting his own brand of vengeance along the way. It was ok for an hour and a half of somewhat senseless violence but overall wouldn't be a movie I recommend. I didn't quite finish it before we had to board so I got on the plane and, my hunger satisfied by subway, promptly fell asleep for the entire flight.
I awoke at 5pm, just before touchdown in Cali and before arriving at the luggage carousel after deplaning, was greeted by volunteers of the host committee that instructed me where to go once I had collected my baggage. Several more volunteers along the way ensured I couldn't get lost even if I tried, so I found the appropriate bus shortly after leaving the terminal and immediately boarded. I must have either been quick to get my luggage, or other flights arrived around the same time, because the bus sat outside the terminal for over half an hour before departing for the accreditation center where we would receive our ID badges to access food, transportation, and venues throughout the week. Since there were about 50 people on the bus, getting the badges took a bit of time, and since there were more volunteers milling about we toured the building for awhile to see what was there. Several volunteers were manning booths offering a plethora of goods. Everything from local candy to hygiene packs (that included tooth paste, deodorant, and soap) were there and all free so of course I took one of everything!
Shortly after this, our bus began boarding which I was thankful for. Regardless of how much sleep I had that day, I still felt as if I was playing catch up and was in serious need of a bed. Unfortunately for me, there were 4 hotels worth of athletes on our bus and as luck would have it, our hotel was the last stop. This meant a 2 hour bus ride to get to a hotel that shouldn't have taken more than 15 minutes. Had I known this I could have had a bit more sleep but alas my anticipation of a bed around the next corner kept my mind from finding sweet slumber. We did eventually arrive at the hotel though and thankfully the checkin process was quick. I got up to my room at 930pm (for those of you keeping track that's more than 4 hours after the plane landed - I was told by other athletes that 4hours was an average time to hotel from the airport which I have to admit is a bit disgusting) and was hungry so instead of going right to bed I ordered some food from the room service menu and finished my Stallone movie. I was in bed before midnight though and would be up for breakfast the next morning at 9am. Plenty of time to get some serious shut eye and start fresh in Cali.
As I finish this post, it's 12:32am and while I'd like to get some of the opening ceremonies and my first day in Cali down I'm completely wiped so it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Jen and I also play our first matches, both against players from the host country: Colombia! Both will be tough matches (Christina Amaya and Alejandro Herrera are both extremely talented players) but I know that if we play well we will have a good shot to be in the quarters on day 2. Wish us luck, I'll keep you posted :)