Kathmandu Airport – 5/2

The start of my trek blog, as translated from my notebook….

I knew from the minute I woke up yesterday that I was catching something.  Of course, I didnt think to bring cold meds and didnt feel like having an adventure to go find some.

The day started out just fine – breakfast, met the rest of the REI group, and went on a tour.  The tour included the rest of the World Heritage sites in Kathmandu, so we were able to see all seven over four days.

Our first stop with the group was a giant Buddhist temple, a stupa.  It was gorgeous – such great architecture and brilliant prayer flag colors.  We also stopped at another art school for a tour.  Since we’d already bought a painting, we just used the bathroom ‘happy place’, as our guide called it, and went outside to people watch.  So many people to see, both locals in traditional dress and tourists just looking around.

The second stop was Patan Durbar square, the final durbar square in the heritage sites.  It was interesting to see that this site was more of a modern tourist attraction, with vendors selling plastic blow-up figures on sticks and cotton candy.  We walked the square for a bit, and then headed to lunch at another rooftop restaurant.  I still wasnt feeling well, but I was hungry.  I opted to try the sweet and sour chicken and some rice.  Then, it poured….a lot.  Luckily, we were under some cover….some.  A plastic tarp kind of thing, that stayed attached to the deck…sort of.  Haha…at least Brian and I were prepared for rain.

Our final stop was the monkey temple, another Buddhist Stupa.  But, this one had monkeys everywhere.  They were fun, but pretty destructive – we watched them rip down a flag and try to tear off part of the stupa.  Apparently, if the locals leave their windows open at night, the monkeys come in and destroy the house…charming…

On the way back to the hotel, our guide answered questions about his life, family, etc.  He had an arranged marriage (most people in Nepal still do), and told us about his wedding, a multi-day celebration where they had to walk several hours to his fiancee’s town.  He told us about his daughter, who he wanted to give a non-common name, so he named her Rachel – something he’d found on the internet.

By the time we got back to the hotel, I really felt awful.  Horrible timing.  I went back and slept for a bit before our pre-meeting with our guide.  I dont remember much from it, other than feeling awful and hoping it wrapped up soon.  I tried to get a milkshake after, thinking it might help my throat, but it was luke-warm milk and ice cream, and I definitely didnt trust it.  So, I pulled the ice cream out and ate that. Dinner took forever, so I ended up having it delivered to my room so I could pack and get to sleep faster.  I skipped my final kind of clean shower since I was freezing (yeah running a fever the day before I leave…) and the water wasnt all that warm.

Home Again….

So, there was a chicken in someone’s hotel room….left the window and the screen open (if there was a screen) and in walked a chicken. Two maids and the window washer were trying to corral the chicken and get it to go back out the window it came in. Oh Kathmandu….

The Kathmandu Airport is the most interesting international airport I’ve been to. There’s one snack shop once you pass security with really cheap water and really expensive snacks.  There are only five gates, so everyone is sitting in a large room (think DMV), waiting for the gate to be announced as flight times get closer.  Flights are headed pretty much everywhere in Asia – China, Bangladesh, India…it’s a figurative and literal melting pot of culture in the 90+ degree heat. I’m thinking that getting on the plane and having some AC is going to feel really good.

The whole airport process has been as much of an adventure as when we arrived and when we flew to Lukla. The REI bus dropped us off with the masses on the curb and we had two airport people (I think) help with the bags (the REI people seemed to know them). They got us into the line and then left us with the carts, so I got to steer a cart full of bags through the masses in line (luckily, I didn’t take anyone out in the process).

Once you’re inside, all the bags, including carry-ons go through a scanner and everyone gets patted down by some poor soul not wearing gloves. Then you get to check in and head to customs which is a slow process with long lines. But, luckily, no issues.

Then comes security…where you get to walk through old metal detectors and everyone receives another pat down, whether they set the machine off or not. And the lines are broken out male and female. Somehow, I got through with half a bottle of water, but got stopped because they thought I had a lighter. Didn’t believe me when I said no, but did after they went through the pocket of my bag and found nothing – sorry Nepalese TSA, I’m just not that exciting.

Our final twelve hours in Korea has been pretty uneventful – the lady at the information booth let me use the phone there to call the hotel shuttle last night, we got to sleep in, and we had dunkin donuts for breakfast. I feel like we’ve been at the airport forever, hotel checkout was at noon and our flight isn’t until 5:30.  Luckily, it’s a pretty nice airport…decent food, free foot massagers, and the carts that transport people from gate to gate play music rather than honk incessantly.

And, after an incessantly bumpy flight, we made it back. I can definitely say I was glad when we landed and glad we were on a 777….it would have been a nightmare on a smaller plane, but still, dry heaving two hours into a ten hour flight isn’t fun.

US customs wasn’t as crazy to get through as its been in the past, and soon we were home for nap time.  It was great to take a shower in clean water…and brush my teeth with tap water because I finally could….

We finally had the Barney’s we’ve been dreaming about for three weeks for dinner. Yay gourmet burgers and chicken. So full…and so sleepy. The rest can wait until tomorrow.

One Night in Seoul

Hello Korea!

After twelve hours, four movies, some sleep and several rounds of plane food, we arrived in Korea. This time, I got to leave the airport, so have another stamp in my passport – exciting. By the time we landed, got thought customs, we really only had time to get to the hotel, get dinner, and sleep. The hotel had a free shuttle, all we had to do was call it. Or have the lady at the information booth call it…since I didn’t have any money for the pay phone. Haha….luckily, it was easy to communicate with the hotel and the shuttle got there pretty quickly. We got to the hotel at the same time as a bus tour, making the check in process interesting. But, the guy working at the desk quickly helped us and we were on our way.

First task was finding some dinner. We found a little mom and pop restaurant that took credit cards and spoke minimal English. They cooked the beef right in front of us on a grill in the middle of the table. Pretty cool, authentic food. And, the owners were nice enough to show us how to cook some of the stuff. Grilled garlic was interesting…and since I’m still tasting it today, I’m not sure I’d try that again. The beef was delicious and there were plenty of other things to dip it in and try it with. The highlight so far, trying soju…which is to Korea as sake is to japan.

Hotel was nice, bed was a little hard, but if you’re tired enough, it doesn’t matter. Of course I woke up at one point and panicked that we’d overslept and my phone was in the wrong time zone and who knows what else. So, I got up, stumbled across the room, unplugged the phone and checked the time. Just after midnight, but of course I didn’t trust that my phone was in the right time zone, so I stumbled into the bathroom and googled ‘what time is it in Seoul’, to confirm it was correct. And somehow made sure to miss falling over the random step going in and out of the bathroom. Of course, when I had to get up to pee, I couldn’t find the light….awesome. Well, practice for the 14 hour blackouts in Kathmandu. Why I didn’t go grab the phone, I don’t know. After what was probably my last warm, pressurized shower for three weeks, it was time to jump the shuttle back to the airport.

And, then I found Dunkin Donuts at the airport. Yay dunkin donuts….boo coffee tastes nothing like dunkin donuts. Oh well…had to try it. No donuts though, and nothing else was open, so we ended up with McDonalds. Always fun to try in different countries.  I had a chicken sandwich with cheese, similar to the one I had in Raleigh with June. Not terrible, but much better as hangover food than normal breakfast. Haha. And the police with the assault rifles were a nice touch…

Clearing customs was easy, we pretty much had our own security line and customs line. Of course my passport case set off the metal detector….why wouldn’t it. Now, we wait for the plane to Kathmandu…7 more hours on a plane…I think that makes this the longest trip I’ve ever taken. But, I’m so excited to get there and see the city…and trek…and everything else.

220 feet….up we go. Over and out, until next time.

An amazing vet, typhoid medicine, and a trip to Orlando

So, first things first, we have an amazing vet.  I was texting Brian about my crappy run this afternoon, and he told me to come home – that he had something that would make me smile.  When I got home, he handed me a letter from the UC Davis Vet school.  As I pulled out the letter, I tried to figure out why we might have received it, but I couldn’t think of one.  As I began to read the letter, I almost cried. It was a letter informing us that our vet had made a donation to the school in the name of our cat, Gordon.  The cat we loved, and she had only known in the last few days of his life. We already knew she was amazing (seven hills vet in diamond heights – go there), but this is so above and beyond. I can’t think of a better way to remember my first mammal pet.

In other news, we had our annual field conference last week in Orlando. It was a good time, but exhausting. I flew in early to help, whichever as quite the adventure.  I started the following during my travel adventure, but never got a chance to finish and post it:

I love Uber…order on the phone and a ride shows up three minutes later – even at 4am. However, the adventure began once I got to the airport.  But, flying united is never anything less…

So, first, I get to the airport and try to check in…should be easy. Swipe credit card and enter destination. Of course the system tells me that my ticket and itinerary don’t match and to see an agent. Which might not be an issue if, oh, I don’t know…there were any around. So I try again and enter my connection city. Same thing. So I try to ask the guy behind the counter…and he just blows by me. Awesome…and the ‘I hate united’ thoughts begin. 

Luckily, I was able to flag down one of the ladies directing people to kiosks. Of course by then the message is gone, so we have to start over. Destination city, connection city, and confirmation number all yield the same result – ticket does not match itinerary. So she takes me to an agent…

The agent takes my confirmation sheet, ID, and credit card….tells me there isn’t an issue.  Oh wait…the system has kicked me out incase I want to take a direct flight at 9.  Right…cause there’s nothing I want to do more than hang out at the airport for three hours…if they had asked last night, I probably would have taken them up on three more hours of sleep.

To their credit, the two ladies that did help me were very polite and in good spirits for five am.  

Of course, this has taken time, and now I’m hoping I’ll still be able to grab breakfast. And the security line is a cluster…why wouldn’t it be. The guy checking tickets at the end of the line looks at mine and asks me – are you part of a group?  No…not really. I mean, gap travel booked my ticket… Oh wait, he’s asking cause he has my boarding pass…or someone else’s…or just a random handful of them in his pocket…cause that’s normal. Then he decides it’s not mine and lets me go on my merry way. 


Like I said, the conference was fun, but exhausting. I spent the first few days putting together packets and name badges and running from here to there. The highlight – the packing party involving tequila. I worked the registration desk the second day of check in, so got to see a lot of people and hang out with the territory assistants – a great group of ladies!  Biggest learning – it is actually possible to be so tired that the glass of wine three feet away is just too far to grab. 

By the time the conference started, heels were actually more comfortable than running shoes for a day. Until I had to open the door for the mass entrance…haha. It was fine, just a little crazy. I got to ride a roller coaster again – yay evening event at marvel island and the hulk.  I rode it twice – note to self, pee before you get in line for the roller coaster. Haha. I also checked out Spider-Man, which was fun, but hulk was better. And I still like roller coasters :). 

But, like all good things, it had to come to an end.  And, I was ready to get back home. Since then, we’ve been continuing to prep for our trip – six weeks from Saturday…squee!!!!  We have most of our stuff, I took Tuesday off and we went out to the friends and family mountain hardware store and got my gloves and hiking pants. We tried to get prescription sunglasses, but they were going to be $1200….yeah, not happening. I’ll go for daily contacts and sunglasses.  And pray I don’t get an eye infection. But, I did get to make a custom pair of oakleys. That was fun…black and purple, nothing crazy, but still fun.  

I also started taking a typhoid vaccine.  I’m not sure what’s more amusing…the fact that there’s such a thing as a vaccine via pill or the fact that I’m traveling somewhere that I need to have taken said vaccine. It has a host of fun side effects, but I’m half way through and have been ok.  

Other than that, the get back in shape project continues.  I can’t wait to dive into the 50 miler training when I get back. Pirate’s cove, I will conquer you. And muir beach…and the rest of you. Haha. 

Ok….up early for a friend’s 50 miler tomorrow. Until next time….

On the road again….

And this time, there is no paper to present, no conference to attend, or race to be run….just…relaxation. Not that those other trips weren’t fabulous experiences, but I am really excited to take some time and just relax. Brian and I are headed to San Juan to celebrate our fifth anniversary, and to just relax. Yay relaxation…once we get there….

Because of course it’s going to be a round of planes….in fact more planes than it took me to get to Germany. Though, I should be an old pro by now…haha. Though, I did have TSA inspect my hair, yes, you did read that right…my hair. For all the contraband I have hidden in it. And, we did find out that we didn’t have to pay to check luggage. Bonus – save $50 and not have to haul the extra carryon. Downside – we had planned to only check one, and could have brought twice as much wine. Haha.

So, LAX…awful airport. At least where food is concerned. One restaurant for the entire terminal…30 minute wait. Cause that works at an airport. But they had takeout…woohoo…or not. I’m pretty sure the pizza may have been fresh…in March…2010. Brian has a picture of it. I can’t believe we actually ate it…nor can I decide what’s worse. A stomach ache from not eating or a stomach ache from gross food. And, while being sick this week has been anything but fun, hopefully it means I’ll sleep all the way to NYC….

And JFK is freezing….it’s almost like being at the office with the crazy vent next to my desk. Good times…is it time to leave yet?  There’s six or eight of us attempting to sleep while we wait for our flight.  And of course that means someone brings their four year old over to ‘play’, loudly. Really?  There’s nowhere else you could go?  It’s a pretty big airport. Somehow the two guys in the near vicinity have managed to sleep through it.  Oh wait…sleeping guy is dad…awesome. Maybe he could, I don’t know…get up and take care of his child. Or let him continue to run through the airport, that works too.

And they’re playing a song from a really old, dawn era Old Navy commercial.  On that note….

Almost there…one more flight. Countdown to relaxation…six hours and counting.

Farewell Germany!

From yesterday….

So, my trip is complete – I have been blessed…or something by a homeless man on the train. Only me…where is someone with hand sanitizer when I need it. 

The Bremen airport reminds me of the buffalo airport…other than there is NOTHING once you pass security – no food, no shops…well, other than duty free. And…no way out. Other than to hope the guy at security speaks English. He did, and let me out, right back through the metal detector. Add that to the list of things that would never happen in the US, along with leaving your shoes on and curb-side parking. 

Security was an interesting experience, you basically wait outside the security area until the people in front of you go through. I, of course didnt know this and walked right up. I had no idea why the lady was yelling at me…once she realized I don’t speak German, she did apologize. Once it’s your turn, there’s someone waiting with a bin that helps you put all your stuff in it. Then you walk through a metal detector. It’s seriously the highest security person to passenger ratio I’ve ever seen. Not sure if the bigger airports are like this, or how they manage if it’s busy…if it ever is. 

And there’s someone asleep at the airport…not so crazy. Well, wouldn’t be so crazy if he wasn’t snoring. Loudly. Loud enough for people three rows away to be turning around. 

The highlight – I did see a guy in lederhosen that was not headed to a beer fest party. 

There was more going on at the Frankfurt airport (even though a lot of it was closed because its Sunday), which was good since we were delayed an hour and a half. And, apparently since I’m flying back on a US carrier, they have extra security at the gate. Like, you have to get a special sticker to be allowed to board. To get the sticker, you have to answer a series of questions…..

Some make sense, such as, where were you visiting and how long were you here. Others, like, ‘where did you pack your bag’ and ‘did anyone give you a bomb to bring back’, I can’t say I understand. Because, if you’re being shady, are you really going to tell them?  And, where would one pack a bag?  In a house or hotel, perhaps?  Nah…I hauled it all down to the train station and packed it there. 

After getting through the interrogation, I was able to board the plane…a little shaken, because if you don’t know interrogating everyone is normal practice, you might think something is wrong…

Once onboard, I realized why I don’t fly domestic carriers overseas…the seats are way closer together…and no TV screens in the seat, just a couple of big ones that I couldn’t see anyway. No free wine, really, no drinks of any kind at all after the dinner service. I’ll take the half broken screen on Lufthansa any day….

I had a window seat, which was good. Unless of course you want to use the bathroom. And the people next to you are sleeping. With their trays down. For the whole flight. Awesome. Then I get to SFO, and the restroom is closed. This is not my day. 

Of course US customs was the most difficult to get through, but I had a book and got to watch a movie about security beagles sniffing out oranges in people’s luggage multiple times. I don’t really know what day or time it is, but I’m definitely glad to be home. 

A place called Wuhan

Oh what would I do without travel adventures.  Checking out of the hotel was much more complicated than it needed to be…back to the 1000 yuan deposit.  So I charged lunch once, and then there’s hotel fees, so the total bill was 143 yuan.  Fine.  Can I pay that?  No, you want my card…fine.  Great…but, why are you charging more?  And do I get credit for the amount I didn’t spend. Of course, she can’t confirm anything, keeps telling me it’s my bill and all I’ve signed is something for an additional charge.  So she grabs the girl next to her and she’s at least able to explain that they’ve charged the new amount and I will get credit for the old amount.  Fantastic…now that we’ve sorted that out….

I go out to get a cab.  The bellhop asks me where I’m going and I say the airport.  He proceeds to ask me additional questions in Chinese.  I just look at him….so he tries again.  Yup, still don’t understand you.  Then he’s like, domestic or international.  Ah, something I understand.  So I get in the cab and tell the driver where to take me.  After all that with the bellhop, I don’t think he ever communicated with the driver.  The driver takes me to the airport for 15 yuan…yup, was definitely swindled by the non-taxi driver.  Then he proceeds to pop the trunk and sit there.  Ok, apparently I’ll be getting my own suitcase.

The airport is interesting – of course all the check-in counters look the same, so I have to go to a general counter to attempt to ask where to check in.  That was actually easier than I thought it would be, she brought up the flights to Beijing on a computer, I picked mine out and was on my way.

I could only find one restaurant in the airport, despite seeing the signs for KFC.  I would totally eat KFC right now.  But all I could find was ‘the lucky shamrock’ or something like that.  And it was….well…lucky for them, theyre the only restaurant here.  My choices – steak and French fries, lamb and French fries, steak tips and French fries, chicken wings and French fries.  Great…..so I end up with chicken wings and fries.  Which they drown in catsup, and the chicken wings were so fried, I don’t think there was meat on them.  And of course there aren’t any napkins.  And, extremely thirsty, I ask for water….yup, none of that either.

Ok…is there some reason the lady across from me cant cover her mouth when she coughs?  Moving on…

On my hunt for a bottle of water, I notice that there are massage chairs all over the airport, kind of like slot machines in vegas.  Interesting, and slightly gross.

Alright, Beijing bound, thank god.  And my jeans are still wet….

And then….i get on the plane, and some guy has taken my seat so he can sit with his family.  Fine, whatever, hes taken my aisle seat and given me a window seat.  Which, actually, im fine with.  I like the window…I have my own space, I can sleep against the window, im good to go.  Other than it’s further back, but whatever.  I remember a conversation with my father about how the back of the plane is the safest place to sit, so im good with that too.

And somehow, despite the relaxing, restful, five days ive had, I fall asleep.  Only to wake up to an announcement about turbulence.  Fine, whatever, ive survived that before.  Then another announcement followed shortly after that….i think the first two versions were in mandarin and Cantonese, so of course I don’t understand…I can just read the mild panic on the faces of those around me.  Ok….whatever is coming isn’t good.  And then they get to the broken English….’the plane is experiencing difficulties, so we will be emergency landing in wuhan’.

Great, awesome…this is what I always hoped for….and then we hit turbulence on the long landing approach.  Somehow, I was eerily calm, and could just think, well, im not going to know what happens until it does.  Is my seatbelt tight (like liam neason in whatever movie Jaime and I watched last weekend with the plane crashing), I can pull my legs up, and brace myself against the seat in front of me.  Ive got this….or something.

And then we land…worst runway landing ever, but we made it.  So I thought maybe we’d get off the plane.  Or not so much.  I guess they decided to fix it with us on it.  I have pictures of them fixing the wing right outside my window….awesome, I totally could have had a front row seat to whatever was going to go wrong in the air….i have photos…will post once I get back on facebook.

The whole experience was about 2 hours….and really one of the most humbling yet.  I know people have been stuck on US tarmacs and runways for much longer, but really, when youre stuck in a plane, with 170+ people who you don’t understand, and don’t understand you, and its hot (think bikram yoga), and your only source of information is the gauge of people’s emotions around you….it’s totally different, and totally humbling.

And of course, my phone only half worked, but I was able to text Brian and let him know what happened, and say I love you, and text Jaime and let her know I would be late.  Jaime offered to have someone find out what was going on via phone, but I was pretty sure there was no information to be had, other than that I was hot, sweaty, and hungry in the back corner of a plane.

Luckily, they did feed us dinner…or unluckily….choices – rice and chicken or something and noodles….i asked again, and they said – rice and chicken, and I was like, yes, that’s fine. It smells disgusting….im kind of sad I ate my first granola bar when we landed and my last when I was on the phone with Jaime 20 minutes ago…

And it was, disgusting….i didn’t really have any chicken – the lady next to me was lucky – she had a bunch.  I had rice and nasty veggies marinated in some sauce.  So gross, but I was so hungry.

And they continue making announcements….some translated, some not.  At some point, I started ignoring them and just reading the people around me.  Then the lady next to me looked out the window and was like, it’s raining…and I was like, yes, yes it is.  You speak English.  Yay!  She asked where I was from, and I her.  She had been on vacation with her husband and lived in Beijing.  She asked if I had come here to travel, I said yes, for that and school.  Then there was another announcement…I looked at her and she said….we’re leaving in 10 minutes.  They never bothered to translate that to English.  Later when I saw her at baggage claim, she waved to me, and I waved back.  Short and sweet, but with limited language skills, I had made a friend.

And then I went to take a cab to the hotel…an actual cab this time.  Jaime had one of her DM’s tell the driver where to go in Chinese, so all should have been well.  Until he took me to some random hotel, and….somehow, I was pretty sure this wasn’t correct.  Of course he’s talking at me in Chinese, and im like, I really have no idea….so I call them and we try again.  And he’s still talking/yelling at me in Chinese…and im like, yeah, whatever…the plane didn’t kill me, keep it coming.  So then he calls the hotel….and then pulls up to some random people on the street to ask for directions…eventually we get there, and id survived adventure number 2 of the day.

The hotel was actually quite accommodating….secondary check in was far easier than I thought it might be.  Someone took my bags up, and then I came down for some food…really my first food of the day….so excited…only to find the restaurant closed.  After I found that out, I must have looked like I was going to cry, because the manager came out and was like, you just checked in, right?  And I was like, yes, yes I did.  So she told me I could have a meat, cheese, and bread plate, or a salad.  I opted for the meat, cheese, and bread plate, along with some wine, and all was right with the world.  I had survived adventure number 3 of the day.

And then I get a text – ‘we should find somewhere to get foot massages’.  Yes, yes we should…that, that sounds like heaven right now.

skipping a day….

good morning hong kong!

it’s early here, i think…my body isnt sure what time it is.  my computer clock says 4pm…definitely doesnt feel like that, but not sure it feels like 7am either.  im also not sure what currency to pay for my breakfast in…..

flight over wasnt bad, despite having to change seats and ending up in a middle seat.  seats were comfy and to recline, the bottom of the seat moved instead of the top, so youre able to recline without the back of the seat ending up in the face of the person behind you.  too bad all planes dont have that technology.  the red-eye was definitely the way to go, and i give my old navy active wear an a+ for travel comfort.  though, i am excited to sleep in a bed tonight.

they also served both dinner and breakfast.  i was far too tired for dinner, but breakfast wasnt bad.  they claimed it was an omelette, id say it was eggs, hash browns, ham and a piece of sausage.  but, it all tastes the same, i suppose.  there was some juice, a muffin, fruit, and maybe something else – yogurt i think.  its been a long time since ive had food on a plane, but it was actually pretty good.

in regards to the currency, the answer is any one of many….just make sure to read the translation at the bottom of the sheet.  apparently the bill is in hong kong $.  if you try to pay that amount in yuan, it is too much.  luckily they told me….the first of many travel mishaps im sure…

i am impressed by the hong kong airport.  its very clean and quiet.  though, i did drink from a water fountain….totally forgot that it might not be the best idea – hopefully it doesnt come back to haunt me.  looking out the window it reminds me a lot of what hawaii looks like, mountains and mist with some buildings.  from the gate i can see ships in the sea and across to somewhere else….mainland china, perhaps.  i did see a sign for that.  i thought about taking a few pictures, but was concerned i would look too much like a tourist.  then i realized that a, i almost paid twice as much for my breakfast as i should have and b, everyone here is doing the same thing….

next up, navigating to the hotel in japan….

Image

Image

life begins at the edge of your comfort zone….

and here we go…my attempt to blog my way through three countries, five cities, and twenty four days.  and really, probably two countries, four cities, and twenty two days, cause the likelihood of me blogging in vegas is slim to none.  well, there is that whole time change thing.

anyway, im caught between the somewhat surreal feeling that this trip is actually here and happening, after all the drama surrounding it, and the OMG….what am i doing???  truthfully, im in a bit of a freakout, and the glass of cheap chianti isnt helping.  but, thats what this is all about, right?  an adventure, a breath of fresh air, life at the edge of my comfort zone.  what started out as small adventures on either side of a school trip has become my own happily married version of ‘eat, pray, love’, or something like that.  i havent read the book, but it is on my kindle.

overall, im so excited.  im excited to experience different cultures and different aspects of the gap business.  im also excited for an adventure…to explore, to write something that doesnt require citations and read something thats not a text book.  sure, its a little scary, but i did jump on a plane to the british isles at 13 (dannielle, if youre reading this, that was for you ;)).

thus far, its been a good experience.  what little of cathay pacific ive seen has been good.  they come and get you out of the check-in line and escort you to the check-in station.  a far cry from the ‘next’ im so accustomed to hearing at the airport.  they were patient while i dug out my travel documents and took the time to explain everything, even though i didnt need it.  hopefully the flight is as nice as check-in….though, i cant decide how i feel about 12+ hours of flying.  hopefully i can sleep….lord knows i have at least that much needed sleep stored up.  and when that runs out, theres that paper i need to finish…and those books i want to read…and that book i want to write.  plenty to keep me busy, i hope.

alright….the restaurant/bar ive been occupying is closing.  luckily, duty free is still open (kim, if you are reading this, that was for you ;)).  signing off for now…catch ya on the other side.