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Last Days

Hmm, it’s been a while. I’m back Stateside now, through a slightly torturous route.

Shanghai to Shenzhen was no trouble, and nor was speeding back to Lingnan by minibus. I picked up my stuff and met a small party in Trevor’s apartment, where I picked up my luggage and got a taxi bargained for me… 200 for a red taxi from the hostel to a hotel in Causeway Bay, where I stayed for two nights. Not bad. The ride, that is, not the hotel: that was overpriced.

The next morning, I said goodbye to the Hong Kong Central Library in CWB by returning the Lonely Planets I’d borrowed for the trip, and then barely made it to see the firing of the Noon-day Gun (kind of fun, kind of lame). It was very, very humid, though I mostly avoided rain. I planned to then go hide in the air conditioning all day, but instead I met up with Mindy in ifc (she was coming back from a dragon boat competition the day before on Lamma). We had lunch at Mix and then proceeded to sweat more than was healthy, crossing a last couple items off our checklists: the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery in Shatin (finally!) and the Chinese University campus. The 10,000 steps monastery was tiring, but over sooner than I expected (and incredibly fast to climb down from). CUHK was huge, with some great views that would have been even better on a freak clear day. It’s interesting how completely isolated it is from everything, without even college town trappings.

The next morning was an exercise in Hong Kong simplicity: I took the shuttle bus from the hotel to ifc, checked in my luggage and got my boarding pass, and hopped on the Airport Express. About half an hour later, I walked through immigration at HKIA and was looking for breakfast. Amazing.

I showed up at the gate a bit after boarding had started, approvingly noting the fantastic line-tending by CX ground staff, and after a while made it on the plane. With no seatmate! How excellent. My flight was very, very good, for a 16 hour flight at least. Cathay Pacific is great. Cup noodles, snack baskets (tim tams included, thanks), plenty of in-flight entertainment (though it’s still annoying that it’s on a loop), perfect service… not bad for economy.

A good while later, I wound up in the wretched confines of JFK. They were wretched, and I don’t even want to talk about it. Weather and Delta (Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport, remember) incompetence combined to get me stuck in New York overnight, and for the several hours that Delta was jerking us around the ground staff were completely hostile and useless. I would have been stuck in the airport—that miserable airport—after being awake for 28 hours—if I hadn’t been able to thankfully crash with Curtis in Queens.

The next morning, my flight out was delayed for 3 or 4 hours, 2 on tarmac, by a series of DL incompetence unrelated to weather, causing me to miss my connection to Pittsburgh (I’d been rerouted via Cincinnati instead of directly). Cincinnati was a breath of fresh air after JFK, and the next flight was just long enough away to eat lunch on Comair (since they couldn’t blame the delay on weather). Dianna caught me in Pittsburgh, and I’m in Morgantown now since the evening of the 13th.

And that’s the end.

One Comment

  1. Welcome back! Now you just have to prepare for Columbia in the fall!

    Posted on 19-Jun-07 at 2:16 am | Permalink

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