, ,

Last flight…very nauseous, couldn’t stay awake. Passed out immediately and was awoken by my own snore-snort.

The dinner was pretty bad: beef stew, steamed rice, a side of two slices of some mystery meat (I think it originally came from a pig) that tasted like they had just been wiped down with hand sanitizer (I wonder if they really were, because I’m not exaggerating the taste), a sweet bread roll (like a Hawaiian roll), and a chunk of shiny green cake. The shade of green was somewhere between mint-green and chartreuse.

After that meal, I thought I was gonna hurl. But I didn’t. I was too distracted by the guy two seats over who was hawking up phlegm, picking his teeth, and sucking on his toothpick to notice what was going on in my own body.

Going through customs, the security guard looked at my passport photo (a pretty photo of me at 16 years old), then looked at me and said “woah” with a Chinese accent. To that I said, “A lot of time has passed.” I stood there for a minute smiling into the camera to try to match the enthusiastic smile of my passport because I feared he suspected me of identity theft. I looked pretty haggard and more like a less attractive cousin of my 16 yr old self than an older me. My forced smile charm worked and he let me through.

Two pretty Chinese teachers from the English department of the school picked me up at the entrance of the airport with a sign in hand spelling out my long name. They were very sweet and gave me a warm welcome. They relieved me of my bags, took me to the restroom, and bought me a bottle of water. The three of us waited for the school’s driver to circulate around and pick us up out front. It was funny and embarrassing watching him stuff my giant luggage pieces into the tiny trunk of the car. I didn’t think it would be possible to get them both in, but he made it work. He must be good at Tetris.

The drive from the airport to the school took us about an hour or slightly under. My companions encouraged me to go to sleep and get some rest on the drive. I was dozing off when I heard “I like the ba-arr-ten-derrrrr…” piping from the radio…


…I didn’t know he was so far-reaching.

Finally, we got to the school. I’m in my room now. And I’m going to sleep, goodnight.