Sunday, April 29, 2007

Grounded for Now

I'm glad I did that video blogging of the trip itself, and the trip home, because otherwise in my mind it would've been some strange dream I had. It all went by way too fast to take any mental notes. That's the way these international-one-country-a-day things always go.

To follow my trip back click here to read the post called Going Home, Part 1 and then click the "Newer Post" button at the bottom to go on to the next part. That'll give you the whole story chronologically.

I'm in SF for a few weeks, then a week in NYC. End of May I go to South Africa and directly from there to Europe. Panama will be at the end of June. Then, as of July 1, I get my wings clipped for awhile as baby is due August 8 and I will not be going anywhere outside of San Francisco from that point until the end of September at the earliest.

There's no place like home.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Going Home Part 3

About to board the flight now, so I'll be uploading the rest of the story once I get to SF today (yep, I leave HK at 4:25pm local time, then arrive in SF at 1:50pm local time on the SAME DAY!!!) Time travelling, gotta love it.

This is where I'm sitting on this massive 747-400 (that's not my actual plane, obviously, but it's the same brand & model).

Upstairs on a 747 is absolutely the best. It feels like a private plane, there are only 24 passengers and 2 crew memebers. You're also less likely to get sick, since you are breathing in fewer peoples' germs.

By the time you read this, I'm probably over the Pacific Ocean somewhere . . .

Going Home Part 2

Left the hotel in a Benz (they do hook you up nicely at these Asian luxury hotels). Crusing through Kowloon on the way to the airport.

It's Saturday afternoon here, so there's no traffic whatsoever. Got to HK International in 20 minutes flat (may have had something to do with my driver going 90 miles an hour).

Time to savor my last breath of fresh air before spending the next 20 hours in airports and airplanes.

Got through immigration and security in a snap, although at the check-in desk there was some serious drama. People yelling and screaming at the check-in folks as the flight to LAX seems to be very overbooked (thank goodness I'm on the SFO flight). Not the way to handle yourself at an airport regardless of how badly they screw you. Aaah, I'm gonna forget about that one.

The Cathay Pacific biz class lounges (there are two here; The Wing and The Pier) are the best I've ever been in. There are several bars, food outlets (free cook-to-order noodles, dim sum, and western food), a video game lounge, massage chairs, and a very accomodating staff. I like to hang at The Wing.

I'm not leaving this lounge until my flight boards. No reason to.

Aaah, freshly cooked Shanghai-style noodles.

If you fly to Asia on business, and you fly a US carrier, you don't know what you're missing . . .

Going Home, Part 1

The best part of any business trip is the flight back home. Too bad the one I've gotta take today is 14 hours long (Hong Kong to San Francisco). At least it's on Cathay Pacific, not some chump outfit like United.

About to leave my hotel room at the Shangri-La Kowloon where there's a particularly amazing view of the HK skyline.

Am going to try and show you my trip home, step by step by step. Have a look:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random Notes from Asia

Happiness in a bowl: Nyonya Laksa in Malaysia.

The most well designed airline cabin in the world on Cathay Pacific.

Rambuttans galore in Bangkok.

A room with a view in Singapore.

Looking straight down from balcony in the same room (from 57th floor). Not for those with vertigo.

Cheap (and nerve wracking) transport in Bangkok. Called a "Tuk-Tuk" because that's the sound the motor makes. Should be more like "Choke-Choke" given all the air pollution.

I Need A Shower

It's over 100 degrees Farenheit today in Bangkok (for those of you in Celsius land that translates as TOO FREAKING HOT!!!!!). I knew this would be the case so I left the hotel at 7am to have a walk around before it got too hot. No such luck:

It's enough of a challenge to write this blog from Thailand, YouTube censorship aside. I pull up blogspot (where I write my entries) and this is what I get:

Not as confusing, though, as my breakfast this morning:

Aah, yes. The Rambuttan and Mangosteen, fruits you can only get in this part of the world. And they're in season. Open 'em up and this is what you get:

Sweet, succulent, juicy. Nothing quite like it, hard to compare to any fruit I've ever eaten.

In the Cathay Pacific lounge at Bangkok Airport waiting for the flight that takes me to the last stop on this tour, Hong Kong.