Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

I’m Alive!!!

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I made it, I made it! I’m alive!

Gearing up for life changes, I tend to prepare for the absolute worse. Namely, death. I figure, shoot for rock bottom and the rest will come as a pleasant surprise. So I had a few pitfalls, but all in all, my transition went remarkably well.

I spent my last day in Taiwan like a heroin addict looking under his couch for a dropped needle. The smallest details proved to be incredibly tricky. I couldn’t have done it without help from my girlfriend, who called in sick from work to do menial errands with me. Bank. Problem. Post office. Problem. Packing. Problem. I felt like a rubix cube when you have one color finished but the rest is still completely screwed.

I spent my last night doing one of my absolute favorite things: barbequing on my buddy Phil’s rooftop patio. I convinced myself that an 8:20 flight, requiring a 5:30 bus ride, and a 5am wake-up really meant that I should try to pull an all-nighter. Nothing helps leaving a country like no sleep and a red wine hangover…

Problem number one, saying goodbye to a girl I really care about. Problem number two, excess baggage. That ran me $80USD. Problem number three, visa. That cost me $182USD, partially because I was too tired to notice I threw the guy a $20 and he gave me change for a $10. Problem number four, visa won’t be ready until 6pm, need to change my flight. Last flight was at 8:25pm. I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m sleeping on a chair in an airport. The Filipino girls next to me are having some type of screaming contest. I’m still tired. Some Indian child is playing Go-gett’em-horsey on the chair next to me. Still tired. I try moving. I buy a water, 20oz for $3USD. Still tired.
Finally, I land in Pudong (Shanghai). I realize we are on the tarmac and have to do the 1980’s evac on stairs. I was bracing for a Russia-esque customs/immigration line. But to my great surprise, it was all a breeze. I started chatting with the young miss next to me on the flight. Her name was Grace, just like my super Taiwanese co-worker who helped me one bazillion times in Taiwan. She helped me get sorted with a taxi, in a roundabout method of first infuriating them and then letting me get in the cab while they vent. But it worked, I made it. Thus far. I made it.

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Written by Miles

August 8, 2007 at 12:36 pm

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