back from beijing

I’ve finaly gotten enough sleep not to feel dizzy. I flew in yesterday on a small boeing 700 plane yesterday afternoon from the longest journey of my life. It started at 5am in Beijing, checking out of my sleepy hutong-courtyard hotel. The staff there sleep behind the desk in a makeshift bed (six chairs pushed together). I had to rouse the poor woman and get change for the driver. For under 10 dollars I got a lush 1-hour ride to the airport. I had to fill out about 4 forms and wait through four gate checkpoints – health inspection, departure visa stamp, immigration, and security. Then, on board to Tokyo. Five hours later, land there and endure the most expensive economy (7.50 for a beer!). Board plane to go 9.5 hours to Portland. Luckily I met two neat guys who are american-asian, visiting Tokyo with a karate dojo. We had engrossing political discussions about identiy over way too many wines & beers that were complimentary. I think we were a form of entertainment for the flight attendants because we got some free travel packs!

Then, I landed in Portland, 6am 11/29, the same day, technically the time before I even got on the plane for Beijing at 9am 11/29. The “little jumper” down to SF that I had planned was delayed due to a “low ceiling” of cloud coverage in San Francisco. So the guys and I made a little cowboy camp of chairs at the gate protecting our baggage and slept on and off for 5 hours. Finally, a 2-hour tiny plane trip down to SF and I landed on terra cognito at 1:30pm! At this point my stomach is completely rebelling from lack of sleep and lack of food, nausea and motion sickness. To prevent completely losing it I was sipping a Coke. Too tired to sleep, basiclaly. The nice woman next to me, a Mercedes Benz saleswoman from Dallas, who chuckled frequently at her Blackberry, was nice and we had a good conversation about random things. Got a taxi to SF because I coudln’t stand to wait for one of the guy’s girlfriends to meet us. The pleasurable moments of entering my apartment!
1. good coffee
2. In china I kept on having a recurring yen (haha) for big bagels, and thankfully I found a bag my parents had left in my fridge!
3. I took a shower but noticed the smoke-smell in my hair. There are some smells that you become aware of when you become 1/2 way clean. So weird.