11 May 2008

Back in the US...A

It has been a while since I last wrote. Unfortunately, it is because not much of interest has been going on. I am transitioning to two new bosses (one Abacus, one Sabre), so work has taken up much of my time. My last trip before going back to the US in late April was in February, to Ko Samui. My personal heavy season of travel, however, has begun. I was back in Dallas and St. Louis for a golf trip and much needed baseball fix, and the next four months will see journeys to Taiwan, Korea, Colorado, and Napa, as well as two visits from American friends/family and the Singapore Grand Prix. I hope to fit in a short trip to Phnom Penh and maybe the Philippines somewhere in there.

It has been more than a year now since I first touched down in Singapore. When you don't think about it, you can forget just how long and grueling travel over the Pacific can be. I find that going eastward is fine for me - I immediately acclimate to the US time zones. Coming back, however, is murder. I arrived Sunday night, and I didn't feel completely normal until Wednesday. I must be getting old.

Anyway, the trip was fantastic. I saw old friends and family, played golf and watched baseball, enjoyed the stormy late Spring weather, and ate American food only as you can get it in America.

I flew United this trip, which leaves out of the beautiful new Terminal 3 in Changi Airport. This really is an amazing piece of architecture. The airport authority has designed it to be a destination for locals, with many restaurants and retail outlets outside of security (even a grocery store!). Currently, however, you don't see too much daytime traffic going through there. United has two flights out per day - 6.45 and 7.15. This doesn't give you much time to browse the shops or get some breakfast. Most of the flights are early morning or very late evening - I counted four departing in the 9.00 pm hour, while 11 depart between 11.00 pm and 1.00 am. Until more daytime traffic arrives, it will be a quiet time for the shops and eateries.

My itinerary took me to Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Dallas-Fort Worth. The Hong Kong-San Francisco leg was tough, 12 hours packed on the window in the back of a 747. I had two older Chinese men seated in my row, and when the one in the middle spilled water on me a couple of hours into the flight, I was pretty indignant. Perhaps as a lesson in humility from above, I spilled coffee on him about an hour before we landed. Fortunately, most of the coffee spilled on me, although it was quite hot and led to some discomfort for about a day!

The quick layover in San Francisco allowed me to grab some See's Candy - my favorite - before heading to Dallas. And at 4.10 pm, 22 hours and 25 minutes after I took off in Singapore, I was in Texas.

The trip over, however, was better than the trip back. A short flight from St. Louis to Chicago was followed by a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong. A four hour layover and four hour jump to Singapore rounded out a 25 hour day - 27 door to door. As mentioned, I wasn't right for three days.

But, it was all worth it. More to come...

1 comment:

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