Wednesday, August 30, 2006

China Airlines foot massage, part 2

After almost seven months in South East Asia, I've finally landed in California again. The last time I returned to California after an extended time away - 19 weeks in Europe - it was with mixed emotions, and this time was no different. While I've missed my friends and family tons, I can't help but wish I could be in more than one place at a time. It appears my friend Yimei (who's letting me crash her spare room tonight) is right -- I've been bitten by the travel bug, hard.

Everybody always seems to ask, "So how was the trip home?" so I'll just answer here. The flight from BKK to TPE was about half an hour late, but it made up for it with the nifty multi-channel TV screens in the backs of the seats... The jetliner was even tricked out with multiple video feeds from the outside of the aircraft, so that even if you have a window seat, you can not only check out the view, but see it as if you were strapped to the belly of the plane. Here's a video clip:

Bangkok's urban sprawl quickly fades into the mist

These things are probably old hat for some of you. Okay and yes, that video was extremely cheesy. At least I kept it short, right? As you can see, I'm easily amused...

As for the flight from TPE to SFO, it was not as bad as the flight there last February. The sleepy foot massaging my arm this time ended up belonging to a cute, lanky Taiwanese girl with braces in her early 2os who was hidden completely, head to toe, under a blanket most of the flight -- as opposed to the brutal combo of the smelly socked foot of an Indian dad and his kids that were kicking the stuffing out of my seat while I tried to get some shut-eye. The delay on this flight was for about the same amount of time, however (2 hours) due to some sort of mechanical problem -- last time, we had to make an emergency landing in Osaka due to a guy that was having trouble breathing.

Upon arrival in at SFO, Customs decided that I needed to unpack my bags, but at least the woman checking out my stuff was happy and easygoing; it was entertaining watching her awed reaction to the Mac OS X interface on my Apple PowerBook G4.

At the BART station in the airport, I got to start practicing my Español right away with Manuel "El Peruano" García Godos, a friendly car salesman that works at the Auto Plaza in Hayward. I was caught a bit off-guard when I kept having the urge to respond to him in Thai... :P

After a basically uneventful BART ride to San Leandro, I finally got to Yimei's condo, where she made me feel right at home.



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