Archive for September, 2009


September 21, 2009

Looks like the iPhone truncated my last message! Grrr….

Please wait while I retype it.


From order into chaos

September 19, 2009

I arrived late at night in Japan and quickly fell asleep. Although I woke up at 6am on the day I left, by the time I went to bed it was 7am the following day. I only got a few hours sleep before we had to wake up and go to the airport destined for Vietnam.

We flew China Airlines, and it was a pretty good experence, except that I locked my in-seat TV into Chinese, so it made it a real pain to select movies. Maybe I should have taken this as a bad omen.

The plan was simple, arrive in Ho Chi Mihn City, meet the travel agency agent with our train tickets, and board a night train for Hue. However, our flight was delayed by 30 minutes due to a thunder storm, and then we were delayed by the glacially paced Immigration agents. By the time we got to the baggage area, our stuff had already been placed on the floor. We were waved right through the Customs area, they simply x-rayed our luggage, but didn’t look at any of our paper work. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m going to get hasseled when we leave. By the time we got out of the airport, it was 50 minutes after our origional arrival time, and the agent was nowhere in sight.

After an hour of searching the airport for our agent, we gave up and decided to head for the train station to try our luck there. In order to do that, we had to find a taxi.

As with every airport in the world, Ho Chi Mihn City Airport has a problem with unlicensed taxis.

And Back to Japan Again

September 16, 2009

Well, I’m off on another trip. It’s strange, on the way to the airport it felt like just another day riding BART, but once I got my boarding pass I started to feel like I was traveling. I felt a bit lighter, not only because I had just checked all my bags, but because for a short time, I can forget about work and just have a good time. I wish I could have this feeling on the weekends.

As I sit here waiting at the gate, I realize that I have mixed feelings about airports. Sometimes they are the source of panic and the dread of missing a flight. The rest of the time they are incredibly boring. Inside the airport everything moves slowly, from the security lines, to the time it takes to order food, to the speed of the moving sidewalks. This seems to be in contradiction to the very idea of air travel, to get from one place to another as quickly as possible. The whole idea of checking in two hours before one’s flight is a prime example of this. If the amount of waiting in line were more predicitble, you could check your bags go through security and walk right onto your plane in 30 minutes. Since that will never happen, I guess I’ll have to content myself with the equally unlikely solution of striking it rich and flying on my own private jet. 🙂