Well hello strangers! It’s about time for an update isn’t it?
Journey back home.
It started off… GRRRRREAT (sarcasm). Since the airport was an hour and a half away from my school and you were supposed to arrive to international flights 2 hours early, I asked to be picked up at 5:30 AM to make it in time for my 9:25 AM flight. Knowing how Malay time works, I wasn’t too worried when it got to be 5:45 and my ride wasn’t there yet. However, when 6 AM approached, I figured it was time for a phone call. Since I was leaving, I hadn’t loaded more minutes on my Malaysian cell phone, so I asked the guards if they had a phone, but they didn’t. (With broken English, imagine trying to motion that I needed to make a phone call while holding my own minute-less phone…I’m sure that was confusing.) There was another driver there, waiting for his passengers, and he had a phone and called my driver. I’m not sure what the conversation consisted of since it was all in Malay, but he hung up and laughed and looked at me saying, “I don’t know.” That’s not much help now, is it? I asked him where he was going, and he said the international airport, which is where I needed to go, BUT he said there wasn’t enough room for me and my five bags and his four passengers. I know some of you probably just read that and said to yourself, “FIVE BAGS?!” I was flying one bag home for Meredith since she was off to travel more and couldn’t take all her stuff, and then two suitcases with my clothes, a book bag for my laptop, and a backpack for all the stuff that wouldn’t fit in my suitcases. (Ok, I know 4 is still a lot.) Anyways, once his passengers got there, I was pleasantly surprised to see one was my running buddy, so I asked to use his phone and called the guy in charge of the international students. Luckily, he was already awake at 6:30 AM (or I woke him up), and he said he would call my driver.
Finally arriving at 7 AM, my driver sped me to the airport…and when I say sped, I mean sped…by running red lights with just a honk of the car, passing when there were two yellow lines, riding bumpers until they changed lines, etc. I kept contemplating whether to tell him, “Hey, I would rather get to the airport safely and miss my flight rather than die in a car crash man!” But instead I just closed my eyes and said some prayers and arrived to the airport safely! My driver helped me pile all my bags on a cart, and I wheeled on in! Since this was my first time being in an airport by myself, I was a bit nervous, especially since I was late. I found my check-in counter and tried to be as smiley as possible because I knew my bags were overweight, and it worked! They didn’t charge me extra and just put a “HEAVY” sticker on my bags. Then I sped-walked to my gate and arrived at 8:49 right before it closed at 8:50!
Once my plane landed in Hong Kong, I had some time so I treated myself to some sushi as a reward for the stressful morning/first flight ever alone, and boy oh boy, it was the best sushi I have had in my life! Normally, I’m THAT girl that gets the California roll, but I decided to go out on a limb and get lobster and mango salad roll and roasted salmon roll. Then I headed to my next gate which thankfully I was early to because I walked all the way to Gate 41, got there, and then realized that I was seat 41, and gate 3. The whole time I kept reading 41 G and wondering, “Geeze, how many Gate 41’s do they have?” (Blonde moment number 1 of the journey).
Now, I’m sitting here about to board my 14 hour flight (Yippeee), but I’m soooo excited to be heading back to the U.S.!! Once I get to Los Angeles, I will have an 8 hour layover before heading back to the good ole Carolina’s and am planning to spend that time updating you on the rest of study abroad experience including going to visit an old folk’s home, a rafting trip with my class, the “Telematch”, going to Borneo, Cambodia, Laos, and last but not least, Thailand.
Talk to ya in America!! :D