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Random Travel Notes January 16, 2007

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Ramblings, Up and Away.
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The things left behind. Why is it that people can remember to bring unnecessary things at the last minute but forget to bring things they intended to bring long before and only realize this when it’s too late? In my case, this time I left behind a pair of jogging pants I intended to have altered (but didn’t) as well as a paperback copy of Water for Elephants that I’d bought precisely for the plane ride. While I’m on the subject, I also regret leaving before seeing how Final Fantasy XII turns out, through I hold out hope that my brother will not find the energy to pick it up again until some time after I can join him for the ride.

HKIA and PCCW. Apparently, the entire Hong Kong International Airport has Wi-Fi access courtesy of Richard Li and PCCW. Even more amazing is that it’s both free and quite fast – at least, much faster than even that offered at Cathay’s Business Lounge.

Wii Like. A funny thing happened at the security checkpoint before the boarding gate at Hong Kong. The inspector that went through my handcarried baggage was a fairly youngish fellow who, typical of most of the staff at HKIA, was very professional. He went through my cabin bag quite thoroughly, and was thankfully very delicate with my gadgets: iPod, Nintendo DS and my Wii. After going through the motions, he closed the bag and his professional demeanor left him completely as he flashed this big smile and, referring to the Wii, remarked “Very nice, sir, very nice!”

Vancouver vs. Seattle. I’ve flown to and from New York at least twice now, once via Seattle and this time via Vancouver. While Vancouver has a nicer view and far more pleasant locals by far, Seattle is a friendlier airport: there is no greater torture than being stuck in a transit lounge where there is barely anything by way of refreshments and entertainment, only to see numerous stalls beyond the transparent glass. I was tempted to ask passersby (since I could pass cash over the glass divider) if they could get me a snack or two, but realized I didn’t have any Canadian dollars on me either way.

Warning: Wolverine at Immigration! JFK has one of the more confusing and poorly laid out immigration checkpoints for a busy airport, especially when it gets loaded with three arriving flights. However, because it is set up to have the lines snake around so as to conserve space, I was quite surprised to find I was perhaps twenty persons ahead in line of, and momentarily beside, none other than Hugh Jackman, who apparently came in from Spain on an Iberian Airways flight. He seemed quite nice as he was chatting up some of the folks around him and trying to blend in. But before anyone asks: no, I was unable to unleash my inner groupie and ask for an autograph. Ah, me.

And so here I am. It is said that life is what happens while one is making plans. How very true. I regret this will be a very long semester, perhaps my worst yet. I hate my life.

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1. Random Travel Notes 2 « BRAIN DRAIN - June 13, 2007

[…] Random Travel Notes 2 (For the curious, the “first” installment of Random Travel Notes is here.) […]

2. Final Fantasy XII « BRAIN DRAIN - August 25, 2007

[…] August 25, 2007 Posted by Brian L. Belen in Video Games, Reviews. trackback It took half a year, but I finally got to see my brother get around to putting Final Fantasy XII to bed. And yes, it […]


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