Lesson Learned

I made it! 24 hours later...

And nobody worry, i didn't pick up the swine flu on my way, because everyone looked like this!

In Tokyo, some officials came on the plane and asked anyone who had been coughing or had a fever if they would please raise their hands. I was not even about to look their way. Funny how they approached it. I wonder who came up with that.


What not to do when you are flying to Hong Kong.
  • don't begin talking to the guy sitting next to you about politics. test the waters and make sure he is not the son of someone very important. oops.
  • also, don't tell him your views on north korea because then he will say something like this "i bet you believe the myth about aliens in Roswell, New Mexico." huh?
  • don't eat this
  • and think you won't throw up several times in the barf bag and in the restroom
  • and if you do throw up, don't put the barf bag next to the guy's foot where he can step on it. oops.
  • don't choose a seat in which none of the electronics work and then when your neighbor goes to sleep, plug you headphones into his TV and watch a movie....because he will wake up and find out what you have done. oops.
  • and one last thing, don't think that having the best neighbors in the world, who woke up at 4:30 to have tea and send me off, isn't the greatest thing in the world!

Off to bed at 10:31 a.m. Houston time.


Tyranny of the Urgent

It all comes together at some point.

The bags are packed, the flight info is printed, i've said goodbye, i've accepted all the things i have forgotten, and i'm prepared to stay awake all night with anticipation.

A couple days ago I was not ready and I was quite panicked. A friend, whom Jennifer loves, said to me, "don't get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent." I was so caught up in it last week that I found myself in the middle of panic attacks, some in which i actually lost my lunch.

What would one do without friends I often asked myself? I'd love to post pictures of all my friends here, but I'd probably forget one and then that would be sad.

So, here I am, ready to go to China! and I'm thankful for my friends...

friends who give me quotes to put on my blog
friends who cook me meals when i just don't have the time
friends who listen as i pretend to be a realist
friends who embrace the spastic
friends who call because they are thinking of me
friends who watch my dogs
friends who make sure i keep going
friends who accept my veg ways
friends who trust me with their children
friends who i can sit on the front porch with and say nothing at all, just like that really corny quote.


i will miss

houston, and you.

fyi: cl
ick on the pics to see larger version.


You May Be Wondering

How in the world I got here? Sometimes, I wonder that too.

For years and years I have dreamed of taking off, going far away, learning a new culture, new language, and letting it change my life. I didn't think it would be in this capacity, but alas, my dream has come true. Well, it will in 8 days, if they can get me on that plane.

It's a miracle story, really.

I had a couple days to decide if I was really going to pursue this and a true miracle happened. My mom called the next day and said she got a random letter from Texas Tomorrow Fund (how my undergraduate work was paid). She asked me to phone them because it was quite suspicious. So I did. This is when the miracle happened.

The woman told me that I had 15 credit hours left on my account.

excuse me, did you just say that i had 15 credit hours left?

I quickly reminded myself that it had been 2 years since I graduated with a bachelors and both my parents and I were pretty sure I used every penny. Where in the world did this 15 hours come from?

Finances was going to be the main reason I didn't go to China, so with this incredible phone call, one day before I had to make a decision, I thought I'd just take the clue and say YES!

I'm so thankful for this once in a lifetime opportunity and truly feel like it is a gift.

Some may say it was serendipitous, I call it a miracle.


First Email from Hong Kong Gov

What they wrote:
"Dear Jennifer,
Hong Kong has instituted procedures for border authorities to screen for the possibility of influenza among passengers on arriving international flights. Arriving travelers will be required to fill out and return a health declaration form and pass through a thermal-scanning checkpoint. Temperature readings are taken from fixed-position infrared monitors that do not make any contact with the traveler. Travelers found to have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, or who exhibit flu symptoms will have their travel history and symptoms assessed and will be taken to a hospital for further examination if necessary. Because of these measures, processing of arriving passengers may take longer than usual.

In addition, the Hong Kong government may impose a quarantine of up to seven days for any person who has come into close contact with persons with confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza."

What I read:
Dear Jennifer,
We can't wait for you to get here and be quarantined immediately, for at least 6 months. See you May 3oth.
Much love,
Hong Kong government

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