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Forgot to tell everyone, but I'll be gone for the next three days, going to the Philippine Open Source Summit in Cebu. I'm pretty excited: it's only the second tech conference I've ever been to, and this is actually more in my line of interest than the first one (Sun Tech Days last week).

Also, I get to fly to another province! My Dad says Cebu is just another city like Manila, but still ;-)

Also, I get to be up at 4AM so I won't be late for my flight! Oh, wait... (But seriously, it's so going to be worth it).

Here is going to be how I'm going to spend the next two days:

Except for Wednesday. Not sure what I'm going to be doing on Wednesday.

If anyone really needs to tell me anything, I can be reached through my @lj email or, assuming Twitter starts sending me text notifs, I can be reached through that as well (but I've stopped hoping that it will ;-))


Dec. 26th, 2007 01:02 am
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Home safe! Spent the past four days walking around/shopping/travel-stressing, filled my suitcase with loot, and ended up having to lug a third of my body weight up the stairs to my room.

I think I'm tired :-)
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The flight tomorrow is earlier than I thought. Have to leave the house by 4:30AM, and be at my grandpa's house by 5:30. Will be spending the next four days in Hong Kong, possibly one of those days in Macau. I still haven't packed yet.

I meant to catch up on my friends list, and reply to a bunch of posts and comments I have open in tabs, but no such luck. Need to sleep, so I won't get to it before I go. Hopefully you guys don't see me at all for the next four days ;-)

(I am in a good mood and excited to be out, but also a bit on edge. I don't want Christmas to happen. It's going to be weird, and yeah that's probably an understatement, but I don't want to dwell on the implications of that right now. Maybe if we're in a foreign country, where everything is strange, the fact that things are so strange for us now won't be as obvious.)

Well. Anyway. Happy holidays to everyone who celebrates! And to everyone who doesn't, hope you have a fantastic weekend!
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The boarding system here is a bit different. You get several flights assigned to one gate, and when you arrive at the gate, it's this huge waiting area with six different doors, none actually leading directly to an airplane. Instead, you board a bus, which will presumably take you to your plane.

One sucky thing about this airport: no free wifi :( You have to pay, and though I am bored, I am also cheap. But other than that, it's sort of nice: sleek and well-designed. Nothing too fancy but good enough. Too cheap to walk around and buy stuff, though, so I'm currently curled up in a chair, eating bread that I bought on-campus last night.

Taxi fare was really expensive (101 RMB -- that's more than what I've allotted myself for each day!). I am definitely going to investigate how to use the airport shuttle to go to school after I get back.

I'm not new to air travel. I've lost track of exactly how often I've flown, but at least fifteen times if you're counting both domestic and international flights (~thirty if you count the return trip separately). Each airport has its quirks, of course, but the basic drill is the same: customs, check-in + baggage, inspection, waiting, boarding. However, I've mostly flown in the company of seasoned travellers. This is only the second time I've flown without someone who knows what he's doing.

The first time, we were heading to the US -- I was twelve and with my two brothers. My older brother, then fifteen, took care of things and I didn't have to worry about silly things like passports and papers ;P. The airline had to be alerted (by law?) that we were a group of minors, and also kept an eye on us, so we didn't get into trouble. Come to think of it, that trip was motivated by medical reasons as well....

Anyway! So this is the first time I've travelled alone, and I must be honest: I really suck at this. I move too slowly for the brisk, efficient airport folks who are trying to get me out of the way so they can process the entire line behind me; I got the departure card form mixed up with the customs form and had to queue back up; I forget crucial things like an adaptor so I can leech of airport electricity charge my laptop; my passport has fallen to the ground several times, aiyayay. But things are not entirely lost. I made it to the boarding gate with all my papers in order (I think), and I am more than an hour early, so no stress/rushing.

One cute thing about the Beijing airport is that it has this system where you rate the airport inspector/worker who's doing your papers. The scale is from "Very satisfied" (hen man yi) down to, "Not satisfied at all". There are smileys even. They're cute! I think that they're training up their personnel to be quick and efficient in preparation for the Olympics.


So right now I'm in Hong Kong, waiting for the flight. Free internet; I love it. Bumming, lazy, etc. Tempted to get up and find something to drink, but I might as well just wait for refreshments in the airplane (did I mention that I was cheap? :)) Three hours until I get home! (An hour until the flight leaves, two hours on the plane.) Whee!


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