On this date last year...
"Pushing the envelope..."
Preparing to CHU GUO is always a hassle, but when you add on to it advanced
Newsletter formatting and testing along with your site "propogating" everywhere while the 20+ people who are assigned ORIENTED emails are wondering what the heck is going on with their accounts, one week before our September Happy Hours... things become all the more hectic...
I finally got to have my dinner at 11 p.m. (KFC Zinger burgers baby!) so missed out on Walsh's house party and another shindig at Plush, but Flora came over around midnight to help me pack and to ummmm... give me a pair of shoes to bring to Steven.
WHY am I always bringing SHOES to my men friends in China?
Is that what being a "global professional" is all about?
Maybe I should rewrite the business plan for ORIENTED since clearly this is a needed service...
Anyway, it was good to catch up with Flora. We've had so little time lately to catch up -- both she and Ginny are also boogying out of Taiwan very soon too (copycats!) -- but even better was... she really did help me pack!! What would have normally taken me several hours took her all of 10 minutes! (wow)
By the time I hit the sack, it was 4 in the morning.
This time I was determined to not only MAKE my flight but to actually get to the airport EARLY (stranger things have happened...), which I did successfully.
I also bought travel insurance at the airport for the first time in my life.
Though I've been covered locally through my employment, I haven't been too res-
ponsible in this regard when I traveled before, but since the creation of INC. and being asked to address contingency plans in the "event of a misfortune", I deci-
ded to take out insurance this time around.
'Twas a weird experience sitting there at the counter with a calculator, trying to figure out which policy I should purchase based on how much I think I'm worth, while trying not to think that the pricing tiers are a TRICK to get me to purchase the most expensive one.
"How does one value human life?"
What movie was that from, anybody? Anybody?
In exchange for my life insurance purchase, I was given this as a little gift:
"En route to Bei...... JING!"
'Twas an uneventful plane ride over with a nice stop through Hong Kong. I didn't really FEEL like I was going to "Bei...... JING!" until we landed at the airport, at which time I thought, "WOW! This is cool man!"
Just before I got to customs, I saw a young woman at a booth selling SIM cards so, without having even considered getting one before (I just figured I'd run around Beijing without a cell phone), I stopped to talk with her.
Charming she was indeed.
I was having such a good time chatting it up with her and later her friends and listening to their Beijing accent that by the time I finished goofing off and made my purchase... all the customs counters were CLOSED!!
I am such a dork!
Imagine me jumping up and down behind the counters trying to get someone's attention to let me THROUGH!!!
"Shen Sheng! Shen Sheng! SHENNNNNNNN SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHENG!!!"
Nice entry into Beijing, sheesh.
After finally getting through, my "Adventures at the Beijing Airport" continued as
I passed by the travel service counters on my way to exchange money and got pulled over to sign-up for some tours. Once again, I hadn't planned to join any formal groups and was thinking to wing it on my own, but these guys were so entertaining that it tripped me OUT.
I really like these Beijingers!!
So once again I spent an EXORBITANT amount of time chatting it up with these people, amused by their incredibly aggressive attempts to try to sell me all these different packages (charming, no?) and trying to imitate their Beijing accent with my response.
Now THAT was freakin' hysterical.
They kept saying in Chinese, "I can give you a really good price, come on! Let's be good friends, okay? I'll give you a good price!"
And I'd say, "Pierre y deerrrr... hao ma?"
That was my own bastardized Beijing romanization system of "Cheaper, please?"
I was having way too much fun with these folks, and I found myself really enjoying talking to the locals throughout my stay in Beijing. They're cool, some really nice people.
So anyway, I finally got myself to Steven's apartment and wow! Nice place! He literally just moved in this week and was having furniture delivered when I arrived, so we waited for them to set things up and then went out to a late dinner at a little mom and pop place around the corner. Kind of weird that I haven't seen Steven since February and yet feel like it was just YESTERDAY since we are always on email about the Happy Hours or on the phone talking about business strategy, etc.
So that was my first day in Beijing, China.
Cool beans... lol!
Other random shots I took at the CKS Airport in Taipei...
"Nice, colorful, PLASTIC, utensils..."
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