Day 147 - Departure

Our Goodbye Coffee
September 1st, 2015

It’s 5am and we’re rolling! I had packed everything the night before, set my clothes aside, and slept in underwear to make the morning as easy as possible. While waiting for the car, I grabbed a random assortment of leftover food from the night before. Like I said, Chinese people don’t seem to like leftovers to the point that they don’t bother putting them in the fridge. I grab some chopsticks and fish out pieces of fish from the soupy leftovers. We’re sharing a coffee when the car arrives.

Apparently you can get a Chinese car to come and pick you up. It’s cheaper than a taxi, and is often just students being impromptu taxis. I guess the Gov doesn’t pay much attention to things written in Chinese, as I don’t think it’s an actual, bonafide business. In this case, it’s only 10 dollars cheaper than a taxi, landing us at an $80 ride with two other random Chinese people.
My flight (I'm on it)
At the airport, there’s a long line for check in, and I try to fix my ticket at the counter. My name on the ticket is Philp, not Philip. Note the lacking second “i”. She can’t fix it, but I get all my boarding passes at the one counter. Should be alright. As of writing this, I’m 3.5 hours away from LAX, and everything has been cool so far. Maybe US customs will screw me, who knows.

Luke walked us as far as he could, and we hug our goodbyes. Shimou and I both thank him for all that he’s done, and the hospitality. Maybe we’ll meet again, maybe we won’t. Maybe I’ll be able to speak mandarin then.

We clear security, and end up in the same area. My first flight, and her flight home, are both Virgin, which means we can hang out until the very last minute. This makes it both easier and harder, since it means more dragging out. We grab some food and coffee, enjoying our last hour together. I leave only when I appear to be the last person not on the plane, and thank her for everything, reaffirming that we will meet again at some point.

Mel to Syd
A 1.5 hour flight feels like a blip when you travel so much. 20 minutes on the train each day, 8 hour bus trip, walking an hour most days. I’m pretty mobile, and have figured out offline ways to entertain myself for hours on my phone and laptop. I can’t imagine how boring it would have been back when there were no screens to help pass a 20 hour trip.

So much Time!
Airport Art (!)
After taking the bus from domestic to international at Sydney, I’m processed through the factory-like dissembly line of security. Empty this, walk through that, put it back in again. I reach my gate to find that it’s actually a walled off area, and requires another security check of boarding pass and passport. Well, no rush to wait in a room full of people that will be with me for another 15 hours in a different room. On that note, everyone was also very quick to line up to get on the plane at the start boarding. Why? We’re going to be there for more than half a day!

My seat is alright, but I wasn’t lucky enough to get an aisle seat with a lifting arm rest. I don’t really understand why only some of them have lifting armrests to the aisle and not all of them. No use wondering, here I am. I watch Age of Ultron, eat, sleep for 4 hours, read comics, and write everything up to this exact moment. 3 hours and 19 minutes left.

Duty Free JD
Admire my Travel Beard
General flying tip: be sure to ask about chargers. They claimed to have USB chargers, but none were evident. Finally, I had asked a flight attendant to find out that it was down by our calves, between the seats. I had to get down on my hands and knees to find it. You mean to tell me that there are screens in the back of every single seat and they didn’t think that it might be a good idea to put the charger beside them?

I passed out for 4ish hours of choppy sleep, read comics on my phone until I was bored of it, and played some games on my laptops. I'm not really big on movies. Eventually, I got around to writing the past few days up to today, as mentioned, and left it at that. Pretty sure the woman sitting next to me was reading as I wrote, which threw up some privacy flags. But then I figured it doesn't matter. This is all written to be read by strangers (potentially) at some point.

Editing Music: Silence by The Environment

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