Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sitting in the Airport

Hello. We are currently sitting in the Toronto Airport, which means that we successfully completed the first leg of our journey, which means that no passports were lost this time!! I am quite relieved to be here even though we just found out our next flight is delayed by a few hours. I'm also excited to be using my new netbook computer to get free wireless at the airport. Apparently, I am living in the future. That's it for now. What a boring post!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Please tell me this is a Dream

As I write this from the familiar comfort of my mother's kitchen table in Manhattan, I am thinking to myself that surely this must be a dream. I think I'm supposed to be in Shanghai right now, eating street noodles. What happened?

Well, my voyage with Mimi got off to the rockiest of starts yesterday morning. We got up at 5:00 AM and took the M60 bus to La Guardia Airport. When we got there, we realized we weren't sure which terminal to get off at. We made a quick decision to hop off at one of the terminals and ask someone where to go. No less than two minutes after we got off, Mimi realized that she left her purse on the bus. Too bad it had her passport in it. After 30 seconds of delirious inaction and rage, I decided to hop in a cab and chase after the bus. We took a wrong turn however and couldn't track down the bus. As we looped back around, the anxiety and despair truly began to sink in.

Will I go on the trip without Mimi? Will she be able to catch up with me in a few days? Is the whole thing over? Should I just give up now and go apply for a job as a baggage handler? We spent the next few hours repeatedly calling the MTA lost and found, checking M60 buses as they looped around, and talking with the "check in" lady at Air Canada to figure out our options. We also began figuring out if it would be possible to get both a new passport and Chinese Visa within the next day or two. All of this was of course inter spliced with heavy doses of freaking out, sadness, and anger.

But guess what?! It is looking like everything is going to work out. No, the purse never turned up. But, I was successfully able to postpone both tickets until Saturday morning. Mimi was also able to get a new passport in one day (I didn't know this was possible) and today she is getting her Chinese Visa. We're scrambling to get it all figured out but it looks like it just may work.

This was a pretty big blow and I'm still mentally and physically recovering from it. But things could have ended a lot, lot worse. And you might say these things happen for a reason. I've been periodically checking CNN waiting for the breaking news of an Air Canada flight crash landing over the Pacific Ocean. Nothing yet though. Plus, now I get to go see Final Destination 3D today. There is always a silver lining I suppose.

So tomorrow morning, we will try again. Think we'll make it? Ugggh.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Away We Go

Hello Friends and Relatives,

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new travel blog. As you may or may not know, tomorrow I will be embarking on perhaps the most exciting adventure of my life. I'll be traveling with my dear friend Mimi across China and India, with a few stops in Thailand and Nepal as well. Sure, I've traveled the world (not Asia) with Genghis Tron. But those tours were mostly spent twiddling my thumbs in the van or loading gear into one cruddy venue after another.

This adventure will be different. I'll actually get to experience the life and culture of the places I go. Plus I'll do it at my own pace. We're doing it "backpacker" style, which means we'll be staying in hostels and guesthouses, traveling by local bus and train, and steering clear of tourist traps. I don't have an actual hiker's pack though. Instead I'm using a traditional roly poly suitcase, as I like to call them. That being said, we'll be seeing many of the classics, such as the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors, and the Taj Mahal. We also plan to do a lot of bike riding, hiking, and getting lost in back alleys. Oh yeah, and eat crazy food.

Now, as cliched as this is, I also hope to perhaps learn something about both the world and myself on this trip. As some of you probably know, I just recently found out about this band called the Beatles, and I've been pretty into their tunes lately. So I adapted a lyric from the song "I'm Only Sleeping" for the title of my blog. I'm going on an adventure unlike anything I've experienced in my life. However, unlike John Lennon, when I float upstream I'm not going to stay in bed and close my eyes. I'm going to keep them wide open as I wander down alleyways and bike to mountaintops (or maybe just hills). Yeah!

To the right of this post should be a map of Asia, with little flags for all the places we hope to go to. As our trip progresses, we'll be uploading pictures and other stuff that you should be able to access through the map. Who knew Google had the technology to do something like that?

Well, that should be it for the first post. I hope to update this every one to two days, so check back often!

Peace suckas I'm outta here.