Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chengdu Trip #7 - 6+ miles above Iwo Jima

It's now 1:20am Pacific Time and we're about 4 hours from Hong Kong. As usual, I've had a difficult time getting sleep. So far, I've watched The Day The Earth Stood Still (so so), Slumdog MIllionaire (awesome), and six episodes of CSI. The flight has been pretty smooth so far, other than 5 minutes of really bad turbulence. Looking at the moving map display, we definitely took a more southern route than the most efficient Great Circle route. We're couple of hundred miles south of Japan whereas the normal route goes between Japan and Korea. Maybe they're taking crazy Kim Jong-il's threat to shoot down civilian planes seriously.

Earlier this afternoon, Leon came to LAX 12 hours after he first dropped me off to get lunch with Fred. Since my delayed flight was scheduled to depart at 2pm, we only had time for some fast food. After lunch, I didn't have time to go to the lounge so I didn't get a chance to upload the previous post. While waiting at the gate, I saw a coworker walking to her gate. She told me that the part-time MBA program at USC was departing on their international trips. She was going to Japan on Japan Airlines but there was about 30 people going to Singapore and Thailand on my flight. We didn't have this trip 14 years ago when I was in the USC MBA program, but I probably spent a lot less on tuition back then.

Japanese high school(?) kids at LAX. I guess there are still people with money in Japan.

Sigh... another 3:45 left to Hong Kong. This is the worst part of traveling to China: the 15 hour flight from LAX to HKG. This is the first time on a Cathay Boeing 777; usually I'm on one of their older 747's. The only noticeable difference is the 3-3-3 seating configuration in coach vs. 3-4-3 in the wider 747. This plane also has the newer interior with individual entertainment systems and working AC outlets at each seat (which only has enough power to run the computer but not charge the battery).

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