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To Kunming

Packing up and headed to Kunming tonight. I'll have about a 12 hour delay before my flight on Tuesday to Singapore. Just enough time to hit a hotel and get a night's sleep before heading right back to the Kunming airport.

I just jumped in a cab headed to the Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport. I must admit, it's a bit of a nervous feeling. My Chinese isn't good, and it's not likely to improve anytime soon. I haven't had to be in situations where conversations have had to be more than hello and thank you. I'm not sure what to expect at the airport. My guess is that it was won't be a big deal and all will go smoothly getting me to Singapore. And getting back? Shouldn't be a big deal either.

The Seahawk win and playoff berth was a bit surprising. I'm seeing a lot of very happy fans that the Seahawks were good enough to build a playoff team while rebuilding. However, the real excitement is in the draft capital over the next two years. In my opinion fans place way too much stock in draft picks. I used to create a new message board thread every year at Footballguys asking fans to evaluate their team's draft from three years previous. It was my response to the inane draft grades that fans flock to the day after the NFL draft finishes each year. It doesn't take many attempts at this activity to realize that getting three starters in a single year is a great draft, and those aren't guaranteed to be high picks. It's the true nature of that beast. Further, getting starters doesn't equate to them being great NFL players. If you're interested, use my favorite draft website and have a peak. Draft History. Last note about football, it's a shame that John Schneider hasn't earned more accolades for what he's built in Seattle over the past thirteen plus years. He and coach Carroll built a juggernaut and they're off to a fine start on their second attempt with little drop off in the process. That's an NFL rarity.

Ran into my first problem. Taxi driver had no idea where to drop me and of course I had no clue. As we were pulling into the airport it was easy to see there were four terminals. He dropped me at terminal number four. Fortunately, I only had to walk to number three after I figured out which terminal my flight was leaving from. Unfortunately this Is a giant airport so the walk was about 20 minutes lugging my golf clubs. That was an unpleasant sweat before planning on getting on a flight for four hours. Also had to deal with my oversized golf club case when checking my bag. Not a big deal. Lesson learned for next time.

Made it the terminal and grabbed a quick bite and a cup of water. Hot water, don't think I'll get used to that anytime soon. Solid hour before my flight starts to board. Found a place to plug in my phone and wrote a bit. Actually, rewrote a bit. I tend to read and edit each post I make a ton. Not sure if it makes a big difference. I hate typos and mistakes and know I still post tons of errors. I wonder if I would have made a good editor. In my opinion good writing uses fewer words and avoids hyperbole. Remove the words like, kind of, and pretty and you've elevated your ability to write well automatically. Just my two cents.

Getting off the plane was a new experience. When the "ding" noise went off a crowd of people jumped out of their seats and started flooding forward up the aisle. I stood up and a small man was trying to push me back into my seat from the aisle. I put my hand directly on his chest and looked him square in the eyes. He immediately backed off with a look of fear. I think I had my angry face on for a moment. Somehow I had ended up in about the fourth row directly behind first class. As I stood there in the aisle I grabbed my computer bag from under my seat and my backpack from above. The first class folks started to file out and I could see several really pushy folks attempting to get by them. I wasn't having any of that. I turned around and looked towards the back of the plane and stood my ground as the rows in front of me emptied. The dude that was immediately behind me was getting pressed up against me from the wave behind, but I wasn't going anywhere until the elderly lady in front of me made her way off the plane. This is the first time I've experienced what I would call group rude behavior (from my perspective). Anyway, my philosophical point was established and carried out. The people in the seats in front of me we're going to calmly be allowed to get off the plane

I was off the plane, grabbed my golf bag case, and made my way to transportation in about 20 minutes. It was super quick and efficient. It took me a few minutes to navigate where to get picked up by a taxi that I ordered from my phone, but again fairly painless.

Room here was nice enough. Served its pourpose, about six hours sleep and a shower. One small problem. Strong smell of cigarette smoke. Woke up with a stuffed nose that quickly went away. Smoke never really bothered me that much, but this was super strong and hard not to notice. The majority of Asian men are smokers. Guess this shouldn't have been a surprise.

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
Jan 11, 2023

Coming from a former smoker.... I can't freaking stand the smell of cigarette smoke let alone stale smoke left in carpets and walls... just freaking gross, gross, gross, grosser than gross.

You do know there was more than one person behind you on that plane that was thinking "That big round eye..." but good on ya dude for letting the older lady go. To say the least I have a difficult time (to say the least) with younger folks being intolerant of the elderly.

Not sure I could ever travel to a culture that didn't respect "personal space"--I'm a demonstrative soul by nature by don't like my personal space invaded by someone I deem unwelcome.

Be well! hopefully your golf…


Jan 10, 2023

I hate cigarette smoke smell to the point that when I would be at a bar (back when business owners made their own decisions) I'd have to shower before I could sleep.

On brevity "I would have made this letter shorter, but I didn't have time" attrib. Cicero, one of my top ten quotes about writing.

I've never understood the frantic rush to get off the plane before everyone else. I do the same thing you did and stand in the aisle while people further forward move out, or just sit in my seat until the herd has passed.

I noticed that when I went back to Vancouver later in life, after the Chinese influx, that people were much pushier…


We have 2 other friends, Paula and Kepler, that taught in China for 2 years. They spoke often about the lack of personal space and the pushy, rude behavior. Guess they ain't gonna mess with no big bad ass American!

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