Harbin, China day one

For all that it's worth, I had one of the worst travelling experiences of my life yesterday, but it all worked out. It started on the wrong foot in Seattle when an accident closed our main route to the airport. We got there okay, but it was good that the first leg of my flight was domestic because I missed, by just minutes, the one hour cut off to check in for international flights. The drive to the airport was stressful enough, and the time in line to get checked in was also stressful, made more so by the lack of a baggage agreement between United and China Southern airlines. Because of that, my bags were only checked through to Seoul. In the end, though, my bags made it because of Asiana airlines customer service.

But that's not the half of it. In Seattle, the flight to San Francisco for my connection to Seoul was delayed because planes weren't being allowed to land in SF. Too poor visibility due to fog. We took off at least 45 minuts late, then sat on the runway for another 30 minutes. Finally we were in the air. When we landed in SF, I had to get to the international terminal with about no time to spare, and it turned out that way. After finding my way there, getting through a second round of security, where I lost my over-large (4.2 ounces I found out) tube of toothpaste, I made it to the gate just as they were about to shut the door and speed away. It was at that point one of the gate agents told me my bags were checked through to Harbin, which was a load off. I was worried I'd have to get them from baggage claim and check them in in Seoul.

Now I'm here, and while I worried I would forget some thing, what I forgot was my melita coffee filters and the melita cone to hold them. I have three pounds of coffee, which should last three weeks, but not way to brew it right now. Gonna have to fix that. Also, because I'm being put up in a hotel rather than an apartment, I don't have a fridge, so (having forgotten my creamers that I bought to get me through) i'm going to have to get some milk. There is a store nearby thankfully. Mostly we'll eat in a cafeteria, but they don't do coffee, and certainly they don't do coffee how I do coffee. I also left my new umbrella home. I know exactly where the things I forgot are: in the bag I was going to use as carry on until I found it too small. I got a bigger bag, but failed to transfer those few essentials.

I meet up with some of the others in a few minutes. I've been awfully depressed without being able to contact Rachel and Tobia and not being able to have enough coffee (seriously). Part of the problem was my hotel room computer didn't seem to go online until after 7 this morning. Or I was making the wrong choices, not being able to read Chinese. I've also gone without breakfast today, after doing nothing but eating, and eating meat for the first time in a long, long time, on the flights. Meat is gross, even if it's a filet mignon (airline style). Don't miss it.