Winding trails will end,
Home’s call pierces through the way
Things begin again
After what seems like 100 years of travelling, we’re finally home! It’s time to re-enter productive society and have a purpose again. Travelling is amazing, but touring is somehow different… we felt lost at some points, but when we gained purpose by renting the motorbike or hiking around Jeju, we were most happy. We’re both excited about what lies ahead! This fall will see Evan working with Intel on a research project related to personal data, and I’ll be continuing my PhD. We’ll definitely keep in touch with all of you. :)
Anyway, today we woke up and packed, then fretted for a while about how to get to the airport. Yesterday the going rate for a ride was something like 1000 pesos, due to the wind and rain. One of the hostel staff offered to drive us! So we eagerly accepted, then struck out with one of our friends from the hostel to get some snacks and lunch.
By 1pm we were already at the airport, prepared for a flight not leaving until 10:30pm. The hostel fellow had not only driven us to the airport, but he refused to take any money for it. So kind! We made our slow way through the business class line (slow because of the backlogs from yesterday), then paid our ridiculous terminal tax (to fly out of Manila airport you have to pay the government 550 PHP/person: that’s about $12.50) and took seats in the business class lounge. We contented ourselves there for many hours, playing games and writing blog posts while munching on free food and sipping free drinks.
Eventually it came to pass that our flight was delayed (surprise), so we spent even more time in the lounge than anticipated… but eventually we got on the plane and were ushered up the stairs to The Upper Deck.
The upper deck is pretty fancy, y’all. The seats recline into near-lying down. The headphones don’t suck. The food is infinitely better than the gruel served to “the Plebes” (haha, we’re usually plebians, too). At any time in the flight, you can call for drinks or rice porridge. I think our dinner included bacon-wrapped salmon, as an appetizer. Free champagne.
We eagerly devoured dinner, then slept for a good, long time (5-6 hours?) in the beautiful seats. We woke up and ordered rice porridge because we could, then watched a couple movies (a Filipino one about a ghost haunting twin sisters, and a sci fi flick where time is, literally, money). A few hours later we ate the beautiful breakfast on offer, then were disgorged into SFO.
Because of our business class seats, we were first off the plane and thereby first in line for customs. We sailed through, got our priority-tagged baggage (business class baggage comes off first!), and found our way to the BART. At the other end, we flew up the hill to our house and rifled through our impossible stacks of mail. It’s now 2:30am, and I think it’s time to try to sleep.
Farewell, vacation! Hello, home!