Angel and I on the final day

“I’m sitting in an airport gate waiting on my transportation. . . and I am homeward bound” at last! How’s that for working in not one but two songs!

In fact, last night I was so excited I could barely sleep. Thank Heaven I’m not sleepy yet. Hope I can crash on the trans-something flight to Atlanta. After 3 days of no internet service, I was finally able to text my family to let them know I’m headed home.

As usual, the flights have already been interesting but not eventful. Q Airport was CROWDED this morning but I was able to get to my gate, get a caramel macchiato to go and even purchased a magazine in the bookstore. Just wish I had located the rest of my money and used it to purchase a cute navy check loose dress I saw, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be and, no, I will not return for that or anything else.

We spent the last two nights in a nice hotel in the city very close to the airport and it had the best shower we’ve had the whole time. I didn’t fear for flies, mosquitos, or fleas and other bugs attacking me in the middle of the night as they did at camp.

Back to the city stay. We also had the best meals there we’ve had the whole trip. The first was an evening meal that was advertised as gourmet dining. (It said that on the front of the building so it must have been, right?) I don’t know about that but it was quite fresh and good. The next morning Angel and I had delicious coffee in Jul’s Coffee, a Korean coffee shop at the square where they dropped us off to go shopping. This group apparently does a lot of shopping. Anyway, I found a cute blue bunny crossbody purse for my 8 year old made out of fur that I hope she likes. I then purchased small keychain sized bunnies for all three and some hair accessories for my 8 and 3 year olds. I kept seeing panda bear items at each city since the country is known for them and thought of my 7 year old and wondered if he still likes them or has outgrown them. It hurts so much to be denied contact with two of my grandchildren, perhaps forever. Anyway, back to my account.
For lunch we met 7 of the native residents who were friends of members of our group and it was nice to get to know them. The good and surprising thing about our food was that we had sweet and sour chicken, my favorite Asian dish. I had about given up on having it thinking that it might be an American version of an Asian dish, but it was the real one exactly, down to the aroma. One of the natives seated next to me asked if I liked sweet chicken to which I responded with an enthusiastic “yes.” I’ve noticed that the Asian people are proud of their cuisine and want visitors to enjoy it, also.

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Well, our gate number was just changed so I went shopping a little to spend my native coins. I found some peanuts and M&Ms for my husband and Disney chocolates and Skittles for my grandchildren. Then began the long wait. The waiting area was so packed that I ended up standing, knowing that I’d soon be sitting for a long, long time until we reached Atlanta. After riding the subway bus and climbing a double flight of stairs where a very kind man offered to lift my carry-on bag up the flight of stairs when he saw me struggling. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

I’m now sitting in my Delta Comfort seat seat, exactly 2 rows from First Class which is probably the closest I will ever get to it. A group of 9-11 year old Asian children on an EF Tour just boarded. They are chattering away in their native language and one little girl smiled at me as they passed by. It looks like rather a large group for only 3 chaperones though and reminded me of my ACIS tour trips of the 80’s and of the children I recently taught in the English camps. It’s been 40 minutes since we boarded and the people keep streaming in. I just hope that we don’t have to share a restroom with all of them.

Two experiences on the flight stand out vividly to me. The first one occurred when the attendant brought our first meal. I unwrapped the silverware to eat and realized that it looked somewhat strange to me; not yet foreign but as a distant memory. So I spied the chopsticks, quickly unwrapped them and began eating. As I started feeling full, a sensation I hadn’t felt before on the 3 week trip, I began looking around at the other passengers and noted use of both utensils, a real experience of East meets West or really the other way around. The second event or coincidence happened when I was conversing with a fellow passenger across the aisle. After we had both talked about the reasons for our respective trips, he started telling me about a special city that he and his wife had discovered online for their upcoming retirement residence. When I asked him its name and location, I was quite surprised to discover that it is a neighboring city to the south of our recently adopted city, proving the old adage that it is indeed a SMALL, SMALL WORLD!