Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'M BACK!!!!!

Hiking in Yosemite - August 2006

Hello all you lovely people.
Yes I'm back - back in the USA and back in Blogland.
I've missed you all very much.

Life has been - ah, a little discombobulated lately - hard to believe I know.
I've been enjoying being back home - it's been nearly a month now - wow!
Time flies here in San Diego - it didn't in Taipei! I've been spending quality time with my friends and it's been really wonderful. I am blessed for sure. I'll get into the details soon.
We'll be here in the US until February '07, then we'll return to Taipei for a good 5 years. It's a little scary - but exciting too.

Anjoli and I had a rude awakening when we landed at LAX though. I didn't sleep on the plane, so I had gone at least 24 hours w/no sleep. Our luggage was delayed, so, after going through customs, I knew we probably wouldn't make the connecting flight to San Diego.
Anjoli and I struggled with our luggage - we had 4 huge suitcases and 2 backpacks. My poor daughter had to push her own cart up this ramp after customs and she was having a really hard time. She's only 8 years old. This (older American) woman looked at her and rather than offer to help, LAUGHED and added: "maybe you have too much luggage!" Of course, I couldn't go into the details about WHY we had so much luggage, shuffling between continents as it were, so I just gave her the meanest "if looks could kill" glare.
THEN - when we get to the exit, I was (mis)directed to take my 2 carts of luggage to terminal 7 - which felt, at that point, like a 10 mile uphill hike. I was running with my cart, yelling at Anjoli to hurry for fear of missing the flight. She breaks down, crying, so I try my best to pull both carts. I asked a couple of TSA guys for help, and they flatly refused. I know it's not their job, but, DO YOU THINK they'd help a mom and her kid out, just spare me a minute or two of their time? Ha!
SO we reach terminal 7 - and it's the WRONG terminal - turns out it's terminal 4.
Now I have reached the breaking point. I frantically looked for SOMEONE, ANYONE to help me wheel Anjoli's cart to Terminal 4. No one would help me. So I started screaming: "I HATE THIS COUNTRY!! WHY DID I COME BACK???!! WHY WON'T ANYONE HELP ME? WHY IS EVERYONE SO SELFISH???"
It's really strange, don't you think that kind of behavior would set off a red flag? Well, maybe not - terrorists tend to be a bit more subtle when they're about to blow up an airport! (This was way before the London terrorist plot was uncovered,btw).
Anyway, after one last futile plea for help from a female American Airlines employee, I figured out where to check in, but right before I did, an ASIAN man came toward me, gesturing that he was willing to help. Can you beat that? I thanked him, and was probably near tears and shaking at that point, but I got to the elevator and we checked in. We WERE too late for the connecting flight, but it was only an hour wait.
I yelled at the poor American Airlines employee at the check-in line, and I feel badly in retrospect. "Nobody will help me - including YOU!!" I said. I win drama queen of the year, I think!
One funny note, and this was a first: on the shuttle to the commuter gate we rode with mostly Asian passengers, and I noticed one Asian woman USING HER VIDEO CAMERA SCREEN as a mirror to fix her hair and make-up. (I'm not being racist, btw! I thought it was very clever actually. I felt more comfortable surrounded by Asians at that point!).
Well, the whole fiasco was a lesson for me. Sujoy called me on my cell twice from Taipei, but I wouldn't talk to him, because I am bull headed and was in a tizzy. BUT if I HAD listened to him, I would have checked my luggage back in at customs, NOT at the terminal (I have no idea why I was told to do that - AND she told me the wrong terminal, but you don't have to bring your luggage to the terminal. I thought that was the case, but wasn't sure about LAX).
The moral is: I shouldn't be so arrogant, I should listen to Sujoy, my darling husband, who is, (gulp) almost always right. URGH!!! He tried to tell me to go to Terminal 4, but I was too mental at the time to believe him.
This is the worst of my return to the US.
Thankfully, it gets better, as you'll see...