Flying to China

March 16

I’m afraid I will be lost or robbed, but not that afraid. I left my copy of Wired magazine somewhere in the airport.  Hopefully that fulfills my quota for things lost or stolen today!

Flight time is two hours. I think I’m sitting next to a Chinese movie star. I wonder if he wants to share my sesame bar. The man on his left speaks English. He gives me his cell phone number in case I find trouble in Kunming. He also seems worried that I will be lost or robbed and is concerned that I am travelling without a chaperone.

“Very challenging!” he warns.

The flight attendants make several announcements, and I listen for “food” or “meal,” but the accents are thick- sometimes Scottish(?!) and sometimes Chinese. I discern “joyriding” and “membership.” This does not bode well!

I met a Canadian at the gate who has been to China a few times before. He is a perpetual traveler. Says he had to leave North America because he couldn’t stand it anymore. Then he told me about the tar sands project in Alberta which will strip mine an area the size of Florida and deplete what remains of Canada’s natural gas reserves in only two years. He says Canada will sell the U.S. the world’s dirties oil in exchange for the world’s most laughable currency (his words). When his friends visit the tar sands, they fall to their knees and weep. I suggest that the pipeline interferes with aquifers in the U.S. Maybe it won’t be built? He doesn’t think this will make any difference.

He also says no one in Kunming speaks English.

I am in a good mood anyway.

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