After eating twice (chicken with mushrooms and a bowl of spicy noodles), watching one silly Chinese movie (Back Dancers), reading one chapter (The Secret Life of Your Unborn Child), and a long nap, I woke up with a start and thought, I haven’t posted yet!
No worries – I’ve just gone through all 100 emails in my inbox and you know what? I still have six hours left in the air to Taipei.

I arrived at LAX two hours in advance of my international flight, but I think I might be operating on old information; two hours was not enough to get through the horrendous lines. The entire two hours was spent waiting in one line after another: checking in, getting baggage x-rayed, and then the gate check. It was also time-consuming even just following the lines down the packed throughways, just to find the end of the line. I made it to the gate only a couple minutes before the scheduled take-off, but apparently so many other people were caught in those grisly lines that our departure was delayed by an hour.

I had a near cardiac arrest though while checking in. Turned out that my massive suitcase was fine, well within weight, but that my carry-on was over by 7 kilos (~15 pounds!) I had thrown my journal, a few unread New Yorkers, and a book into my carry-on, mistakenly believing that it would be the regular suitcase that would be the problem. Then as I was shuffling my December ArtForum into my purse and slinging my laptop over my shoulder I glanced down at my passport that I was clutching in my hand and momentarily considered putting it on the counter. But then that ominous voice in my head boomed, “An American passport is the most valuable document in the world,” and I didn’t.

I got my roller carry-on down to a passable 7.8 kilos and made my way over to line 2: the interminable x-ray line. I hunched over, balancing my bags and looked for my passport so it would be in hand. I searched, increasingly more panicked, every folded bit of paper in my purse. No passport. I searched again, and then a third time. I looked back at the counter where I had been tempted to lay my passport. Nothing.

I paused a minute and then started rifling through the magazines I had relocated to my main suitcase. Losing my passport was the one thing that would really prevent me from going to Bangkok tonight.

Then I knelt (no I didn’t pray) and opened my carry-on. Sweet relief. There it was, lying among computer cords and spare underwear.

Just a clarification though, the clothes I brought for this trip would have fit in my carry-on; the big suitcase is for the family import/export business.

I am importing:

Many Burt’s Bees products including

1. dusting powder
2. apricot baby oil
3. burts baby body lotion.
4. 2 lip shimmers (colour: watermelon)
5. baby soap
6. baby shampoo
7. 4 regular beeswax lip balms

Gifts
From Songbae: blank for Sue, blank for Joss, blank for Nabi Grace and ditto again from my family.

General household items:
2 boxes of quart-size zip lock baggies
dry ingredients for chocolate chip cookies
2 boxes of MACK’s pillow soft ear plugs
pasta
2 CD books of movies
December’s unread ArtForum and New Yorkers

and finally,
2 bottles of red wine

I also brought several pairs of pants that need hemming. That may seem ridiculous since I know how to sew and I own a sewing machine, but I love how well my pants were hemmed last time I was in Bangkok (for a buck).

The export products remain to be determined, but will likely include a big fake Coach purse for Bella.

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