Our journey begins…

3:45 AM

WAY TOO EARLY!

This is what the car clock read when we left the house on our first trip to China.  And notice that temperature?  I mean, really, 85 degrees at 3:25 in the morning?  That is just wrong.  This SC heat is really getting old.  I’m almost looking forward to the frigid weather of  northern China, at least until I have to experience it, of course.  -8.5° C is really a foreign concept right now (besides the fact that I’m horrible with conversions and have no idea what that translates to in Fahrenheit except that it’s less than 32° and COLD). But still, when it is 85° in the middle of the night and so humid you can hardly breath, cold weather is sounding good right now.

Too Early for airport staff
We met a shuttle driver in the company parking lot at 3:45 a.m. When we arrived at the airport we didn’t see a single soul.  Apparently 4 a.m. is too early for airport staff also.  (Can you tell I’m a little bitter about the time?)  There was no one at the baggage counter but we had already printed our boarding passes at home and didn’t have any luggage to check. (Yeah, I’m low maintenance. I can travel to China with just a carry-on.  I won’t mention that it must have weighed 50 pounds.)  So we headed on up toward the terminal and when we got to the security area it was also empty.  So at this point, I’m really bitter.  We ended up sitting in this lounge area until almost 5 before the security and airport staff arrived to work and all the while I’m fantasizing about the extra hour I could have had in my own bed, and all the dreams I could have dreamed but never will.

But the good news is…

the flight is on time, even if that time is way too early. (Did I mention I was bitter about the time?)

And we’re off!  Heading to our first stop… Detroit.

Detroit Airport:
So I didn’t expect the interesting stuff to begin while we were still in the States but apparently, when you’re from Iva even Detroit can feel like a foreign country.

The first bit of oddness is what I like to call “Willy Wonka’s Psychedelic Tunnel of Doom“.

Seriously, this place was freaking weird.

You travel down this long tunnel on a moving sidewalk.  The walls and ceiling were mirrored and the whole time the lights were constantly changing colors and every now and then they’d blink on and off like lightning.  I thought I was going to pass out. It was an epileptic’s nightmare. I don’t know how they haven’t been sued over this place.  Luckily, Willy Wonka’s face never appeared like I kept expecting it to.  I really would have passed out.  I always hated that part.

Finally, we made it to our gate and got settled in for the 3 hour wait…  Oh, and I finally got some coffee at this point and things started getting better by the minute.

To be continued…

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