Back and still here
Turned on my laptop when I got home because I needed to work for the rest of the day, and in a few minutes I was hit by over 200 messages in my twitter stream, and a whole bunch of people who I haven't spoken to in years pinged me on messenger saying that they'd just heard the news and wanted to know if I was okay. This was all rather strange for me since I'd been in the air for the last 14 hours, and without internet access for another 10 hours before that.
Slowly reality hit as I went through the entire stream on twitter. Yahoo!'s layoffs that started over a month ago in Australia, and then moved to Europe had finally hit the US. Friends, team members and most of the brickhouse were hit. Called up a few of the people I knew, and then had to dial in to a meeting at the office that basically announced what was already on the internets.
Soon after the meeting, my head turned lead and I dropped into bed only to wake up several hours later to the phone ringing. Actually wake up is probably the wrong term, since I have no idea how the phone call proceeded. All I knew was that the next time my eyes opened it was almost 2am and I was terribly hungry.
Woke up and looked around. There was a bunch of food, but my milk had gone bad, so cereal was out of the question. Then got down to paying bills and doing a bunch of housekeeping. I finally went back to bed around 6:30am, and woke up at 10:30 to head to work. Yeah, I'm now back to my normal timezone.
The previous day was spent in Hong Kong. My flight from Bombay was at 4am, and I got in to HK at about 11am on the 9th, and headed to the Hong Kong office. Had a meeting and demo sort of thing with the performance guy out there. In the evening I met up with couch surfers at someone's house at some place in Kowloon (I cannot remember the name). We then headed to a beach for a barbecue which went on till about 1:45am. There were 12 of us or so, and it was great fun. I was actually really sleepy when I met these people, but one of them took me to a chinese place for a drink mixture of Coffee and milk Tea, and that woke me up in no time.
The barbecue was pretty crazy. The guys had picked up live shrimp and a whole bunch of other meats and vegetables. The shrimp were already dead by the time we cooked them, but someone said that one of them moved in the bag.
After the barbecue, we took a minibus to John's place (also in Kowloon) where I spent the night. The bus was doing about 120Kph on the roads. The speed limit was 70, and his speedometer was beeping like crazy. This is what james_morris had warned me about. We finally got to the last stop from there, and then took a cab the next few blocks to his place... and then, at 3am, we got stuck in a traffic jam. Not for long, but all the same.
Coincidentally, John was the organiser of the Open Everything HK meetup, and has a whole bunch of things in common with me.
The next morning, I headed over to Lantau to visit the Po Lin monastery. The cable car was under maintenance, so that was a little disappointing, but I took the bus over. Had lunch there and then rushed off to the airport for my flight to San Francisco.
When I checked in, they told me that the flight was at gate 63. I then went to the lounge for a shower and headed off to gate 63, which is at the far end of the airport. Had to take the airport train, and I reached there with just a few minutes to spare before the time printed on my boarding pass, and there was no one there. Got closer and noticed one guy who lazily said, "San Francisco? moved to gate eight", which was back near where I'd checked in.
This time I just walked the whole way back along the moving walkways. There was additional security at the gate (they have this for all US bound flights). This security involved opening my bag, peeking inside and saying, "Just clothes?". When I answered yes, they let me pass.
Walked through the gate, but there was no plane in sight. This was a parking lot for buses. Got into bus number 9, and waited.
And waited some more. A few more people got in, and then we drove, and drove and drove, all the way back to gate 63, and then past and onto the tarmac where our plane was waiting. Everything was smooth from then on. I slept a bit on the flight, but not enough to keep me coherent on landing.