Friday, June 20, 2008

China Day 21: The Horror, The Horror

I planned. I was careful. I carefully rationed my reading material on this trip, and made sure I saved a book for the flight home. In fact, I started the flight with about 1.33 books since I wasn't completely through with the second-to-last one.

I finished that book, reading in a leisurely manner, and scrabbled in my case for the last book.

That was when I realized it. I was on a plane, with no reachable source of reading matter for the next thirteen hours or so, with a book that was Book Three in a trilogy and I hadn't read Books One and Two.

It was almost too much for me. In a desperate grab for diversion I read the back of Dad's ramen noodle snack packet. I watched two of the in-flight movies (29 Dresses and Horton Hears a Who) on the 13" TV hanging from the ceiling twelve rows ahead, but Jumper and Fool's Gold defeated even my ability to endure. I'm not even going to talk about the six episodes of Hannah Montana they put on in there somewhere; I'm trying to convince myself they were a sensory-deprivation nightmare. Fortunately my iPod batteries lasted an unexpectedly long time; I love modern technology.

Somehow I survived. When we reached O'Hare, only fifteen minutes behind schedule, we waved goodbye to the eight other travelers from our tour group (once our luggage had arrived at the baggage claim, having apparently walked there on its own). We staggered out to the gate and felt joy! My sister in law Kristen was there and took us right home, where she fed us and let us show off souvenirs and tell stories until we fell asleep on the sofa in mid-story. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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