Saturday, May 02, 2009

Why I love connecting in Hong Kong

Only because I can get great zhong zi (steamed rice dumplings )between flights! Oh, and free wifi. Liveblogging it here, in 1 hr, off for a mega-long flight to Chicago. Good thing I was up 24 hrs the night before, should be able to doze out most of the next flight...

My 36 hours in Singapore

A completely successful 36 hour trip to Sngapore - got my food cravings done, spices purchased, friends visited, but didn't quite buy all the clothes I was looking for. Was very fortunate to meet up with my classmate's fiance who was doing the same routing, but with a 5 hour stay in S'pore before returning back to the US! It was fun though, stayed w/ my INSEAD friends until about midnight, met Sen's cousins and brothers briefly before going to the airport, met my classmate's fiance at midnight at the airport, and spent 4 hours in the S'pore late night life... eating food at the hawker centres (and finishing up my 'to-eat list') and checking out the 24-hour Mustafa Centre to buy some Indian home goods.

Overall a great trip, but definitely too short. I really missed being in S'pore, wish I could have spent more time, but every minute here was definitely time well spent.

Back in the US by Sunday night...

Edit: And a link to my friend's blog, for her perspective of those 4-5 hours...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Mileage Run

I'm doing one of those crazy mileage runs, quick overseas trip that makes sense due to the cost of the ticket, and/or mileage bonus in return, going from Minneapolis to Singapore for an extended weekend. Plus, I needed to pick up a few things from the grocery store, and was kinda "homesick" for Singapore.

Interestingly, this is concurrent with the flu threat. I'm currently at Narita Tokyo airport, where the Japanese Ministry of Health has really gone overboard on trying to protect people from the flu. Apparently, as a part of new procedures, planes from the US are held up at the gate, while officials come in with thermal imaging cameras to check people's temperatures (at least non-invasively), ask you to fill out forms about your health, where you've been, etc, and requiring everybody to wear masks as they exit the plane. That was really an interesting experience, considering masks are actually not that effective in preventing you from getting the flu. (although they are more effective in preventing people from spreading it), but yet at the airport, there's nothing keeping you from taking off the masks, and there are plenty of people who aren't wearing them. (probably from non-US flights).

Just to put it in scale, regular flu kills something like 30k people in the US every year, and we're seeing this reaction where there's been only 10-20?