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In Transit

Have you any idea how very long it takes to get to Lhasa from San Francisco? It takes, one forty-five minute 3:00am shuttle ride, a four hour wait at the airport, a two hour flight to Vancouver for a six hour layover before an eleven hour flight to Beijing, an hour in line waiting for a taxi, followed by an hour taxi ride into the city, one overnight stay, then another one hour long taxi ride back to the airport, three hours as you check in and go through customs, a four hour flight to Chengdu with a two hour connection, before you are back in the same exact plane you just evacuated, a two hour flight into the Lhasa airport and finally a one hour bus ride into the city. Somewhere along the line you loose track of all sense of time and space and you are weathered down into a state of placid servitude to the transportation authorities. Go to the left line, pass through those gates and sit there until you hear your flight being called. Yes sir.

If you are interested in squeezing some value from the experience, you can look at it as an exercise in patience and a test of your resolve to get to your location. Usually on one of these escapades, I am determined to get to my destination on the way there, but once I am there I just let events unfold and go with the flow. It usually works out well, with the exception of the few cases where I am being run out of town or I have to bribe some corrupt government official to stop harassing me for no legal reason. In this case I was just passing through the Chengdu airport, looking forward to coming home to my family. What a great feeling.

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