The drive to JFK was smooth. I’m glad Matt suggested the one way car rental idea, much better and cheaper than the other options I’d researched for getting me from their house to the airport. I left the house exactly at 6am like planned and got the the airport exactly at 9am as planned, 3hrs before my international flight. Which was good because the computers were down and they were checking everyone in by hand.
Eventually the computers got back up and check-in sped up, but in the end the flight was still delayed in taking off by about an hour. I thought I’d make a dozen phone calls in the hour or two waiting to board the plane, but there was no service in the airport terminal. I like a dozen others walked around the terminal with cell phone in hand looking like was tracking a radio collared animal.
When we’d finally boarded and reached the runway we turned around. This was the second time in two week I had a flight make it to the runway then turn around. The first was flying back from Long Beach when someone “didn’t feel well”. This time is was something wrong with a “panel” in the cockpit. Anyway, that added about another hour and a half delay but I had better cell phone reeception sitting on the plane than in the terminal so I made couple calls. Then finally… I left US soil.
So here I sit on the plane, next to a really nice guy, also named Jon, whose been to Asia many many times. He’s gone both in his youth as a back packer as well as his years have started to add up. It’s great to her his stories about India, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I can’t help but think that I hope many years from now I have similar stories to share some day.. perhaps ones that don’t involve broken legs in a bus accident though.
Finally I’m done updating my blog, at least with the typing, not the uploading. It seem appropriate that at this very instant I’m almost directly over the north pole and crossing to the “other” side of the world. The non-stop flight from JFK to BKK flys almost due north, over Quebec, over the pole, then south over China and into Thailand. Flight time is 16 hours 35 minutes and roughly 8600 miles. We were originally scheduled to land at 5pm local time, but now it looks like it’ll be closer to 7:30pm. Which is why I’m glad I already booked a room at a hostel for the night. I’m also assuming I’ll get some daytime views of the Himalayas out the window of the plane as we fly over (yeah!!!).