I stated before how everyone has a place in the world that is just perfect for themâ€¦ well, the corollary to that is that everyone probably also has a place where everything is terrible for them. And, mine is, and has been confirmed again to be, Camerica.
Most people in Camerica donâ€™t realize what a horrible place it has really turned into. In contrast to a lot of places in Asia now, in particular, Camerica seems like a poor, socialist, run-down backwater. Case in point, I was travelling on United Airlines, an airline whose service and quality would never be seen in most of Asiaâ€¦ in fact, I can only think of one airline I have taken in the past that is worse, and that is Cubana Airlines.
The flight from Santo Domingo to Miami got in late due to some computer malfunction. It took about an hour to get through all the customs people in Miami, with all their fingerprinting and pictures etc. By that time I barely had any time to spare to catch my connection to Denver. I ran through the decrepit, falling-apart airport in Miami, and all the various line-ups along the way. At least 5-10 people mustâ€™ve stopped me to check my passport and boarding card and stare at me with a look of, â€œI know you have done something wrong, I just donâ€™t know what, yetâ€?.
I had to check back in through security to get to my flight. The line-up was about 45 minutes long. So I missed my connection by a wide margin.
After being in 2 or 3 more line-ups I finally was put on a connection to Dallas, after which I would catch a connection to Denver. I had an hour before I had to be at the gate for the Dallas flight, but still almost missed that connection too as the security line-up was still about 45 minutes long.
But, I finally got through and got to Dallas. But then the flight from Dallas to Denver was delayed because the archaic Boeing that United had was leaking oil and they had to repair that. We sat on the tarmac for another hour for that.
Then I finally got to Denver and the taxi driver ripped me off.
Denver was actually not too terrible. It was kinda niceâ€¦ a lot of the people were very nice and the nightlife was not too bad.
HOWEVER, it still pales in comparison with anywhere in Asia or Latin America. After being in Denver for two days for a conference I looked at a bunch of optionsâ€¦ LAâ€¦ Las Vegasâ€¦ meh. Then I snappedâ€¦
I booked a 30 hour, 3 connection flight to Bangkok! But my trials and tribulations in the â€œland of the freeâ€? were far from over.
I headed to the Denver airport and was promptly put through a special security screening. All sorts of things I hadnâ€™t even seen before, including something that blew air all over you. Then they swabbed my stuff and put it into one of their machines and, yet again, same as in Israel, sirens went offâ€¦ although they didnâ€™t over-react as much as the idiot Israelisâ€¦ apparently I always have some sort of explosive residue on my stuff, somehow. It took a good 20 minutes of answering questions like, â€œhave you blown anything up recently?â€? before I finally got through.
Then I got on the plane, arrived in Vancouver and, OF COURSE, was sent to the back room. I practically recognize most of the people back there now I have been there so many times. Luckily this time I was being searched by a pretty cute, young Indian girl, who didnâ€™t give me too much troubleâ€¦ so, after 20 minutes more of searching I finally made it through Canadian customs.
I had a 6 hour stop-over in Vancouver so I went downtown and ate some sushi at my favorite sushi place in the world, Bistro Sakana in Yaletown, then headed to the casino where I won enough in just a few hours to pay for my entire flightâ€¦
Then I hopped aboard a 13 hour flight, in the middle seat of one of those 5 seat rows! And then from HK to Bangkokâ€¦ Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhâ€¦ as grueling as that trip was I already feel better than Iâ€™ve felt in a whileâ€¦
My plan now is to hang around Asia for the next few months and then return to the Caribbean and Latin America in early January and complete a lot of my previously posted itinerary, prior to probably returning back to Asia again around March.