What a long trip! I went to the airport in Taiwan at 4:30AM, flew to Hong Kong, took another plane to Newark, flew from there to Boston, and then finally rode a 3 hour bus to get to the Dartmouth campus.
Hong Kong Airport
This was the first time I’ve ever gone through Hong Kong. That was interesting. People’s Mandarin sounded a little bit different that what I was used to, and so did their English. Despite being a primarily Cantonese speaking population, I didn’t meet a single person in the airport who couldn’t speak Mandarin, and English skills were bit more widespread than what you’d find in the airport in Taiwan, too. Also, it was interesting to see simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese signage peacefully coexisting all over the place. It’s not that signs had both, necessarily. Some signs were in traditional and other completely different signs were in simplified… even inside the same bathroom.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen TSA or Homeland Security officers to the best of my knowledge. Contrary to what I’ve read on the internet, they were very polite. I didn’t see any tasings, hear any officials screaming at random people or see any mothers forced to drink from their babies’ bottles, either. In fact, the Homeland Security I interacted with were the most courteous security guys I can ever recall dealing with. There must have been some kind of sensitivity training.
I showed up at 10pm, utterly exhausted, and Sonia picked me up at the bus stop. I was delighted to see snow and the natural beauty of the trees and hills all around me.