September 02, 2006

36 hours left before Malaysia, Australia, and Japan. The Tentative Schedule.

There's been more stress concerning this trip than any other I've taken. Part of this is because I have been "out" of my apartment in Europe for quite a while, and part of this is because of all the extra work I made for myself.

It's important to have all my apartment stuff settled while I'm gone, and I just learned I might be moving with my roomates the week I return from this trip. This meant, get back from Brno and pay the rent for September, and also, because I'll be out and about during that month, pay the rent for October, too! I lose money hand over fist when it comes to paying rent. The new place my roomates have scouted is large, bright, and marginally cheaper. Those are all good things. My room now is very small and the apartment is rather dark, so moving is a good idea, but I wish it didn't have to be right when I return from a month on the road. I don't want to be thinking about it.

Here's a little bit about my travel plans:

Sept. 4, Monday -
Out of the house at 6AM (or earlier, if I'm ready). Take the bus to the airport in BCN and fight the morning crowd. Get to London at 10:15, and somehow make it through customs and security to make my next flight, at 12:00. This doesn't sound too bad, except that I'm arriving in Ternimal 2 and I need to fly from Terminal 3. If any of you know Heathrow, you'll understand why this is bothering me. From there, it's a 12.5 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Due to the time change I'll be arriving Monday night. I'm not sure about the London interchange, because everything has to be lined up "just-right" in order for me to make my flights. My flight out of BCN has to be on time, and things in Spain are rarely on time. Two, having a US passport can make things difficult when travelling through Europe, because you always get stuck in the long Customs/Immigration lines with everyone else who's not from the E.U. and who want to get in. I lost my team at one of those points - they all whisked through the E.U. side, and I just kept on waiting, and waiting. Those lines always take forever, because they're really looking for people who are sneaking around, and it's cost me a flight before in Germany. On the plus side, I'm not travelling alone. Jose Luis Cardoso, and his girlfriend, Racquel, will be travelling alongside me.

Sept. 11, Monday -
Up early the day after the race. Same thing, early morning flight out of Malaysia to Melbourne, duration 7.5 hours. Lose time with the time change and once again, arrive Monday night. Not sure how we're getting to Phillip Island just yet.

Sept. 18, Monday -
Yes! A Monday afternoon flight. I'm not sure if this is because we're spending the morning leaving Phillip Island and getting back to Melbourne, but I think so. It's more than 8 hours to return from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, and then two hours after I land in Malaysia, I'm on a plane to Tokyo, Japan. That flight is just a tick over 7 hours.

I hadn't realized how much travel time was involved with these three "Asia" races, but just looking at my itinerary, I can see that getting from Melbourne to Tokyo is going to be longer than getting from Munich to San Francisco. Except, I get a smoke break in Malaysia.

Another thing that is complicating the journey is the tighter restrictions in place in England at the moment. There are new rules for what you can and can't bring on the flights, and it looks something like this:

"Customers travelling from the UK will be able to take onboard as hand baggage one cabin bag no bigger than 45cm x 35cm x 16cm, the size of a small laptop bag.

Cabin baggage must not contain any cosmetics, toiletries, liquids, drinks, or cigarette lighters.

Nothing must be carried in pockets."

There's more stuff, too, about not packing anything in your checked in luggage, because they're going through everything and it's slowing everyone down at the airports. I wonder how many teams are flying through London on their way out? All of this does nothing to diminish my enthusiasm and
excitement for the races, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen.

Be Thankful for What You've Got

Oh! I also put some new music up in the Extras Section, so if want, check them out.

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