I left the USA 5:30 AM on Friday and arrived at the apartment 8:03 PM (8:03 AM EST) on Sunday.
Why so long a journey?
Fly to Atlanta. Five hours wait for a flight to Tokyo. At Tokyo, three or four hours wait for a flight to Hong Kong. Land in Hong Kong around 10:30 PM on Saturday, HKT. EST is 10:30 AM. No flight to where I want to go until 4:35 PM Sunday from Hong Kong.
Next morning, I try for an earlier departure. A 7:00 bus to Shenzhen with the usual exit and entry delays at the border, and another delay finding the SUV to take me to the Shenzhen airport. By the time I get there, it’s too late to make the 10:10 AM flight, and, contrary to what the Chinese airfare websites say, there are no hourly flights from Shenzhen to my destination. So, I sit and wait in Shenzhen’s no-free-wifi, moldy-smelling, fast-moving-roaches roach-infested airport, which looks like its ceilings need cleaning, until boarding time at 3:35 PM.
The plane lifts off somewhere around 4:35 PM and lands around 6:00 PM. There’s a short wait for luggage, then a 20 RMB ride on the airport bus into the city. Upon disembarkation, there is a long wait for a 15 minute taxi ride to the apartment. When I enter the front door, it is Sunday, 8:03 PM. I know because my iPhone was in my hand and lit up.
My body can’t and doesn’t want to do this anymore. This is my last year in China.