Feb 23, 2006
Jun 24, 2009
When we got back to Kuching, I found out that my passport had already arrived in Jersey and was on it's way to DC with the necessary documents compliments of Beth at JnJ for a 1 day express processing. I'm not sure of her position at JnJ, but I think this summer she has the honor of helping contest winners get China visas. She helped me add a flight segment from Chicago to Singapore for me a few days after the application was sent in so that it looked urgent. This meant that instead of the expected 2 week turn around time, I was gonna get it back in about 8 days. It also meant that instead of the expected $200 for the visa, it was going to cost about $300 including expedite fees for a 3d/2n trip to Beijing. They say there is no such thing as free lunch. I guess that applies to free trips as well. I still don't know if I got a visa or not, but I knew that I was going to have to have an address to send my passport back to much earlier than I expected. Somehow I didn't think that the address of: Iban long house in the Sri Aman Division, Sarawak Borneo was going to be a valid delivery address for DHL. The only thing I knew was I would be passing through Miri on the eastern edge of Sarawak near the border of Brunei at some point or another within the next 2 weeks so I had to find an address there to have them send it. Coincidentally, I saw an advert for the Miri Marriott Spa and Resort in a pamphlet. I was feeling a bit haggard after a week of desperately trying to circumvent the Chinese government's attempts to thwart my trip to the Olympics and felt that a couple days of pampering would be good to recharge my batteries that are feeling a bit drained and to soothe my aching body and soul from 2-1/2 years of backpacking. I met an Aussie girl that was going to take pretty much the same route as I was across Sarawak, but her way sounded much easier and would put me in Miri a lot sooner than the back country roads I was thinking of taking across Borneo. She also expressed an interest in living it up a bit when she looked up the website for the Marriott's swim up pool bar. So I booked us 2 nights at the Marriott and asked them to hold a package for me 'til I arrived. I remember another life when my official mailing address was Downtown Marriott 1001 Broadway room 1801. I still see it whenever I run a credit report and smile when I think of how different a time and how different my life was back then. I look forward to a nice comfy bath robe, hotel slippers and sipping cocktails on my balcony overlooking the pool. Sometimes... you just gotta say... what the Bueller! Life is good!