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November 10th-12th

Kunming beckons:

cutting my working holiday short

Why is Odyssey 23 becoming Odyssey 14?

As you know, I orginally planned and prepared for this working holiday to stretch from October 29th through November 21st, a total of 23 days. 

What's the name of that bias? My reasons for cutting my working holiday short...

We humans have a bias where we dedide to do something and then we make up reasons afterwards to justify it. I may be doing that, but here are three of the reasons that I've decided to make my 23-day working holiday into a 14-day working holiday.

  1. My wanderlust is gone. Instead I'm feeling a bit homesick.

  2. I'd made an assumption, which turned out to not be true, that I could easily get some interpreters to go out and have fun with me every afternoon in Jianshui. Without an interpreter, it wasn't as much fun going out in the afternoon every day.

  3. Returning home soon, I could still consider in a "working holiday in Kunming" and get into some backlog projects I am excited about.

Using VooV, I talked with Heidi and also Riki, my longevity-research listener that I was still working with every weekday, about this idea to help ensure that I was unlikely to regret this change of plans I was considering.


Heidi wanted to continue to work remotely from her home until November 22nd, which actually worked out better for me to have more time for the "backlog" projects. And Riki said she would be happy to return to doing housekeeping on Monday the 15th, which would be great because I would be "messing up the house" again.

Heidi buys my train ticket...I'm going home!


An unexpected gift

When I negotiated the super low price for the hotel (87 rmb per night or $13.60 USD), it was conditional upon paying up front all in cash. Even though I was leaving 9 days early, I didn't expect to get any of that refunded. 

However, when I shared my decision to return to Kunming with the hotel manager, and after he checked with his boss, he insisted on returning almost the full amount for the nine days left where I would not be using the hotel room. They did this regardless of the fact that the hotel was almost completely empty at this time of year, especially during the weekdays. It had almost felt as if they were keeping the hotel open just for me!

I was so touched and grateful.  Here is the refund he gave me by wechat.


And I'd like to share two great photos before I begin to pack up...


I used up some stuff, but I also bought some new stuff...will it all fit in my three pieces of luggage?!


Exciting stuff to do in Kunming before November 22nd

I created a brainstorm list of the exciting things I would like to spend some extra time on once I get back to Kunming.


Some foodstuffs I bought in Jianshui that I won't be using

I'm leaving these for the hotel room-service lady (she's been great) to use herself, to give to someone else, or to throw away.


My last meal in Jianshui >>>

I splurge on my super favorite noodle dish they serve in Jianshui, which includes their special white vegetables.


Before I leave, I have to find the name of that music!

I shopped many times in the local supermarket, just two minutes from my hotel. Every time they were playing the same "elevator" music. I rarely like background music. I prefer silence. But I loved this song and music!

Using my telephone translator, I asked a service lady in the supermarket to help me find the name of the song. She called someone and then was able to pull up the song on her mobile phone. 

"Hello Hello" by Mari Ferrari! I now have it on my Spotify music-I-love list.


All packed and in the taxi >>>

Surprisingly, I was able to get everything snuggly inside my three pieces of luggage. 

And I'm on my way in the taxi to the train station with time to spare.


It's always fun going through extra security >>>

Just because I'm an ex-pat plus the fact that COVID security is tighter for foreigners, it always interests me how the security guards are a bit challenged in following the procedures required for people like me, especially in places away from the bigger cities like Kunming.

But they do their best, they're respectful about it, and we eventually get through it together. Since I allow extra time for it, it's never a problem for me.


I become successful at contraband >>>

I bought a knife in Jianshui. Very inexpensive, but I like it. Almost always before, when I had something packed that was on the contraband list, the Xray people caught it. But I decided to take a chance. Worst case, they will just take it away from me. Success: they either missed it or "let it through" since I'm such a nice guy. LOL.


Super tech & organized >>>

All the passengers are lined up and ready to use their ID cards to pass through onto the train platform. My passport won't work on those machines so there's a special line just for me where they can scan my passport.


Seatmate asks for a photo together using the wechat translator >>>

This seatmate and I were wechating back and forth. Finally, he asks for a photo together. I always feel honored when I'm asked this, although I know a lot has to do with the color of my skin which means nothing about me.


Loving the city lights >>>

The line at the taxi stand was 40-minutes long, probably because of rush hour and the colder weather. Dressed warmly, I enjoyed slowly moving and watching people. In the taxi home, I marveled at the city lights.


After 11,430 steps, two taxis, some escalators and elevators, and a high-speed train, I'm home! >>>

Even though I had no reason to think my Mac Mini would not come through with flying colors, I was gratified to see the Apple logo on the screen as the system powered up.


I was excited to leave my home two weeks ago and thrilled to be back home today.

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