May 30:  Shanghai to Los Angeles

I left the hotel around 9:30am.

This was one of our favorite Engrish signs in the hotel elevator.

I had "breakfast" at KFC across the street, then took the subway, which is very easy to use, for part of the trip to the airport.  At Longyang station I gott off and took the maglev the rest of the way.  It's the world's only maglev line in commercial use.  It started out like a regular train, gradually started to outpace the cars on the adjacent freeway, then really kicked in.  I felt my face vibrating as if I was on a rollercoaster or spaceship.  I'm not sure if my jowls were flapping, or if I have jowls.

I snapped this when the train was at peak speed.  In dog years that works out to 268 mph.  Magnetic levitation is quite a rush.

Let's Go said there's a Y90 departure tax that you have to pay after checking in (like in Bangkok), but apparently that's outdated info.  FYI.

After changing my money back at the airport I had Y8.70 in change left over, and a Coke from the machine was Y8.  Perfect.  I tried to chat up a white chick at the machine, surprising myself.  She was oblivious.

There was a group of 42 American college students on the plane returning from Tibet.  After 9 days in China, that was too many hotties for me, too soon.  Although there were more white guys on this flight, the effect of the hotties probably gave me that extra extension so I could once again claim Biggest Wang On The Plane.  The Chinese passengers must have been absolutely yellow with envy.  (Yes!  I'm adding that to the standup bit.)

When we landed at LAX the captain turned off the seatbelt sign far too early.  By the time he turned it back on, everyone was up and about, getting their overhead bags.  It's a miracle the flight attendants got everyone back in their seats.

I got back to my apartment at 2pm (after leaving Shanghai at 2:55pm the same day), did some unpacking, then went out for Chinese food, because I hadn't had any of the good stuff in a while.  Apparently the Coke machine thing was no fluke, because a hottie came into the Chinese place and I struck up a conversation, and about 3 minutes later got her number.  I got back into my car and looked at my hands, as if I was David Banner just having changed back from the Hulk, wondering "my god, what did I just do?"  I think China changed me.  Trips always interrupt my patterns and habits temporarily.  Maybe it stuck this time.

This comment should have appeared several days ago, but I just jotted it down today, so it goes here:  Chinese people spit a lot.  Not just regular spitting, but hocking loogies in public and spitting them right in front of you.  They have a big loogie problem over there.  I've never had a loogie in need of hocking in my life.

The new WWE CD came out when I was gone, and my first night back I downloaded "King of Kings", which I've adopted as my new theme song, in light of this new attitude I apparently have.

End weight = 160.5, though on June 5 as I type this it's down further to 159.5.  I got used to eating small meals and the day after I got back I found I could consume only 2/3 of a sub at Subway, which previously I could finish.

The following day I was shopping at Ralphs and found that they're now selling Tsingtao.  I couldn't access the alcohol content though.

The tour ends here.