Not only back in Minnesota, just in time for the turbulant battle between summer and fall, but already driving, on the right hand side of the road nonetheless. Scary, no?
The return to the United States was hardly uneventful. From Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to Hong Kong to Anchorage to Chicago to Minneapolis, an over thirty hour commute, expensive coffee in several airports, sleeping at random times in uncomfortable seats, and the most amazing ariel veiw of the sun rising over the glacial mountains of Southern Alaska.
We had to make an emergency, unscheduled landing in Anchorage, Alaska, because of a medical emergency on the plane. Already late, we circled around the storm clouds in Chicago for a while. And then, the moment of greatest apprehension – all that landing and taking off and shaking in turbulence high above the hard ground, that’s no problem. After studying, traveling, making friends and venturing into some very… interesting places in communist, Islamic, and various pariah states, my biggest worry was making it through customs at the airport in a paranoid post-September 11 America. A little part of me, to be honest, was fascinated with the romantic thought of being considered “dangerous” by the authorities. My dreams of a life on the run were crushed, however – no strip searches, no questioning under a bare light bulb, my bags were not even checked. I did have to take my shoes off to walk through the medal detector, however…
My original connecting flight to Minneapolis having long left O’Hare, United Airlines did a good job getting me on the next flight, and my dear mother picked me up at the Linburg terminal at the Minneapolis/ St. Paul airport at one on Friday morning.
After so many places, so many first trips out of strange airports into stranger cities, the first breath of damp Minnesota air is just as memorable as anything.