Posted From Departure Gate

Previously on ‘Simpson’s Paradox’:
Passing my HSK, Taiwan runs on Dunkin’s, teaching more, and .

Now the post:

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Taipei for a month to teach a class.

When I originally found this position, it seemed like everything was in a good place to take a short posting abroad. I’ve been subbing and teaching short-term classes for about a year, so it seemed like I’d just not accept any Boston teaching assignments for the time I’m traveling, and then go back to taking assignments when I came back.

But of course, after almost a year of subbing and short-term work, while actively looking for a permanent position, I was just offered my own, ongoing classes at a language school downtown.  It’s a school where I’ve enjoyed covering classes, and the other teachers are gamers, ex-expats, or both, so I was excited to accept, but I had to begin my new job with a request for a month’s vacation.

I booked my ticket a couple months ago, which is completely out of character for me. If you have the personality to accept that you’re leaving sometime next week and you’re willing to be rerouted through both Reykjavik and Cape Town to get there, there are some good last-minute travel deals. This is my usual approach to traveling.

My husband has the opposite personality, and if he’s not sitting at the gate about an hour before takeoff, he is terribly anxious. Only the literal gate will do. Not the airport bar or the airport Starbucks or another gate where the comfy seats with the outlets are free. The actual gate.

So, now that I’m married and I do responsible adult things, even if I mostly do them to avoid hearing Harold elaborate his minute-by-minute action plans for several dozen potential problem scenarios and to avoid seeing Harold do that thing he does with his eyebrows when he’s stressed. I bought my air ticket a couple months ago. And I bought a round-trip, instead of figuring it out over there, because have you seen that thing Harold does with his forehead? It gives off secondhand anxiety. That was the same day I ordered a pair of black flats for work, and GUESS WHICH TRANSACTION WAS FLAGGED AS POTENTIALLY FRAUDULENT??? Apparently my customer profile is much more likely to take off to Taipei for a month than to buy work clothes. Thanks, Big Data, you truly understand me.

The thing about buying tickets way way in advance is that, yes, I did avoid hearing Harold’s anxious action plan for what if every ticket on every airline for every flight is sold out, but in the time between when I bought my ticket and now, I forgot what time I’m leaving. I knew it was Wednesday, and I know where Logan airport is, so it’s fine.

In 2015, I flew to Yangzhou on the cheapest possible flights, which involved Raleigh to JFK, then sitting in JFK for hours before getting on a midnight flight. That was kind of the best for jetlag. The night wasn’t too bad, and we landed in Guangzhou on a morning that actually felt like morning to me, even if that morning started with my bag disappearing and ended with an unplanned stopover in Guangzhou…  So for jetlag reasons, I’m actually flying out at 1AM on Wednesday morning, which is pretty much Tuesday night. Which means I’m leaving a day earlier than I was expecting.  No one tell Harold that part, or he’s going to do that anxious thing with his face and start making action plans.

Posted from my departure gate, two hours before takeoff.

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