Been in Saigon for a week now, and I’m enjoying it despite a few little difficulties. The main problem, of course, is the epidemic. I had to buy a new ticket for my upcoming trip to SF/Phoenix in two weeks. Big pain, but I had no choice. Vietnam is banning flights to and from Korea, and my flight was going through Seoul. I used miles to pay for part of it (Korean Air charged a very hefty $370 for taxes & fees), and I had heard that KA was extremely uncooperative about refunding. They apparently heard the same thing, because in this case it was just one click on the itinerary page of my account. They’re charging me 3000 miles, and refunding everything else – including the $370. I’m still waiting for confirmation, but so far it looks like Korean Air is coming through like a champ. 감사합니다 gamsahabnida
My new flight is through Tokyo — and I’m just hoping there is no new bad news between now and the 11th. (This is the first time I’ve ever paid for flight insurance, but it seeems worth the $40 this time). Once I get to Phoenix, I’m pretty flexible. This trip is a high priority for me, and once I get there I don’t have anyplace important to be until May. I have sent travel arrangements to Jessica, Jon, and Alison for safekeeping.
Losing Seoul was a suprise. I figured they’d start mobilizing early. Saigon has caught up with Hanoi — all the restaurant workers are masked, and there is sanitizer EVERYWHERE. I have been using so much of the stuff that my hands are raw. I have one proper mask (impossible to find decent masks in pharmacies) but I’m saving it for the flight.
After the US my next trip is to Dubai — assuming that nothing goes wrong there. It’s a very important trip, so I’m making contingency plans for NOT returning to Asia until June. A friend has offered me his place in Chile (in a remote libertarian enclave. hmmm.), but as usual these days I’ll be playing it by ear.
I’ll be in Dubai for close to 3 weeks — which is kind of a drag. Not my favorite city. If things were safer, I’d use the time to go to Jordan (still have never seen Petra) but I’m not sure how that will play out.
Not much going on here, professionally. I was talking to a couple of companies about private training work, but between Tet and the plague, everything has ground to a halt. But on the bright side, the downtime has given me a lot of time to work on my new site RealisticScenarios , which has been getting some positive feedback. With the new emphasis on remote work, it’s pretty timely.
Speaking of time — it’s lunch time. I’m off to find me some banh mi .