Day 15: Hong Kong to home

Woke up early, like usual. Hopped the shuttle to the airport and checked my bag in. It now weighs 15 kilos, up from the 9 kilos three day before because essentially everything is in that bag now except meds.

Stacey told me to buy a dish towel at one of the shops, which took me a while to locate! But I got it.

My last meal was a takeaway shumai from a vendor closer to the plane. It\’s good that I got to the airport early because it felt like I had to walk 2 miles to the gate. It wasn\’t that far, but it was far!

The plane was fine but every time I was about to fall asleep the guy next to me would get up and tap me on the shoulder to get past me. He would get up every half hour, stay up for a half hour, then have to get past me back to his seat. For the 15 hour flight this eat the one constant. He was nervous too, leaning forward in his seat, playing with his hands, the TV, the remote.

With no sleep it made the flight seem that much longer. Finally we land and I log into the customs mobile app and answer the questions. Which made getting through customs s breeze, but I wasn\’t able to get on the global entry line because I used the app! Anyhoo, I breezed through there picked up my bag and was looking forward to a quiet ride from Newark NJ to Manhattan via Uber.

My Uber driver was a talker, but at least he was interesting and entertaining. I\’m finally dropped off and enter my building.

My doorman days a quick hello without stopping me and asks where I\’ve been because he hasn\’t seen me for a while. It\’s kind of nice that he noticed.

At home, Roxie my cat meets me at the door. I get inside give her some rubs then immediately take all my clothes from the trip and put it into the laundry in the basement. (I know Stacey thought I was nuts). But I had to get all the grossness off of my clothes asap.

I wanted to feel clean everywhere! While my clothes were being washed I showered and questioned why I want tired. Then threw in some fresh threads to move my laundry to the dryers.

Stacey had left me with food in the fridge and cheese with no bread. But when she came home a few hours later she brought fresh bread!

I ate bread with brie cheese and blue cheese for dinner and had a glass of wine that actually tasted good. And spent some time with Stacey and called my dad.

I put my souvenirs into a huge plastic zip lock bag. One of the objects smelled a little but we also want to make sure that the deet that I included in each wrapped item did indeed extinguish any bugs that may have lived in it. We are getting lavender dryer sheets and print it into the bag for a few days before we take them out.

Reflecting on the trip… It was a wonderful, interesting, surprising journey to a land in the stone age.

I question how I can share this trip when I\’m asked about it at work or by friends. This is not the kind of trip that many can relate to, off the grid, lack of amenities, deep jungle and culture journey.

I expect that I will keep it brief when asked about Papua New Guinea. But in my heart and among my family and those that read my blog they will know the truth.