I arrived in New York City a few hours ago, a one week trip to visit my mother and catch up with a few friends and family.
I flew Cathay Pacific’s new-ish Premium Economy class. The deal is that you get a seat that’s slightly wider and reclines slightly further than regular economy seats; most important (for me) is the extra legroom you get. The food is probably a bit better than pure economy, you get the same entertainment options as business class, and you can check in and board on the business class lines. Cathay’s pricing options for economy are many and confusing – four different ticket prices but the options aren’t that well differentiated. They were having a sale on the Premium Economy – just a couple thousand (HK$) higher than the top economy ticket price. So adding on the fact that the only economy tickets available were center seats, it made this choice a relative no-brainer for me. I didn’t sleep as much as I would have liked on the 15 hour flight but over all it was comfortable and went by quickly enough.
While here, of course I’ll have a pastrami sandwich, some NYC pizza, a Grey’s Papaya hot dog and I’ll also have a chance to have dinner at my cousin’s James Beard award-nominated restaurant and attend a high school reunion (though it’s not clear how many people from my graduating class are also going to make it).
But for right now … well, the flight touched down around 7:45 PM, I got to my mom’s place just after 9, I fell asleep at 10:30, woke up at 2:30 and have been up since then. Hopefully I will get a few more hours of sleep before we do our pilgrimage to Costco.
For those who are curious, I am traveling alone. It would be next to impossible to get a U.S. visa for my gf. She’ll get her own home (Philippines) trip later this month.
Aside from that, well, if I’ve been quiet of late, it’s not for lack of free time. It’s now four months since I held a full time job. I’ve been working part time and also doing some work on personal projects. I think I’m close to an offer but “close to” is not the same as “have” and I also have been spending a lot of time thinking about my options should I not be able to find something within the next month or two. Move to a much cheaper flat in HK? Move to the Philippines? The answer should hopefully become clearer by November.
BTW, it cheeses me off that 3 HK is charging HK$168 per day for data roaming in the U.S. That’s almost US$22. 3 is not to blame alone on this, I’m sure that their U.S. partner AT&T should take at least some of the blame, plus the fact that in general this insane pricing for international roaming still exists. Some global rationality is long overdue. The way I see it is that right now this pricing exists because (a) it’s a global thing so there is no single government body that has any power over it and (b) it is profitable because of business people traveling who get reimbursed by their company, people who are too rich to care and people who are too stupid to notice till the bill comes in. Someone needs to run the numbers though – if it was just $10 a day, how many more people would use it and wouldn’t the revenue/income stream actually increase, not to mention the level of good will (or at least less hatred) generated towards the telcos?