Monday, July 28, 2008

Far, far away

Just had a nice long talk with Margot. US Rowing gave them each a cell phone with some paid time. She is feeling much better today - about to go to practice. The hotel is lovely, food good, and so far, she is feeling OK. The rowing venue is amazing. The US is one of the first crews to arrive. She will race on Sunday, Tuesday, and Sunday. If they win the Sunday heat, they won't race again until the Sunday finals. So we should be able to see her at least on Wednesday.

When the plane landed, they couldn't see the ground because of the smog. That scared her. But later, they found out that it was also raining and that causes a lot of the smog. Everyone is hopeful that the sun will come out and clear things off for most of August.

She had one of those moments when she realized how much we take for granted in terms of the air, and other things. So, that night she was a bit frightened and homesick, but the next morning, she woke up ready to go and has been excited ever since.

It was really good to hear her voice.

I had an email response to some queries I sent to the gentleman who helped us arrange our hotel. He said we were about 2 hours from Beijing which was a bit of a surprise. However, Nathan contacted a Dr. colleague whose son, I believe, works in the embassy and he gave Nate the number of a private driver he has used. So Nate is going to contact him about arranging a few day trips.

Our travel agent didn't know where our hotel was on the map either. Hmm... The good news is that we are close to Margot's hotel and the rowing venue and if I've translated my RMB properly, the cab ride will be less that $10.

No progress toward the trip packing today. We have a big deadline next Tuesday at work and at the end of the day, i don't have much energy left. Since I arrived at the Clinic we had:
- Gas main leak caused by construction that almost closed our building and caused traffic to back up so we were all late
- Electric power outage that lasted all day and I had to call everyone in the department who hadn't already left to stay home -- this also caused a server issue that prevented us from accessing our drives the next morning
- An internal technical infrastructure issue that prevented us from successfully publishing to our server for about three weeks (intermittent issues affecting a pilot were doing)
- Air conditioning problems (today it was off for most of the day)
Gosh, bunch of other stuff that makes me feel like I brought a terrible little personal tornado along to the Clinic.

But I have great people in my department and they just flex and do what needs to be done. However, it does seem sometimes like bed is the best part of my day.

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