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Published: February 24th 2011
Up all night attending to Blackboard problems. Blackboard is a jealous creature and always knows when I'm showing another country's electrons a good time. A pre-flight nap is still on today's agenda, but I'm having no luck so far. I'm packed other than the clothes I'm wearing, which I'll swap for fresh before I leave.
Okay, internet searching has revealed that the bird that is everywhere, everywhere,
except in my inadequate bird guide is Pycnonotus goiavier
, or Yellow-vented bulbul. Having identified it by name, I find it in the book only in reference to another bird (one that's pictured, not described). The only bird I'm seeing more is Eurasian tree sparrows. A strange omission. Tell your bird watching friends that Cambodia needs a better field guide.
The trip home begins at about 9:00 PM when I leave the hotel for the airport. There's no percentage in going earlier, though there are some nice shops. The check-in counter won't open until 1.5-2 hours before the flight, so one is just sitting in a large, unfurnished antechamber without enough chairs. The flight from Phnom Penh to Seoul departs at 11:40 PM for a 5 hour flight, arriving at 6:40 AM in Seoul
(though the airport is actually in Inchon, to some students from which university I taught Advanced Intermediate English for several summers in the 1990's, though not with sentences of this complexity).
My plan is still to take a tour from the airport in the snazzy cold weather gear I've hauled to the tropics. Nothing looks less inviting than wool socks, technical long johns, wind pants, and earmuffs when it's 92F, but the high for Seoul is expected to be 45F tomorrow. My second flight departs at 6:20 PM, probably meaning I'll post an update from the airport, perhaps over a big plate of bulgogi and kimchi. Mmmm. Maybe potatoes in hot sauce. This trans-Pacific flight is 9 hours 40 minutes. That's what happens when you fly with the wind rather than against it. After around 7 hours amusing myself with Customs and other delights in Seattle, I catch a short hop home, where it may be snowing and colder than Seoul.
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