After the event it was time once again to head across the Pacific back home. A year of being abroad, especially when it's your first time, not surprisingly gives you a great urgency to return to friends and family you hadn't seen in that time. Having to pay $1,700 for that return flight and quite vividly remembering the experience gave me the same exact sense of urgency to get back before trouble had a chance to set in, not to mention I seemed to be quickly coming down with the flu. It looked like I wasn't about to pay $1,700 for the flight home, but possibly just as much to stay overnight for another couple of days in some mysterious Chinese hospital, which consequently would demand I purchase a ticket anyway for the flight I missed.
Fortunately none of that happened, except for the additional night stay paid by the airline. We were on the tarmac waiting to take off when the captain came on and announced a "minor" delay (which ended up being three hours long) in taking off while the Chinese airlines got priority to fly out. It was a busier day at the airport than usual. Sensing the plane moving again we managed a few corners on the tarmac and then the engines suddenly shut off.
The next morning and not feeling any better, thoughts on the medical scanners were forefront in my thoughts as I pushed the luggage cart back to the same terminal and got my new ticket for another aircraft in supposed working order. Wheels touching down in Las Vegas 16 napping hours later and feeling quite a bit better, I ran to the nearest burger joint and ordered a double whopper with an extra slice of cheese.
I smiled and took a deep breath, whispering to the hamburger in my hands, “Yep, smells like America”.