My alarm went off at 5:40 am and I quickly prepared to leave the hotel. Garrett and I met with Professor Lyles, who was very kind to awaken so early to see us off. We had a very quick breakfast, gave her a hug goodbye, and climbed into the taxi. On the way to the airport, Garrett looked toward me with puzzled expression. I quickly began to understand why. A roar from the left rear tire grew louder and the driver turned on the emergency flashers and pulled off to the shoulder. Garrett and I were both worried about making it to the airport on time as we were cutting it a bit close on time. The driver scurried around the car, flailed through the trunk, stood in the road while using the jack, and was back on the road in 7 minutes! Garrett and I parted ways, said a quick goodbye, and headed to different ends of the terminals.
The flights have been uneventful so far with a quick changeover in Tokyo and some painful entertainment during the flight back to Minneapolis. I was shown the same episodes of Trading Spaces Family, some other shows, and a thinly disguised infomercial about teeth. Are you kidding me? The next movie was Mooseport. How horrible must a movie be for Northwest to play it on a flight?
I’m looking forward to getting back home because I miss my wife Nicole and it’s been much too long since I’ve seen her beautiful face. However, I am missing China as well. Not nearly as much, but the growth, excitement, and opportunity in the large cities in China is unlike anything in the US. Will I be back? I’m sure I will. Will I be working there? I’m not sure. It would be a major commitment and would require me to leave a lot behind. Not seeing friends and family would be very difficult. Leaving our pets behind would be sad. I’m sure Nicole and I will discuss it more over the next year. There is much to much to consider to discuss and consider in this forum.
In the Minneapolis airport, I met-up with six Cummins employees on their way back from a meeting. I’d been up for about 27 hours at that point, needed both a shave and a shower, and was starting to have trouble forming sentences. Not really an ideal situation for talking with director and executive director level co-workers, but I made the best of the situation and talked about interesting portions of my trip as much as possible.