There's always a first time right? This is first time I crossed the international date line and gained one day. So I actually started the flight from Penang 0745 Saturday morning and reached El Paso last night at 2311 still Saturday, which was 1400 (or 2.00pm at home). When I go back next week the same way, I'll lose one day. That'll make it equal. Someone remarked that if you can fly fast enough to make it faster than the sun goes round, you can go back in time! I'll leave that argument to the mathematicians and scientists.
When I got out of Los Angeles airport yesterday, I reached into my bag for my sunglasses. Lo, I only got the empty box. Those glasses are still in my car back home. Then when we got out of the plane at El Paso I found my baggage had not arrived. Luckily, I was prepared for this kind of thing. I had a spare set of clothes in my hand luggage. But I couldn't brush my teeth. Only this morning I found that there was a tooth brush in the compimentary bag with a pair of socks that is usually supplied to long distance fliers.
So this morning, our German counterpart who arrived in El Paso yesterday, came in his rented car and drove us around the city with it's sparse low buildings and we did a little shopping. I got myself a pair of UV shades for US$15 and a little (made in China) outlet adapter for charging our handphones and camera batteries. We got back to the hotel at noon to check whether my baggage had arrived, it had not, so we went straight to the airport which is only about 1 km from the hotel. They promised to send it to the hotel by morning, but they were taking their own sweet time about it, it seems.
Now I'm sitting on a sofa in Econo Lodge's reception room connected to the net via cable outlet. They have free wireless internet but my notebook's WIFI came without some adapter (which I can't understand and which our MIS guys couldn't explain) which renders it useless.
Anyway, I have the whole day to recondition my body system to the new biological cycle to adapt to the time, this side of the globe.
El Paso is hot and dry. And I mean hot. I can't stand out there for 5 minutes. There are more Mexicans than whites in this city of about 600k because it's actually like a twin city of Juarez, the place I'll be going to tomorrow.
Luckily the reception has only a few people coming and going. I'll write more when I'm not so uncomfortable.