Back in the saddle…for awhile, at least.

It’s been 5 years since I posted anything here. I’ve been on a lot of adventures since then that have been documented in thoughts, pictures, and my #1 fan’s blog. She suggested I start writing again instead of deleting the blog as planned, so I’m jumping right in rather than trying to recap the last 5 years.

Sunday, March 4, China Time

I’m in Guangzhou near the end of a 48-hour layover. We came in at 3 in the morning and leave at about 1am. That sounds bad until you realize it’s a fairly decent schedule back home, meaning I’m not yet totally out of sync with E and the boys. Just wait, my schedule will be totally screwed up by the time I get home! 😉

International travel is fun, and I do enjoy the time even when we’re off cycle from the world. I spend a lot of time awake at night and sleeping during the day, and usually I’m unwilling to go outside in the city in the middle of the night. I think that just makes sense. So what do I do? Yesterday we got to the hotel by about 3:30 am after a 3-hour flight from Singapore. I intended to stay awake until at least breakfast, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The layover in Singapore was short, and I chose reduced sleep so that I could see a bit of the city. The captain had lived there previously, and he had a lot of cool stuff to tell me about while we walked around. Anyway I took a little nap, leaving the shades open and my phone on so that I wouldn’t sleep too long. I missed most of my notifications, but at about 7:30 a text woke me up and I got ready for breakfast.

The China Hotel by Marriott gives us access to the executive floor where a decent breakfast is served. I ate breakfast alone, expecting the captain to join me. I think he was more tired than me last night and was probably still asleep. After breakfast I returned to the room and had almost a 2-hour conversation with E. That’s unusual for us, not because we don’t like talking, but because bad internet, China blocking calls, random schedules, and E’s normal life often prevent us from talking so long. We got her setup with two nights in a hotel, something we haven’t done since Mother’s Day last May. I try to give her a complete break from the RV and us every few months so that she can enjoy some of the solitude I do when I’m on long layovers in big hotels. I definitely try not to rub it in, but the single hotel room I’m in now has more living space than our whole RV. It is nice just to hang around in PJ’s and read, play computer games, etc.

Speaking of games, I spent some time playing one of my new favorites, Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds, or PUBG. It drops 100 players into a map and then shrinks the map over time, Hunger Games-style, forcing players to run into each other eventually. It’s a lot of fun, but I enjoy it more when I can play with one of my online friends cooperatively. I also love playing Watch Dogs 2. Although I finished the single player mission, it’s still fun to connect to other people and chase them around or hack them when they’re trying to complete missions, just like they did to me.

Max turned 13 this year, and I decided to make it a priority to find a game we could play together. After some searching I decided to try the free-to-play Planetside 2. It’s a massively multiplayer first person shooter. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of players running around battling each other. I thought it would be fun to play that with Max. I downloaded it here first and played a bit to see how it would go. It’s not at all bloody, and by default there’s no talking and very little typing by other players. That means Max won’t see or hear a lot of bad words, although when I joined a team the kids there felt the need to cuss every other sentence. I tried to install it remotely from here, but with the Chinese firewall and the RV poor connection lately, I haven’t been able to finalize it on his laptop yet. Hopefully it will finish downloading tonight and we can give it a try tomorrow after church there while I’m in Japan.

So there’s my attempt at a reboot of the blog. It’s 10am here in China on Sunday morning, regardless of what the post time stamp indicates. I had my executive floor breakfast and am making myself stay up until at least noon. Tonight’s another relatively short flight over to Narita, then I’ll be back here again.