Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor(er) . . . Your Yearning to Get Home
Hi BC readers, this is Petey again. I'm happy to report that the deal is done! Last Wednesday, the BCs met with officials from China and the U.S. State Department on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean -- at the very site where Churchill and FDR huddled before heading off to Yalta to confer with Stalin during WWII. There the papers were signed (and sealed). The Chinese officials agreed that taking Tai Shan (I'll miss you buddy!) was enough for them, and that I could remain permanently in the USA. So with the Malta Accord of 2010 complete, I knew it was finally safe for me to come out of hiding and return home to Washington, D.C. What a relief!
Of course, Mother Nature had other plans, as we learned on Thursday night that our flight into Dulles, scheduled for Friday evening, had been cancelled due to the snow expected back home. (Just try reaching United Airlines from a cell phone on a ship at sea -- at $2.49 a minute, no less -- when every other traveler in the world seems to be calling them as well . . . not fun.) For a few stressful hours there, the BCs and I feared we would be sleeping in the airport in Frankfurt for several days. Thankfully, however, we finally reached an agent and were able to get re-routed to New York. So since Friday, we've been safely hunkered down with family in Brooklyn -- enjoying the company, being treated like visiting royalty, recovering from jet-lag -- while devising plans to get home.
And thanks to free Wi-Fi, I can now safely share a little more about where the BCs and I have been and what we've been up to since my last blog post . . .
Our last port of call, as mentioned above, was Malta. Sailing into the beautiful Grand Harbor of Valletta is a breathtaking experience . . .
. . . as is standing on the Giza Plateau outside Cairo (my formerly
The camel is a ubiquitous form of transportation in Giza. Although no amount of coaxing could get BC Eileen to ride one, BC Judith was brave enough to do it (and I have the pictures to prove it!). However, BC Judith threatened to leave me at home when she travels to Greensboro next month if I posted one. So readers, you'll just have to settle for a picture of another camel-rider and take my word for it that BC Judith, indeed, rode this magnificent animal.
Spending two days in Egypt would have been an experience of a lifetime no matter what (the traffic in Cairo, with six lanes worth of cars driving in three, drivers leaning on their horns and playing chicken, was enough to turn my white hair even whiter). But we happened to arrive in Cairo the night that Egypt was playing Ghana in an important World Cup preliminary round match. When Egypt won, it seemed like the entire population took to the streets. Men were riding down the streets on horses and camels -- waving Egyptian flags -- and cheering crowds clogging the roadway turned our one-way street spontaneously into a two-way thoroughfare. And some ecstatic fans poured gasoline right in the street in front of our van and set the road on fire. As our driver proceeded to drive right over the flames,
all we could do was think about the fact that mixing fire and gas tanks is generally not a good combination. Fortunately, nothing exploded.
Once back on the ship after our hair-raising experiences in Egypt, I gravitated to the basketball court on the top deck. . . hoping to enjoy a little pickup action at sea. The BCs and I are so in need of a b-ball fix. We miss the Terps
Unfortunately, we saw that Maryland dropped another close game on Friday -- this time to Georgia Tech. What a heartbreaker. That's the bad news. The good news is that if the BCs' plans work out, we should all be home tomorrow . . . though most certainly not able to get to the MD-VA game Monday night. But assuming that the BCs' internet connection is working, they'll be following the game on line and looking forward to getting back to Comcast very soon.
Go Terps . . . Beat the Cavs!
Photo Credits: DCBasketCases (except Statue of Liberty)