Just kill me now. I'm done. Stick a fork in me. My juices run clear and hot.
Why, I do ask, a million times over in the serenely quiet unmolested airport parking lot, is it that that crap begins at the legal-political border? (for a plane on an international flight is considered to be the territory of the destination power) China works like heavily staffed clockwork. Things are very clean. A lot of people get paid to stand around or perform odd tasks (like applying and removing stickers from peoples' shirts at arbitrary intervals), and aside from the developing country nonsense of poorly finished plumbing in five-star hotels costing thirty bucks a night (I could only take baths because only the hot water line was connected to the shower mixer valve. If I wanted to provide blanched David to the starveling locals, I could have taken showers.), Peking shows off a remarkably sophisticated and functional infrastructure and social system.
Detroit, on the other hand, doesn't. Sorry - if context is being lost, I am comparing Beijing and Detroit International Airports. On the whole, I felt freer, more comfortable, and less harried in the communist totalitarian dictatorship airport than I felt in the new Detroit McNamara International Terminal, which is to airports as the 1962 Rambler American is to cars.
If I could have calmed down, I would have written some scathing poetry about the sheer staggering incompetence on public display. I would have been humorous and biting and witty and... after 24 hours in transit, on a plane declaring a medical emergency en route (the poor Chinese lady is still alive, but apparently people kick off on transcontinental flights alla time), while I couldn't sleep en route because nobody saw the good idea behind trying to reset their internal clocks by sleeping, so it was 747 HOUSE PARTY TIME with DJ DOCTOR G IN THA HOUSE, and, well, if you haven't guessed by now, I missed my connecting flight despite having two hours layover time scheduled, because - ring-ding-a-ling - the security system in US airports has finally gone Bulgakov-Mad. I was awake for thirty one hours yesterday, the longest day in my life. Happy Birthday, Dad!