The trip was planned for May 8, 2019 to May 18, 2019, but there were twists and turns.
Ad hoc mini-gathering
During a conversation, Lillian mentioned that Khin Mya Nyo and Ronald (classmates of my spouse at IM1) came to her house to see San San Nwe (another IM1 classmate visiting from East Coast). My spouse was surprised and delighted to learn that her friends were living about 45 minutes drive.
My spouse had met Khin Mya Nyo (fondly known as “Bo Nyo”) a couple of times in the San Francisco Bay Area : one for welcoming ASSK and the other at the wedding of the daughter of their classmates. At that time, Bo Nyo was living in New Mexico.
Bo Nyo invited us (including Dr. Ba Han and Lillian) to enjoy hot pot at “Little Sheep” on the evening of May 17, 2019.
May 17, 2019
Bo Nyo brought her aunt Daw Khin Nwe Aye (spouse of Sao Aung Myint @ John Khun Kyi, and cousin of Ma Pyone (UCC)). The small talk which reinforced the concept of “It’s a small world” took place from 6 PM to 9 PM. I learned that Saya Tony (Sao Kan Gyi, RIT English, GBNF) was Ma Nwe’s tutor when she was doing English Honors, and that Saya was a Best Man at her wedding.
Sao Aung Myint and U Oo Thwin (Michael) were together in the USA when they came as State Scholars.
Tet Toe (U Ohn Pe, Chief Editor of News Agency Burma) was Ma Nwe’s mentor at NAB. Min Kyaw Min was Ma Nwe’s colleague and later her boss. Ma Nwe and five others at NAB were forced to retire for their involvement in 8-8-88.
We had to call it a day, since it was a 45-minute drive back to Dr. Ba Han’s house and we need to pack our belongings for the trip back home on May 18, 2019 (Full Moon day of Kason).
May 18, 2019
Despite the warnings of bad weather, we were lucky. Some heavy rains stopped before we visited a place. Others occurred after we left a place.
To avoid bad weather, Dr. Ba Han decided to drop us early at the airport. But, we were not home free. Alerts sounded on our way to the air port. They was some lightning and thunder, and heavy rain on the way. It worsened after Dr. Ba Han dropped us at the terminal. He had to take shelter at a friend’s house for half an hour on the way back.
Some time later, we boarded the plane bound for Denver. We were caught by surprise when the pilot announced that the test for the auto-pilot did not pass. Many passengers (including us) were worried that we might miss the connecting flight at Denver.
Kan Soe Kan Kaung
Kan Soe : the plane finally left DFW (Dallas – Fort Worth). The “Fasten seat belt” was on for the most part flying through turbulent weather. The plane arrived at Denver. We had missed the connecting flight. Worse still, there are no more flights that evening/night to SJC (San Jose). We had to stand in a long queue at the Customer Service.
Kan Kaung : Since we missed our flight due to “mechanical failure”, the airline would provide a coupon for a hotel for the night. It would book us on the next available flight.
Kan Soe : There were three flights to SJC on May 19, 2019, but they are all sold out. We would be put on a waiting list. In the worst case, we would fly out on May 20.
Kan Kaung : We suggested flying to SFO instead of SJC (which is nearer to our home). The agent tried several times before she came up with a 6 AM flight to SFO for us.
Kan Soe : The hotel coupon listed the address but not the name. Fortunately, one driver looked up the name (called “Mainstay Suites”) and told us to catch the appropriate shuttle. We took the shuttle to the hotel which is 9+ miles from the airport. Rain greeted us when we arrived at the compound of several hotels (including “Comfort Inn”, which is a sister hotel of “Mainstay Suites”. We had to walk in the rain to our hotel. Since it was late, the hotel would not accept the food coupon provided by the airline. We asked for a shuttle ride early next morning. To our surprise, most slots for the half-hourly shuttles were full. We booked the 3 AM shuttle.
May 19, 2019
Kan Soe : We had a short sleep.
Kan Kaung : There were only three passengers in the 3 AM shuttle. One was a flight attendant for the Frontier airlines. He showed us the way at the terminal of the Denver airport. We had to wait before the shops opened, but they accepted the food coupons. We also received seats for “Premium Economy” (which required less time to board and unboard the plane).
We arrived in California safe and sound.
We had to forgo attending an event on May 19, 2019.
- Tathagata Meditation Center (TMC, San Jose) had celebrations for the Buddha’s Day (aka the Thrice Blessed Day)