Reflections on my US trip

I’m back in LA for just a few hours. It’s 6.20pm in LA but 9.20am in Singapore, which is why I decided to get a latte at Starbucks so that I’ll stay awake a bit longer.
When I started on my trip, my luggage was 16.5kg. On my way back, it weighed 52 pounds, or about 23.6kg. The limit was 50 pounds but they decided to close one eye for me, else I’d pay overweight charges.
I’m only carrying things back for my family members and if possible, I will pick up something for my colleagues. My conference materials are very heavy and I have to bring them back to circulate at the workplace. Also, I wrapped up the Dell laptop (Wilson, hope you don’t mind me putting it in your new laptop bag for extra protection) and checked it in, because it’s seriously been a deadweight since it got hacked. These are the major contributors to the weight factor.
In LA I was glad to catch up with my relatives and especially see my pregnant cousin-in-law a month before she pops. In Austin I had 2 great roommates, [Sarah]( and [Sarah](, whom I now call IT Goddess, and great hosts in [Kristen]( and Mark. It was also good to see Katie. The family continually inspires me to get more exercise myself.
Kristen and Mark’s nearly 1-year old son Alexander was a wonderful playmate. When I arrived in Austin 2 weeks ago, I saw him crawl and walk a few steps. A week later, he started walking longer distances. Linguistically, he’s learning fast. With lovely weather and people around me, I accumulated a lot of photos and videos!
While in the US, I wanted to get the iPhone, but didn’t expect to buy a MacBook so soon, either! Two main factors leading me to buy it were the fact that my other laptop had died, and the exchange rate was too good to pass up. I tried to buy it online, then learnt that it might arrive after I leave the US, so I cancelled the order and bought one at the nearest Apple Store. However, as blogged earlier, I was given a model with matte instead of glossy screen so I went back one more time and exchanged it! So technically this is my second MacBook Pro, within the space of a week!
I have a separate post reflecting on SXSW itself… that one will take a longer time to write. It will definitely be my last SXSW, at least for a couple of years. I feel kind of sad, yet hopeful. I just have to hang in there for now.
OK, leaving Starbucks now to go to the International part of the airport. See you back in Singapore!