"Ah, does anyone "know" where the Lost and Found might be at the airports...?"...

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January 25, 2008...Saturday late morning...2 Advils, meditative positive thoughts vibrating once again...BUT STILL NO FREAKIN BOX that's disappeared between my hotel and Beijing...Okay, I know, "it's just a box, tom...", but YOU don't know that I had my laptop headset in it, my laptop camera, my seattle cell phone, my basketball folders for the Russian coaches, my hookup connections to various plugs...In other words, I am only 'half-connected', but then again there are those out there who've always thought I've been "half connected" for a long time...Guess what? I've always had a "ground" plug attached and that's what has made me unique compared to others...Thank God!!

Okay, here is how my Thursday went after getting to sleep around 4am same morning...I spent several hours with 4 different people "sleuthing" the missing "box" and getting down to the nitty gritty of where it may have disappeared from when I left the hotel in Changchun...The Staff here at the Red Wall Hotel have been magnificent Hosts...From David, the Bellman, to Aaron, Asst. Mgr., to Wi (Wee), asst. to the asst. Mgr., and then the momentary appearance and greeting from the Mgr. herself, Stacy...Here's the lowdown as of Saturday morning: my box DID not, according to Security Cameras at the Red Buds, Changchun Hotel, indicate that I had 6 boxes, that they only counted 5 on the cart going outside to load up into the Taxi...This information arrived at 5 pm on Thursday night, leaving me a "new found" type of headache, AKA "Boxache"...So now, I am retracing the last steps from room to elevator and who was with me, and THEN a "flash", not a "hot" one, but similar: "YES, the EMS Shipping fella was with me and helped me with my boxes (who by the way is a GREAT GREAT new Friend, responsible for getting my Xmas presents home to the US on time...), and I'm thinking that he must have accidentally taken it with him and I forgot to give him instructions as to where to send it...Now I am so excited I jump into the elevator to share this "brainstorm" recollection with Aaron, and as the elevator doors open, guess who is walking in the hallway in front of me? Aaron!! Now he gives me this look like: "aren't you ever going to accept the fact that you lost your box...?"...And I quickly embrace him and tell him "I think I know what happened to it...the EMS Shipper may have accidentally picked it up..."...Which means that in order to call the Shipper, I need someone to translate and Aaron knows this...We then go to his desk, I give him my cell phone and he calls "my Guy", who says initially YES, I have Coach's Box, and watching Aaron's countenance change from Hyde to Dr. Jekyll very quickly...Ah, I'm thinking to myself, I am really good at this CSI stuff, I "found it" by reflecting...or so we thought, when in fact, EMSer didn't have the box and was now worried that I thought he "took" the box...Poor Aaron has this look on his face, like: "doesn't this American have something better to do than WORRY about a "box"...?...He's right, I do, BUT the fact of the matter is I had a lot of stuff in THAT box that I want back if I can track it down...Aaron hangs up, explaining that I DID NOT even for one minute think he, EMSer took the box and that's where it is...Then Aaron politely says, "I'm not sure what you can do next, Sir, I am at a loss here..."...So I ask him a simple question: "if you were me, and you lost a jacket in an airport where would you TURN to?"...he looked at me and realized that we had NOT asked the airports to locate this missing "box"...I am now thinking that the "box" and the Stat sheets I never received are linked...Aaron then says: "why of course, the Lost and Found...we have one here also at the Hotel...you're right, we only spoke to the baggage claim people NOT to LOST and FOUND...I will see if I can connect with both airports...BUT, right now, I have a headache and need to take a break, do you mind?"...Now I really felt bad...I asked him if I could buy him dinner in the Hotel...no thank you...then I asked him if he'd ever had a Gin and Tonic, it's very good, makes my hair grow...And he looked at me like I was truly "half connected" or "nutz" and it was then that I realized his "service" had run its course and pleaaaaaaseleavemealonenow so I can gather my thoughts for the "other" 200 guests...Dang, I felt so bad, I didn't do a darn thing about the "box" yesterday but I'm on it today...what the heck, it beats doing the Crossword Puzzle in the China Daily newspaper...So here I be, with a "boxache" to boot, trying to figure out what happened...

Stay tooned...as you can see, the books I've read, the games I've coached in and the life in China has devolved into a "challenge" of sorts, trying to find my "box"...Safe travels, God Bless...Coach tom

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