Monday, June 30, 2014

Back Over the Pacific

Four days ago I moved to Hong Kong.  My friend, and in a sense mentor (I’ll explain), Scot Ranney set me up running the band at a fancy club here.  Scot is a fantastic pianist, and has really changed my life in quite a huge way.  When I was getting into playing the piano seriously was when I started getting interested in jazz and Scot Ranney has run the biggest jazz piano education website on the internet.  It was a place I could go and ask questions, seek out things to learn, and get advice from not only Scot, but many accomplished pianists from around the world…. wait for it…. FOR FREE!  His website is and I recommend anyone who is interested in jazz to check it out, not only pianists.  Right now I am sipping down an espresso in my room, this ones for you Scot, thanks a million for not only the referral but for all the musicians you are inspiring and lives you are changing through music.

Jet lag is a bitch.  I know on this blog I have complained about this before, but I really hate it.  I do not mean to sound whiney or sissy or anything, but I absolutely hate messing with my sleep.  I already have a hard time achieving a full nights rest, changing sides of the world just makes things dreadful.

I have to catch an 8 a.m. plane from Seattle to San Francisco.  For some, not a problem, but for any musician out there this mere fact alone is enough reason for me to be jet lagged and super tired.  I go to bed at two in the morning, at least, every night.  Therefor, even if I was merely flying to San Francisco on an 8 am flight I would be incredibly messed up from arriving at the airport at 6, leaving my home at 5, and going to bed at 2, or 1 if I was feeling extra relaxed (never happens, always stressed out about sleep loss). 

After my flight to San Francisco, I am supposed to have a four hour layover, then get on a fourteen hour airplane flight to Hong Kong.  


There is a massive car accident on Highway 18 in Seattle the morning of my flight.  Instead of forty minutes to arrive at Seatac, it takes me three hours riding in a packed SUV driving at 8 mph on the freeways.  I arrive at the airport at 10 a.m.  Flight missed.  Oh shit, this has never happened to me before.  Went to the desk where we stood in line for an hour, then finally talked to a United representative (most ghetto airline in America) who told us we were basically screwed, then gave us some false hope after realizing how much baggage we had.  Then, as luck would have it the plane to SF after ours was two hours late leaving, so we were booked onto that flight.  

Saying goodbye to people you love, not knowing when you will see them again always really hits me hard.  I am a pretty empathetic guy, so these flights are never one hundred percent excitement for me, not to mention I am 6’2, 215 lb. flying coach.  It’s not that big, but it is big enough to make it an extra hassle for me.

Two hours later we step off the plane in San Francisco to immediately board our flight to Hong Kong - only enough time to use the toilet in between.  
Sit down, buckle up and begin 14 hours of waiting.  I never sleep on planes.  United is by far the most ghetto airline I have ever flown a crossed the pacific ocean with - always opt for Korean Air in my own opinion.  

Finally with an awful temper and a soar backside I arrived in HK with all of my stuff : It was imperative to send a van for transfer for me because of all the musical equipment I needed to bring, and unfortunately that detail was overlooked even though it was spoken about many times.  A sleek black BMW pulls up to the curb in the 85 degree, 65% humidity middle of the night.  In this tiny BMW they are going to try to fit 5 luggage bags, a bass, and two keyboards.  Waiting for a larger vehicle is not an option, so I jump in the back seat and am covered in instruments and gear.  Somehow with the trunk open, all the long gear on my lap and bags everywhere, all the doors were shut and I was off.  This is crazy, these professional drivers really know the capacity of their cars.

An hour later I arrived in my room, which is great actually, but even though it is midnight I can’t sleep.  HK is fifteen hours ahead of pacific standard time, so adjusting to the new time is a slow process.  It has been four days now since I have arrived, and I finally slept 8 hours, from midnight until 8 am. The first few days I was so exhausted I could hardly do anything, and the intense heat and humidity does not help, but slowly and surely I am coming around.  Other than dealing with the exhaustion, the first few days of being here was spent preparing for work and running errands to take care of things that I need, HK ID card, clothes, suits, toiletries, etc.  Scot has been really great showing us around and giving the hook up on where to do and find things.  Went to a jam session at a club called Peel Fresco last night and met a bunch of cats!  Fun times!  The singer I am going to be working with, Nash Reed, is great and the music is all jazz this time around so I am looking at some good times getting back into the piano after a strange hiatus of playing keyboards and organ for a few years!

Anyways, rock on.  Tonight is the first performance and tomorrow is the first adventure. Excited to be living in HK.

Oh, and just a teaser for a future blog post… Sunday is unofficially called ‘Pilipino Day’ after a certain, strange (for me!) phenomena
that happens in Hong Kong.  More to come on this soon.

Peace Out.


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