Training is essentially at an end. I’m sitting in the back of the room, waiting for the Canadian staff to ask me questions or call me over with some difficulty. I’ll pop up again in about half an hour to answer final public questions and then we’re off to the YYZ, yo.

The oddest thing about the trip to Canda has been how much my schedule is changed, even though I’m only one hour ahead on the internal clock. At home I’m up very early and in bed at a reasonable hour, here on the road it’s been reasonable mornings and late evenings.

Part of that is due to my dependence on the group as a whole – the office is a good distance from the hotel, and as one of the designated drivers I can’t leave until everyone’s ready to go. The fitness center in the hotel also doesn’t open until 7, which doesn’t give me enough time to work out in the mornings – and by evening I’m so hungry that working out before dinner isn’t a very good option. As to working out after dinner, well … I’m not just running on salads this time around.

I remember that during my last trip abroad, the time change worked in my favor to a large extent. Waking up at 3 AM local time isn’t that different from waking up at 4 AM at home, and gives me time to either get to the gym or pool (assuming those hours are flexible) or work on writing, design, etc. I got a lot of fiction and game work taken care of in those predawn hours outside the standard box, and I plan to do the same this time around. We won’t have cars in Hong Kong or Frankfurt; and at least in Hong Kong we’re staying in the main downtown harbor area rather than the suburbs, giving me a lot more latitude in terms of travel and sightseeing.

Travelling back to the States should prove interesting – American Airlines has sent out new security restrictions which really impact the way I intend to travel. I use my computer bag as the single carry-on for laptop, camera, mp3 recorder, medicine, books, iPod … the works. Well, I landed in Canada before realizing that AA will no longer let you carry anything but a computer in a laptop bag. You can have a secondary, smaller bag – but of course, I don’t have one.

Luckily, my winter weather coat is a hobo-style coat rather than anything stylish. I got it when I was fifty pounds heavier and carried candy and reubens in my pockets for the commute. As a result, everything I used to carry in the laptop case has fit into the coat pockets without affecting my silhoutte. I feel like a compulsive hoarder; of course, but nobody has to know but me.