EXCERPT: SOMEWHERE OVER CANADA – I was halfway through my Beijing travel book when the stewardess tapped me on the shoulder.

"Ni hao” she said with a typical stewardess smile, and asked what beverage I preferred. Coke, no ice – my Bondian equivalent of a martini shaken-not-stirred. I’m very particular.
Then, without warning, the unthinkable happened. I sneezed. It was the kind of sneeze where a few particles slip through your fingers and land on whatever’s in front of you – in my case, the travel book...

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