The Journey Out
I arrived safely, and that is all that matters. 'uge trips like this all have their own brand of annoyingness (babies crying, Chinese sniffing, an attack of the runs). The annoying thing about THIS particliar trip is that none of these sorts of irritating things happened and I spent an awful lot of the time WAITING for something to happen, but it didn't! How annoying is THAT?
Smooth connections all the way, just as DJ had planned. the one teency 'glitch' was that the hotel at Shanghai was much closer to the city than the airport, so a much longer trip than envisaged, especially after an initial trip to the OTHER Hotel Baolong Homelike Hotel deep on the heart of Downtown Shanghai. [We had been assured that this establishment was "a bee's dick from the airport". I cannot envisage a bee of the required proportions necessary to fill these dimensions.]. A good 40 minute flog to the airport next morning in very light Sunday traffic was necessary, even from the RIGHT Baolong Homelike Hotel.
Oh yes, one annoying thing (my own fault, really) is that I was not expecting a stop-by at Beijing once the plane's wheels left the Tarmac at Shanghai. My heart leapt on takeoff that the plane was not full! Over there was an empty window seat! Next to me we're TWO empty places! Whoopsy-doo! One slightly unfathomable indicator -- one that my heart would not acknowledge -- was that the monitor indicated "One hour 40 minutes to destination". "Technical glitch", my heart said. Bloody Air China! I forgive youse!
It was as the engines of the plane started roaring, the wheels were lowered, and the "Fasten seat belts" sign came onto the monitor in perfect Chinese character script that I knew that the jig was up. One and one half hours, and a couple of customs strip-searches later I was back in the air, in an aisle seat (I love window seats), but with the spare seat still intact on my right I, and quite a few more passengers were hurtling through the stratosphere to our destination - Paris. [Well, at least that is where I ASSUME all these other people were headed ...]
Yes, all has progressed very nicely so far. No Internet connection so far, but it gives me a chance to get this blog up and going. It is 3:20am as I write this. I dutifully set the alarum bell on this iPhone, but singularly forgot to check the time setting and it didn't automatically adjust, as I had anticipated. I was awoken from deep slumber about two hours after drifting off, at 6:00 bloody SHANGHAI time!
What was that I said about no incidents to date?
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