Monday, April 8, 2013

Long, Strange Trip

I can honestly say I've never been so pleased with a trip that included food poisoning and a flight delayed 13 hours after already spending 9 hours in the very, very cold Beijing airport (I'm not kidding about the cold...having no other option I bought a bottle of water, drank it all, then filled it with scalding hot water.  That did the trick).
I had big plans for yesterday.  I was going to busily upload photos to facebook and start blogging about the trip - starting with the food poisoning!  (That post is to come).  I figured I'd be in my apartment before noon, fix myself a delicious bowl of pasta for lunch, maybe go get things in order at school so I could kick out all my reports.  Instead, at 11:30 I was being shunted from one place to another...I think we were either being ushered back through immigration or waiting for a second shuttle bus.
See, apparently it was windy in UB.  There were lots of conspiracies floating around - that the wind wasn't that bad, for example, and they just didn't want to send off a flight that wasn't full - but today there are four or five teachers out whose flights were completely canceled, and the flight home was probably the roughest I've ever been on, so I don't doubt it anymore, and therefore, all the vitriol aimed at the Air China representative was probably misplaced.  I didn't yell at anyone, for once.  When I was talking about the fact that this would be great blog material with my new friends, I was warned to avoid bitterness, that nobody likes a bitter blogger...well, I know at least one of my six readers looks forward to my angry blogs (right, Emily?) but I ended up finding the whole situation remarkably copacetic.  I just wanted a blanket or a hotel room or something, because DAMN that airport was cold.
I did mentally complain a little about the loss of the time to unwind and unpack, but I couldn't get too upset about it.  Because in the process of being led off to the hotel in the airport, and then to the hotel outside the airport, and then back again through immigration, et cetera, I got to know a couple of my fellow travelers - a French guy and an Israeli/American one who live here.  I NEVER do this.  I usually find talking to the people I'm stuck on a plane - or in an airport - with awkward and pointless, but these guys were cute and interesting and so I spent a lot of the day talking to them and ended up trading numbers with them.  Whether or not we end up meeting again in UB (which I would like) I was really grateful to have met them yesterday, because it meant that instead of writing this as one of those bitter, angry posts, I'm telling you about another rainbow.  And as much as I would have liked to be at home in my bed, now that it's over with, I don't think I'd trade the experience.  Which is not to say that I'm going to start chatting my seatmates or anything, because I still stand by the fact that people are annoying - one only has to go to China to figure this out.  But more on that later.

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