Hui Jia Le – Home From Home

So, I’m back in The Chine.

I was in the washroom at the Beijing airport when I heard a man hork in the stall next to me, then while washing my hands my neighbour blow-gunned his nostril into the sink. Ah, it’s good to be home.

As I mentioned last post, I was a bit apprehensive about travelling in the midst of all this red/orange-critical/sever alert crap, but I’m happy to report it was smooth sailing. I got to the Buffalo-Niagara Airport early, and cruised through check-in. Let me restate, I LOVE jetBlue. Quick and convenient service, comfortable and spacious leather seating, in-flight satellite TV (in each seat), and all for the cheapest fares I’ve seen in the US ($65 from BUF-JFK).

I arrived in JFK with ample time and so didn’t stress too much when I saw that the Air China check-in line was trying to imitate the wall the airline’s country is so famous for. I initially scoffed at the Chinese people who, much to the inconvenience of those of us waiting in line, had to repack parts of their luggage upon reaching the counter. A bit of humility (and a healthy level of crimson) crept in as I had to do the same. I hadn’t realized just how sticky those Air China people are about baggage weight limits. I was at 25.6 KGs and the guy asked me to remove the point six. Two books. I mean honestly.

The NYC security check was the one I was dreading, but all went to plan, despite almost losing my pants. Upon removing my belt for the Buffalo security check I must have caught my button and lost it to the deep depths of Niagara Airport janitorial; meaning, I only had a belt, a reluctantly burdened zipper and a prayer that an extra observant security staff (and a good number of fellow travellers) wouldn’t see my gitch.

I shimmied through the metal detector without a whisper and hastily re-secured my pants.

The flight from JFK to PEK was long, but bearable. It weighed in at about 13 hours, but seemed quicker than the flight there, so that was a bonus.

The last worry of my trip I had concerns about was the purchasing of my ticket from Beijing to Dalian on short notice. I knew I was arriving in Beijing at about 6 p.m. and I knew there was at least one or two more flights to Dalian. Crossing my fingers, I found the ticket counter (2nd Floor – same as departures – for anyone that needs to know) and with a one month of unpracticed Chinese (at least until the girl behind the counter confessed – with a laugh – that she could speak some English) I got a ticket. Not only did I get a ticket, I got a ticket at 50% off. Only 440 RMB ($62 CAN).

Getting home last night at about 10 to the smiling face of my fiance; I quickly went to work on making up for lost time… I mean, it had been a month. I’m speaking, of course, about the plate full of dumplings I ripped through. Man, did I miss Chinese food. Even had seconds for breakfast. 😉

I find I’m having a hard time motivating myself to unpack just to pack again. I keep looking around this apartment trying to figure out how exactly I plan to fit in into not more than four pieces of luggage. Best get cracking.

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