Okay, I’m being dramatic – but that 30 hour travel time was more than enough to not make me want to leave any time soon.
I was lucky enough to have window seats for my long flights – however I struggle with sleeping on planes, so I maybe got a total of 4 hours when you combine all of the naps? Yikes. I’m going to be a zombie today.
My long flight from Dallas to Beijing was only about half full, but I had someone sitting directly next to me. Weirdly enough she was Chinese but spoke Spanish, so we conversed a little in Spanish, but she was out like a light. They fed us three meals on the plane, so that was nice. We also got to choose our own. Entertainment on the plane, so I watched a whole 5 different movies. I also found it pretty cool that we got to fly over Russia. (Get it, because it was so snow covered?)
Beijing was hard. I had a 2 hour layover in Beijing. Our plane arrived late, so I was nervous. Got through customs relatively quickly. Had to switch terminals to fly locally. The bus to terminal one took 20 minutes.
I got to the desk to check in with a little under an hour left. My bag goes through their scanner, sets off an alarm, and they give it back to me and just point and say something in Chinese. I have no idea what’s going on and I’m scared of missing my flight.
Eventually someone helps translate for me (I’m on the verge of hysterically crying I’m so tired, and from the airport Beijing didn’t look too nice). Turns out they had to inspect my oversized luggage (it was under 50lbs, so I’m not sure why) at a different scanner.
So I go over to this new scanner, they literally make me empty my bag so they can inspect it manually. I was shaking as this large man was slowly going through my stuff. I needed to leave.
Thankfully, I got through security and to my gate in time. I was one of the last few people to board the bus for the plane.
Yes, weirdly we had to take a bus to board our 787 plane that was covered in a Kung Fu Panda advertisement. Our plane was right next to the runway, so it was incredibly loud when boarding the plane. It was also below freezing in Beijing, there was snow on the ground, the wind was strong, and I was way underdressed. It was a tough five minutes boarding.
Eventually I was able to board and watched Dr Strange during this flight. I think I was the only English speaker on board.
Eventually after 11 I got to my hotel in Shenzhen. It was dark and foggy — so I don’t have much to say about the city yet. I wish I had studied more Chinese, that’s for sure.
Now I’m utterly exhausted, looking forward to what my first day brings!