Spoiled by flying Delta on all my international travels, I got to experience multiple inner country flights this week and may I say, Air China sucks. It is a throwback airline utilizing these teeny tiny pale blue fabric antique seats that recline into your lap. Seriously, the dude in front of me is laying in my lap on this four hour odyssey to get back to Beijing from Hong Kong. I am seriously fighting the urge to smack his head and tell him to kindly decline to recline! And the guy next to me not only snores but when he did wake up (okay, I poked him just a bit to make him stop-works on Thom after all), he’s now clacking away at some game on his iphone….thank God I have my serious headphones with me on this trip so I can plug in and tune out. A friendly seat mate I am not. I think I actually snarled and it wasn’t pretty. On a plus side, he must have taken a bath today because the body odormeter is low and he has kept his shoes on. Hallelujiah! Ahh, you appreciate the little things in life when you travel Inner China.
I am in row 51F…yep, that far back and surrounded on all sides by hacking humanity. Yes, I am spoiled and get to travel in business class most times on international flights. Even on domestic in the US, I usually get upgraded so this trip is not as pleasant. Reminder to self-do not take upgraded seats for granted. It’s not the free booze or high quality food served on fine china, which is nice no doubt, but the extra personal space is what I crave. Next time I fly back to the US, it’s a special business trip so I have to fly coach not business class. As one guy put it who has to suffer a similar fate, Xanax and wine will be our friends and help us to obliviate and only wake up when we land on friendly soil. Having another blood vessel burst in my old ear drum when I landed in Hong Kong, I can’t believe I forgot my Sudafed and nose spray which I’m supposed to take to avoid this fate. OUCH! I looked to find such drugs in Hong Kong but no such luck, so I am furiously chewing gobs of gum and hoping I don’t scream out in pain when we land in Beijing. Yes, travelling is fun and adventure but it can be quite a bitch as well.
And speaking of bitching, the food served in tinfoil on Air China is an adventure in food poisoning. On the way over, I took it because it was very late and I was starved. At least there was a bun sealed in plastic that I hoped would not be too toxic. Turned out it had a red bean paste center which wasn’t too bad. The chicken entrée screamed, “Eat me and die” so I heeded the warning and shunned it. The breakfast on the flight to Beijing is noodles and shrimp. Yes, please give me shellfish prepared on a runway. The flight attendant looked super annoyed when I waved off the food she was peddling. Yes, I know you want to get rid of this shit but I am not that stupid. NO. THANK. YOU. Knowing better than to wait to eat on the plane, I stood in line at McD’s at the airport and got a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. YUM! The memory of that tasty morsel will keep me going for awhile.
As we get ready to land, I try to make use of the facilities. OCCUPIED. Okay, I’ll wait…and wait…and wait until the surly flight attendant tells me that we are landing and I need to sit down. But what about the Occupant??? She does knock on the door but then buckles up for landing. Okay, what’s wrong with this picture? You got it. Some old guy fell asleep in the bathroom and landed there, poking his head out as we exited and looking around confused. What airline lets a passenger stay in the bathroom during landing??? Air China does. Enough said.
Meanwhile, seeing life from the cheap seats in the back, I did finally find time to write and enjoy my Macklemore playlist. I get a kick out of listening to him in China because I know his music is censored here. Same Love-not in China. I hit the ground in Beijing, running straight to work and then get to enjoy another “economy” flight back home to Shanghai on Saturday. I’ve been gone for two months so I’m hoping our Ayi hasn’t take up residence with her family/friends in our apartment and that the a/c has been turned on since it’s a blistering 100 degrees and humid here. Home Sweet Home!