To China and Beyond!
Let me explain. For those who didn’t know, I worked for a consulting firm for a year traveling every single week. While this was rough at the time, I built up around 200,000 airline miles! Time to cash in, and maybe splurge a little. 😉
To start my trip off right, I flew business class and got my own little pod all to myself. Unlike my dreadful long flight to Italy a few years back, my flight to China went by like a breeze. My seat reclined 180 degrees into a bed; I got all the free food and drinks I could ask for, and don’t forget the free slippers!
Although, because I am still cheap, I did choose a flight with two layovers. My first leg after Houston was from Tokyo, Japan to Chengdu, China. I got on this plane well rested after a good nights sleep from the Houston flight and a big breakfast in the first-class lounge in the airport.
Because it was a Japanese airline, they asked upfront if I wanted a Western or Japanese style meal when service came around. Psh. Why even ask! Japanese of course. When food came around, I literally had no idea what was in front of me. Not a single thing. It wasn’t bad except for one small heart attack. I went to take a bite of what I thought was ginger, and right as it was about to go into my mouth, I saw eyes and legs! I almost threw the chopsticks across the plane. They are called Sakura Shrimp if you want to see them closer up… But, when in Rome… I picked those suckers up, said F**k you shrimp, and ate all of them at once. I didn’t die, and honestly, they didn’t taste like much at all.
At the end of the flight, one of the cute airline staff handed me a customs form. It was in Japanese of course. I stopped her, and was like, um, sorry, I can’t read this? She stared at me for a second seemingly lost, and then she giggled, realizing I clearly didn’t speak a lick of Japanese. She went back and found an English version. I guess I was the only one on the flight that needed one? Anyway, from the plane to the airport, the Japanese are the nicest people I have ever encountered in my travels so far. I have never seen people so excited working at the airport. If only other countries were like this!
So, I get to China. I booked a close hotel airport for about $90 since I got in at 11:00pm and my last leg to Dali, China was at 6:00am. It turned out a $90 airport hotel in China is a 5-star hotel! If only I had more time to enjoy it!
The China airport brought me back to reality with what you would expect from airport personnel. To make thing swift, I did online check-in before I went to the airport. When I got to the front of the line at security, the guy in front of me unfolded his 8×11 printed-out boarding pass and went right through. Perfect, smooth sailing! Now my turn. I show the security lady the exact same piece of paper, and she says, “no, not boarding pass.” I was like, “what?” She repeated, “not boarding pass.” Before I could say another word, she shooed me away with a wave of the hand. Ugh… So I go to the check-in counter and tell the lady there what happened. She was just as confused as me and said I definitely was holding a boarding pass. She printed me out a new one anyway and when I went to see the security lady again, she let me through with an evil glare. Not sure what that was all about. And of course, then they hand-searched my bags as well.
“We can’t control the fact that bad things are going to happen, but it’s how we react to them that really matters.” -Dustin Moskovitz
After all the hassle, I got to Dali, China safe and sound. The flights were more or less easy and enjoyable. And, navigating Dali to get to the hostel was a piece of cake.
What’s your funniest airport experience? Let me know in the comments below!