Saturday, 29 March 2014

Posting from my phone in Shanghai

So, I think this counts as one of my top five "what the hell is going on" trips. When these guys say that it's a transfer, this is actually code for "oh, you don't need to fill out an arrival card, you're not going through immigration yet, head this way, no no, this way, through immigration, yes yes, through immigration. What do you mean you don't have an arrival card? Here, fill this out. Go right after immigration to get to domestic transfers. Downstairs. What do you mean you don't have a ticket? Go through security. Hmm, that guy might know something. OK, here's your ticket. Gate 4. Third floor. No no, through security! (again) third floor. Through customs (again). Another immigration check, and then a nice woman took pity on me and pointed me towards the gates, which are cunningly hidden behind a giant Honda promotion."

Still, isn't this fun! Our plane decided to do a random 360 on the Mongolian border (for my sailing friends, I guess he hit a mark) but other than that a very smooth and pleasant flight. First flight I've ever been on where they offer a USB charging port on the seat. About time too, finally the airplane industry caught up with trains.

One minor nag though; whenever I fly alone, I'm never placed next to an attractive female 20 year old who has a thing for geeky English guys. It's always a middle aged, slightly overweight woman who's purchased seventy nine bags of duty free. I have the worst luck.

So I'm tapping this out on my phone in the shanghai airport, sipping a tsing tao (I'm on holiday) and enjoying a quiet moment. People weren't kidding when they said shanghai was polluted, I can barely see out the windows for the smog. A face mask will definitely be a priority purchase.

The airport itself is quite the juxtaposition. Really small shops like you'd expect on a back alley, with cardboard boxes of produce precariously stacked around next to a shop selling Luis Vitton. And then when you reach the long section which is home to the gates, there's just the same four shops repeating into the distance: a minimart, a noodle chain, Hopestar coffee and cates (I haven't had the courage to ask what a cate is yet), and a shop selling rc cars. I wonder if the employees accidentally show up at the wrong shops in the morning. Off by 30 metres or something.

Right, the next stage of my journey awaits. I'm going to try and email this over the public wifi, so unsure how that'll work, but thanks for reading and see you all soon!

Andy

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