Sunday, January 23

The fortunate few

Once again I was lucky enough to fly home in Business Class, and the Shenzhen Business Lounge was a wicker delight.

Here's my morning snack of peanuts, instant coffee, some type of dried pea, a finger sized banana bread, and a moist towelette.

Who's the man? That would be me.

Missing from the lounge was a bathroom, so I made my way to the gate looking for a toilet along the way.

It's not the smartest thing to photograph a public restroom in China (anywhere for that matter), but holy shit if this isn't the worst translation for a handicap stall I ever saw.

A random surprise of this trip is seeing the Chinese eat rice and noodles for breakfast. I wasn't expecting them to break out the Pop Tarts each morning, but it's hard to eat shrimp and fish with noodles for your first meal of the day. That said, that's what I ate flying to Shanghai.

At Shanghai we walked down the steps from the plane and the Business Class passengers were ushered onto a luxury minibus with leather seats. Meanwhile the remaining passengers were herded onto a standing only coach. Our driver then headed for the terminal, but prudently stopped along the way to let 5 passenger jets have the right of way. The economy coach driver did not, instead he edged in front of a Korean Air jumbo jet with about 20 feet to spare.

Customs in and out of China has been a breeze. I was there for work, but it was easier to fly in and out on a leisure visa.

On the NYC flight I managed 10 hours of sleep. Just as well as the food was poor, and the service worse. Although I did get to wear the China Eastern slippers again. US Customs was it's usual clusterfuck of poorly bolted together procedures, and I'm part ashamed, part celebratory of the fact that I had Wendy's when I hit the Delta terminal.

And finally home, where a smiling Anne was waiting for me at Logan. Sure my car needed gas, oil and tire pressure, but otherwise she kept it in good order while I was away.

The house is littered with luggage labels, trinkets, gifts and memories of the trip, but I'm just glad to be back with Anne, and to sleep in my own bed tonight.

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