Monday, August 31, 2009

China Girl (Part 1)

This is the first day that I typed anything in China. It seems a bit silly now but whatever; it is what it is. I am going to randomly add some pics to the words which I couldn't do before. Now that I am home and may be going through some time change issues, this may appear redundant. Also, compared to the plane I went to China on vs the plane I came home on; there can't even be a mild comparison. We literally could lay down on our seat/bed coming home and had a tv screen bigger than my monitor here at home.

I watched a couple movies and had the choice of many many more. I chose to watch The Proposal, got half way through The Hangover, and watched just enough of the Renee Zellwenger New in Town to note that I would never watch any more of it in my entire life. This plane also had an upstairs. I have so been there; I didn't even bother to check out the other floor. Oh, and as far as the wine in that first picture? It wasn't mine.
I have become a jaded traveler in a matter of two weeks. Who knew? The following is the first of many words I compiled in China.

I was very disappointed when I got to China and found out that I couldn’t blog. The People’s Republic of China has a firewall on blogs and Facebook and as much work as my great tech put into it for me to access my blog, it just didn’t happen. Bummer. Anyway, G suggested I type as things happen here in China and transfer it to my blog when I eventually have access to it in the states. He called it a mini series and I liked that. So, for the first installment of the mini series, here goes.

Packing. I am glad that this trip was on the spur of the moment. I didn’t have time to second guess my wardrobe and throw in those ‘what if’ articles of clothing. Because of this, I did not, for the first time in my life, over pack. I chose one outfit for each day I would be gone (14), underwear for those days (too much info?) and two changes in sleepwear. To that I added one jacket, a couple pairs of shoes and some workout clothes. That is it; no sweater, no jeans, no long sleeved anything. Shanghai has been in the 90ยบ for as long as I can see forward so all that other stuff we stuff in our bags was unnecessary. Plus, this is China after all; there are clothes everywhere.
I brought one suitcase. I borrowed it from Micky because I looked for a suitcase bigger than a carryon and couldn’t find one. Thinking back, we loaned them to Peter and Maria for their honeymoon and forgot to retrieve them. The plan was for me to bring one suitcase and then possibly claim an extra that Jayne might bring because she was bringing tons of stuff to the kids that was either gifts or things they requested. Then, whatever room I needed to come back home with for purchases, I could use hers. I even had room to stuff a couple dozen Einstein bagels in my suitcase in the airport that couldn’t fit in Jayne’s bags.
Check in at the airport was a breeze. I guess because we were going to a communist country, I expected something different than normal overseas travel but it was as smooth as can be. Later, talking to an American in the plane, Jayne and I realized that we weren’t supposed to travel with aerosols even in cargo. I had bug spray and hair spray and Jayne was transporting lots of bug spray for the kids. It was never confiscated at all.
The plane was wonderful. I can’t recall ever traveling on a plane that had an upstairs lounge before.

We took a look see and probably looked like country bumpkins, checking out everything. We had a blast on the 14 hour flight, never taking so much as a thought at shut eye. It just seemed weird to go to sleep at one in the afternoon. We were rookies; what did we know?
Now we know. You are playing catchup for sometime before your body clock is regulated to the new time. I will get back to this massive time change in a bit. We were met at the airport with Mr. Lou, who is the driver for Jayne’s daughter and her family. It was about an hour of looking around at everything on the drive from the airport before I was outside my hotel and so ready to crash. Jayne left me to continue on the short distance to her daughter and SIL and grandkids. She lasted longer than me. I went to bed at 4 p.m. Shanghai time ( 3 a.m. Chicago time) and she stayed up until seven p.m.
I am adding this about time change now that many days have past. When the flight attendant told us that EVERYONE sleeps whether they want to or not seemed silly at the time but trust me; we paid for it painfully. Literally, we were not ourselves for five days. This is not to say that we couldn’t function; but it was just functioning. There is something that I can’t describe that takes over your body. You are fine for a while and then you get sleepy or nauseous or start having very odd behavior. I was horribly car sick and Jayne was sick to her stomach. The 13 hour time change is different to everyone. I don’t know how international travelers do it. I hear it get’s to the point that the westerners pretty much don’t want to travel home because it literally takes the whole trip to feel regular. I have learned my lesson. I will drug myself, in any manner possible within two hours of boarding the plane when we leave so that I don’t lose five days out of my life.


dee said...

Thanks for sharing your adventure. This is fun! Glad you're home safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

Re: inflight movie. Renee Zellweiger hasn't made any good movies in awhile. Sad. Otherwise, fun to hear about your trip.