Back to the Future…China Bound!

So…our trip back to China was quite eventful! It actually makes us shake our heads. Some things make David cringe, others make us laugh out loud…it doesn’t stress us, even when things don’t go quite as planned. I just smile and say…China how I’ve missed you!!

It all started early in our trip in Sao Paulo airport at our gate about 30 minutes before boarding our plane. We were watching a bit of the futebol game and a Chinese man stood over a garbage and blew snot from his nose into the garbage. I forgot about this, I haven’t seen it in over a year.

We flew Air China. Not our first choice in carrier, it was Michelin Brasil’s choosing but hey, it’s part of Star Alliance so we will get the points.

The minute you board you realize it’s gonna be one of those  flights with Chinese all around you. Not sure of which seat is theirs, ringing the flight attendant for hot water for tea and this time baby bottles. There was a crazy amount of young families with babies and toddlers flying this time.

So, we get on our way and before the meal was served, the woman across the aisle pulls out a big bag of “weinys” Yep, a whole big bag of these processed little things ( no picture, sorry) I don’t even know how she got them past baggage screening. Her husband who is seated a few rows ahead of her continues to wander back and forth standing by her seat and the two of them chow down on these things. Our meal is served and I called it before it came…chicken and rice or beef with noodles 🙂 And the lady and her husband are still eating “weinys” with their meal. Haha 🙂 The food was actually good until the little kid sitting behind David barffed!! All over the seat, the back of the seat, the floor in the aisle BUT…service must go on, so the flight attendants rolled the drink carts right through the mess and continued. Oh, and on the cart was something STRANGE…could it be? YES. a styrofoam tray with chicken feet! NO WAY!!! Finally, the vomit got cleaned up, well sort of!

I think the flight attendants had enough because next thing the lights were dimming and they wanted the window blinds down. I think they were hoping everyone would settle and go to sleep. Chinese usually fall asleep anywhere…but Chinese also have “ants in their pants” they don’t sit still. Lots of turbulence and PA announcements to please stay seated, and they were still wandering the aisles. Are we having fun yet?! This was just the first 2 hours…9 more hours to Spain!

I didn’t mention that David’s first info on this flight was correct. NO plug ins to charge electronics and his TV doesn’t work. We switch seats and now I am sitting by the PUKE! I know, I know…I am a sacrificial wife! Time to sleep 🙂

I guess I must have slept a little bit because I was surprised when the lights were turned up and they announced 2 hours til Madrid and breakfast would be served shortly. This flight plan took us kinda diagonal up the African cost. All new territory for us! Lots of interesting mountain ranges.Madrid is 5 hours ahead of Brazil time and 6 hours behind China. We don’t get a whole lot of sleep on these long flights but the thing is with this flight…after a quick stop in Madrid for refuelling…we get to do it all over again! 11 hours to Beijing! Breakfast is served, noodles and beef leftovers from last night with a tiny yogurt added. I am just happy I had chicken last night. We are 38000feet over Casablanca 🙂

Flying in to Madrid, Spain was absolutely beautiful!I have a new place to add to my bucket list. The land is laid out like a patchwork quilt with mountains and fertile valleys and manicured intersections and roundabouts. All very interesting in the air makes me want to have a closer look someday…

Our stop in Madrid was QUICK!!! We had to exit the plane, take everything, stay within the international waiting area but go through another baggage screening. It was a very slow process and by the time we got through it was time to board the plane again! The VERY same plane, and SAME seats. A quick stop was for refueling and cleaning. A schedule to keep, and as soon as everyone was on board, the door shut and we taxied away from the gate, even before some people were seated. ALWAYS a mix up with seats!!

And 11 MORE hours to Beijing!

Shortly after we were in the air, lunch was served (we were flying over Paris at the time) I smiled at David and said, Breakfast in Casablanca, Lunch in Paris…gee, aren’t we the the jet setters! 🙂 The route to Beijing was up and over Russia, over Moscow, over Nizhny Novgorod and down to China.

This flight was a little more trying. The kids slept on the first flight and parents didn’t. So this flight, parents were exhausted and sleeping while the kids were running and jumping in the aisles and babies were screaming and crying. One poor little babe cried the whole way!!! NOT FUN! Flight attendants were busy getting hot water for noodles 🙂 We just laid our heads back and dozed off and on, and unfortunately not much sleep.

BEIJING, CHINA!!! YES 🙂

We landed in Beijing with an hour to get through immigration and customs and board our plan for the 1 hour flight to Shenyang. Almost there… HOWEVER, very long lines at Immigration and Customs and Beijing being the huge airport it is, as well as security taking almost everything out of our carryons to inspect…WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT!! 😦 They kept putting us through, we ran and ran to our gate and the door was CLOSED, plane was still there BUT they would not let us go through.

So, as tired as we were we had to get back through the terminal maze find someone that could help us figure out new tickets and call Sophy at Michelin to let her know the situation.We were without phones and wifi so David used a phone at a Service desk to get in touch with everyone waiting for us in Shenyang. Air China wouldn’t issue new tickets. We could wait and go standby for the next available flights but the next two were booked solid. To buy new tickets meant standing in a line for hours of literally thousands of people. Beijing airport was a mess of people because of flights cancelled yesterday due to weather.

Thankfully, and I am so so thankful, Sophy arranged for a colleague in Beijing to send a driver to pick us up at the airport and take us to a hotel in Beijing. The colleague met us at the hotel and got us checked in a beautiful room (with a Queen bed and a bathtub) at the Metro Park Lido. Within minutes of having internet in our room David had new flight tickets for first thing in the morning and called Sophy  and called the Beijing colleague who assured us the driver would be back in the morning.

A nice hot bubble tubby and SLEEP! A little bit of food and more sleep and we’ll be GREAT!! Oh the joys of traveling but it is REALLY nice to be back in China!

So…it’s Shenyang in the morning! Nite all!!!

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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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