Journey Into China

This is the story of a young man's trip across the world to a place he had only dreamed of.

Accross The Pond

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I hopped on a plane at 8 AM Sunday morning at DFW. I arrived in LA at 8:55 local time -- less than an hour! Even fo me,that was fairly quick. ...but if you take the time zones into account (Who would want to do that?!), it turns out to be about three hours. As luck would have it, the guy sitting right accross the aisle from me was one of the people going in the trip. Don't ask me how that happened, because the people I'm traveling with are from all over the country. There are only a few from Texas. So, how we sat next next to eachother, is a mystery.

In LA, I ate, not once, but FOUR times -- breakfast at Chili's (I found the prospect to be amusing, but it actually wasn't half bad), lunch at an Itallian grill, a post-lunch dessert at McDonald's, and a pre-flight chicken croissant from a little stand by the gate. I must like Californian food. Our flight was delayed over two and a half hours, so, I suppose that aided in my grazing.

We took off around 4 PM. At this point I should mention, that I had spent the previous night packing -- by plan, on advice frommy helpful, internationally experienced friend -- and so, had not gotten a wink of sleep. Needless to say, I spent over half of the flight from LA to Shanghi asleep. Without a layover, we changed planes (pictured on the right) and headed for Beijing. We arrived around 12:45 AM, May 15th. By my calculations, that means the 18 hour flight, made us jump almost 33 hours into the future!

Customs was a breeze. There was no searching, no metal dectectors, no nothing, besides a piece of paper saying how may bags we brought into the country. Very surprising! Our tour guide, Sin, who will be with us throughout the trip gave us a quick rundown on Bejing on our way to the Friendship Hotel. Apparently, the hotel, which was built in the 1950's, is one of the most famous and is where diplomats and celebrities have stayed over the years.

When we pulled up to the hotel, I quickly ate dinner -- it was almost 2 AM at that point, and we were supposed to be up at 7 the next morning! Even, a "light meal" as they called it, was quite an ordeal, with no less than 20 choices on a buffet line. I didn't have much time to spend, but I'm not worried, as I'm sure I'll get my fair share of buffets while I'm here. ;)


Anonymous Britt said...

And who's the friend who advised waiting to pack until the night of, and staying up all night? I told you not to be hanging around with those drug addicts anymore...

5/17/2006 10:40 AM  

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