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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feb 22nd: Beijing - Shenyang - Jinzhou

After a 10 hour flight, during which I didn’t sleep, I wrote my heart out, I finished reading a book, I ate some bad meals, walked up and down the aisle asking the airhostesses for water and tea (just to prevent dehydration) and nearly experienced an explosion in my head because of the pressure caused when we slowly started descending – all because my ears wouldn’t pop (what a painful experience by the way, nearly causing me to be sick in the toilet!), we landed in Beijing and it was a crazy race to catch my connecting flight.

There was me, thinking Heathrow was village on its own… But it’s nothing compared to Beijing Airport; this particular one felt to be a CITY on its own. I couldn’t believe the size of it: high ceilings, sparkling floors and glass walls everywhere. There was so much space, you’d never realize the amount of people that find themselves lost – but I can actually start to imagine, after having only an hour to sample the vastness of Beijing International Airport.

So, in the space of 60 minutes, I had to hop on a bus from the plane to the terminal, then go through customs with a declaration form before walking 15 minutes to the train, picking up my luggage, dropping the bags at the check-in desk, getting myself through security again and walking another 15 minutes to the gate AND THIS ALL TOOK PLACE WITHIN THE SAME TERMINAL! It was massive and I can’t say how pleased I was to catch that last flight!

I actually met a girl from England, who was on the same flight to Beijing. We didn’t start talking to each other until we were both searching for someone who in the same boat. The ‘boat’ being: totally lost and in search for domestic connecting flights in Beijing Airport. In between our stress and confusion, we eventually found out that we were both starting work for the same company! The only difference being: based in different locations. She was off the Xian, I was off to Shenyang. I think she said her name was Melanie. We helped each other getting to where we needed to be, which was nice.

I reached my final destination 18 hours after leaving Dublin + 8 hours of time difference, 3 flights, 3 bad meals and zero hours sleep later… I was welcomed with open arms by 2 Chinese members of staff, by the name of Apple and Lydia. A big hug and a kiss on the cheek is what I got and 5 minutes later the last leg of the journey started: a 3 hour car drive to Jinzhou… Nearly there!

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