Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chinese Airport Adventure

After eating Chicken and rice for dinner and shrimp and rice for breakfast (gross) I wait for everyone to get off of the plane to get my bag, which is all the way in the back.  I am in an extra sleepy state due to being prematurely awoken after taking an Ambien.  I slowly walk through the empty airport, so eerily silent.  You would think that the airport in Beijing would be full of noisy foreigners rushing form one place to another like most international airports, but there is literally no one.   I am lost.  I have no idea what to do and everything is bright white and obviously all the words are written in symbols that I don’t understand.  I follow what looks to be the right direction, where there are ten big throne-like checkpoints, each with two Chinese officials staring down upon me.  Everything is simple, stark, and clean.  All very uniform and communist, just like the architecture I saw flying overhead.  I find the one that says foreigner and walk to it.  I let them know that I am going to Taiwan and they tell me to go to the “Special line” where I wait and am called to another line.  They stamp my passport and tell me to go.  Again, hazy-headed, I have no idea where I am going.  I take the only route possible: an escalator down stairs to a train.  A few Dutch coeds around my age look just as lost as I do coming out of the train.  We exchange smiles, confused looks, and laughter.   Maybe they were laughing at me, maybe we were laughing together, and right now I still don’t know or care.  At this point I am thinking that I can either go through airport security again or leave, but I can barely think about how to even go though airport security, much less leave and if I were to go I have no Idea where I would go considering there was no internet on the plane to do research, and my brain is mush.  Moral of this story, which I have learned before is to NEVER rely on Internet.  There isn’t even Internet in the damn lonely, cold airport that keeps playing that Bach song over and over again.
            Anyways, I go through security and everyone is nice and helpful and can probably tell that I have never been here before and am thoroughly confused/exhausted/alone, so after I walk through security I feel some sense of relief that I finally am where I need to be to catch my flight in 15 hours.  15 hours.  That’s a long time.  I try to look around at the shops, but am too tired to think.  Then the heavens shine down upon me and I see a sign that says “reclining chairs”!!! I immediately follow the sign where I find the best chair I have ever seen and sit down upon it.  I put my arms through my bags and to make sure that they are not taken while I am sleeping and pass out.  Then, a few hours later, I am woken up by a man who I think was asking if my plane was taking off, because he was yelling at me and pointing at a plane …. Maybe he wanted me to panic and get up so that he could steal my perfect airport recliner.   I was immediately suspicious and still hazy-headed so all I did at the moment was look at him, scowl, and pass back out scowling.  There is no way that I had slept even close to 15 hours yet.  Now I am awake and the phones don’t work and the Internet doesn’t work either, I have 11 more hours.     
            …2 hours to go!!  I spent most of the night relocating to different wings of the airport, walking around, eating the chocolates I bought at the Tax-free shop and passing out for a few hours at a time.  There was no food, water, or Internet.  So I just walked around, ate chocolates, and slept.  Haha wow, that really happened, and I am a fat kid.  I think I got a good enough amount of sleep to get to Taipei around noon and meet the people I will be working with without looking and feeling completely haggard.  I also plan on never traveling on Ambien or Xanax again.  EVER have literally been a sloppy, chocolate-eating zombie for the last 24 hours.  This lady needs to have her wits about her. 

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