I started my travel from Dongguan to Guangzhou where my flight was to take place. I left my place later then I would have wanted to because I misplaced my mobile phone. I got to the bus station where I boarded the express bus to Guangzhou. The scenery along the way was beautiful laced with shrubbery and trees along the highway. I got to Guangzhou at around 12:30 and went straight to the subway station and I had to look at the map and try to figure out where I was. One of the security guards were kind enough to help me by explaining where I was and how to get to my destination. I realized that it was going to be a long ride to where I was going. I had to transfer to three different subway trains before I finally got to the Airport. Still rather disorientated I went and found the Information booth to find where I needed to go to check in. Although, I was several hours early I was still allowed to check in. The person explained that since it would be several hours before they knew exactly which gate that I needed to
go to that they would know about 3 hours before the flight actually took place. So I wondered around the airport and took some photos which I was sure that made some of the security officers some what uncomfortably. Do not worry my dear friends all the photos I took are posted here. I had my flag (Canuck Flag) whichI had some help taking a photo with me with the airport name in the photo. I sat down and did my ritual as I always do before traveling. An hour of silence, during which time I have a chocolate Sunday from either McDonalds or KFC whichever happened to be present for the mode of transportation I am using at the time. If both are present I usually go with the closer one. I do some writing like now getting my thoughts in order of what to say in writing. But usually I do not use a computer I usually have a pen and paper with me to allow me freer access to my thoughts especially if I am taking the train. I also find a nice spot to just sit and watch the people go about their business,
coming and going sometimes oblivious to their surroundings. Well they are to a point like us all, in tune to the immediate surrounds. Only within the past 2 years I have made an addition to the ritual. The addition is that I would bring my mp5 along with me and within the final 30 minutes of me taking the mode of transportation, in this case a plane, and randomly listen to songs. Last minute preparation I assume drumming out all outside noises.
So we finally start the boarding process after waiting in line for a good 45 minutes. The Chinese people that took the flight took the delay as part of flying in China. As for me, I was somewhat frustrated but what could I do huh? Complain? Like my talking partner in line said, ‘Even if we did complain, what would that accomplish? Not a lot because they don’t really listen to the complaints.’ To my response, ‘Well, if you really want to show them that your disappointed start travelling by a different mode of transportation, or different airline.’ But I digress getting off the tracks so to speak.
Where was I, oh that’s right, boarding the
plane. Apparently someone further ahead in line heard me complaining about the wait, after all seeing the plane already hooked up and waiting for its passengers for a good 30 minutes of that 45 minute wait. By the time I got to the front of the line I heard someone say ‘Sorry for the delay.’ I didn’t bother asking why, mainly due to the fact that I just didn’t want to know. As the old saying goes, ignorance is bliss. I wanted to be orgasmic at this point. Knowing what lay ahead of me was in all honesty, truly nerve racking part of the ordeal the take off. Especially in a twin engine plane. A small twin engine plane flown by, I hoped an experienced pilot. Not that they would say otherwise right? Well of course they went through the proper protocols by showing us the manual of what to do in case of a water landing and a land landing. Basically stick our heads in between our legs and hope the yoga pays off enough to kiss our ass’s goodbye. No, they didn’t really show us that video. For anyone that has flown has seen the same cheesy video,
but I once again am getting off topic. So we are taxied to the runway and waiting in joy. The joy on my face while waiting for the plane to finish racing down the runway and throwing itself into the wait was actually misunderstood as panic and fear. I told the stewardess: 'I always clinch the armrests so hard that my knuckles turn white and that my eyes popping out of my head, and sweat running down my brow. That this is how I normally look as I strap myself into a metal contraption with a bunch of other people, whom I don’t know and wouldn’t trust, and a pilot that is probably so liquored up that he couldn’t sit right, let alone which know button to press. In short Ms. I am scared shitless of flying. But this is the quickest way for me to get to the destination I want. Even though throwing myself into this death trap and hurtling myself in a metal casket at the speeds this plane flies at would kill any normal person, I feel lucky today.’ But I didn't say this out loud, I had just said that I am always nervous when
it comes to takes offs and landings of any commerical or private plane. So we finally get into the air cursing altitude i start to relax. I bury my nose into the book that I had brought. Surprisingly I had finished the book by the time we had landed in the destination and I had given it to the student that was seated next to me on the plane. We breifly landed in YuXi in Anhui province because it was part of the flight and it was rather a smaller plane so not alot of fuel i would assume. Gave us a chance to stretch our legs. As we reboarded the plane and took off once more i felt a little more relaxed then the last time. Knowing that soon I would be landing in my destination. We finally reboard the plane and depart, the remaining flight was rather uneventful I burried my nose in the book that i had brought with me determined to finish it before the plane had landed in Dalian. Which was accomplished. Once finished i had given the book to the student that was seated beside me. Thus helping out someone else. I disembarked the
plane in Dalian which was afterall my final destination. I went through the typical travel procedures when leaving airports. I got myself a lighter at a giftshop that happened to still be open at this time. As I stepped out into the brisk night air of this northern Chinese city a refreshing breeze hit me. A realization came to me. This is the first time in a long time that i have been this far north during Winter. I smiled to myself as i light my cigarette before contacting my friend that had agreed to meet me at the airport.
Green Tree Inn in Jinzhou district of Dalian Information No. 532 Shidalin Road Jinzhou district Dalian (tel) 0411-3930111 (fax) 0411-39301118 website: www.greentree.cn
I awoke in the queen sized bed and slowly made my way to the window and thrust opened the curtains and was promptly greeted by a scene from ‘winter wonderland’ snow gently falling to earth from the heavens above clean and unpolluted. Snow covered cars and buildings laid before my weary eyes as I stared out. Although it was not much snow, it was more then I have seen in the past few years. I
was somewhat ecstatic on the view that lay before me and naturally reached for my camera. To my dismay the camera that I reached for was without power. I closed the curtains and proceeded to have a shower and pack what I had taken out of my bag. I took the elevator down to the second floor to see the hotel cafeteria as it were and see what delights it had in store for breakfast. Photos are attached to this of the cafeteria as well as photos from the second floor view of the street.
As I wait for my companion to arrive, I started to write this part of the entry sitting in the lobby of the hotel having already checked out of the hotel no more then half an hour before. The table is wicker table as are the chairs in the centre of the table is glass. Sparsely decorated a small vase with several plastic flowers a big picture window dons one side of the room facing the street. An elderly man across the street is cleaning the pathway from the front of the building to the street. This is obvious, for anyone who lives in
an area that has regular snow for an extended period of time. I watch him as I sit warmly inside with the slight hum of the vacuum cleaner used the vacuum the rug that stretched from the revolving door to the front desk and the elevator. The weather here reminds me of a Sudbury winter, I would say early December maybe, although I have not been in Sudbury for sometime during winter so I lack up to date knowledge on this particular subject.
Eventually I stepped out into the brisk winter air of Jinzhou district and walked around taking photos of the area while I still had a chance. I took a photo of some restaurant workers clearing snow with some unusual equipment, yes there were shovels involved but there was also a broom and some hand made contraption. One had noticed me and saw that I had a camera. They were very excited to see a foreigner and came over wanting to have a group photo together. Of course it was good to have photos taken with the locals. Feels nice to have it happen also it doesn’t hurt to meet new people. We shook hands and parted
company when the boss came out and realized that they were speaking with a foreigner. Last thing I wanted was them to get into trouble on my account. I continued up the street towards the Jinzhou train station where I met my companion where we spoke about what we would do with the remaining time I had left on this journey. It was planned that we were going to go hiking on a mountain called Black Mountain but due to the weather and improper footwear we had to cancel it.
As my companion and I walked slowly towards to train station sometimes in silence, we knew saying goodbye to good friends were difficult. We got to the station it was rather close to the hotel. We walked around taking photos of the area and eventually of each other in front of the train station. Because my companion did not want this picture on my blog I will not have it on. I was asked not to include any photos of my guide and friend here so out of respect I will not have it on. I proceeded to enter the station and go through the check point. On the
other side of the check point I turned around walking towards my friend giving my companion and hug and a handshake bidding each other farewell until our next meeting was difficult for me to do. I felt a pang in my heart when I left to stay in line, knowing that this is the last time I will see my good friend in a long time. Well for at least a year, if not longer. A lot of things can happen within that time.
I proceeded back to Dalian proper where I remained for the night and prepared myself for my eventual return to Guangzhou. The flight itself back to Guangzhou was rather uneventful we had a stop over in Wuxi for a bit then proceeded to wait in the plane until we got clearance to proceed to Guangzhou. I returned safely to Guangzhou and in one piece. My return trip to Dongguan was somewhat interesting but rather tidious.
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