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Published: July 30th 2012
Brownson Makes Friends In China
Brownson Makes Friends In China
At Perth International Airport we stood at the counter for 30 minutes backing up the passengers almost out the door. Our hopeless travel agent booked us all in as children and their systems didn’t like it. I was fully expecting them to ask us for some extra money after the way my week was turning out. They didn’t, so hopefully that is a good omen. After some with reservations about flying with China Southern Airlines we needn’t have worried. A great airline even if they only did show Chinese and Japanese subtitled movies for the whole way to Ghuangzhou. It only serves to encourage one to sleep rather than watch movies which makes the jetlag worse in my opinion. They didn’t serve alcoholic drinks except for wine either which is fine by us seeing as we’re not big drinkers. An exercise video came on which we were all encouraged to participate in the ‘chair’ exercises. Qantas could really take a leaf out of China Southern Airlines in this respect. Although the whole plane cracked up when the narrator said one of the exercises would relieve the wind. We all covered our nose for the impending result. Bobby has just about eaten all of the snacks we packed in the first hour despite warnings we still had 35 hours to go. Meanwhile it was a struggle to get Lleyton to make his way through the airline food. By the way, the food was great.
We are in transit for 4 hours in Ghuangzou which is a lovely airport. There are also charging areas for international plugs and ports which is a nice surprise. There is also a station to fill up on boiling water so I decided to buy some instant noodles for on the way back with our 14 hour transit time. Even Brownson (our boy’s well travelled little teddy bear) managed to make some friends with the locals here at the airport. The flight wasn’t too bad as we had something to eat about 2 hours into the flight. They turned all the lights out and we all settled in for the night. I managed to doze off for most of it with a break at the back of the plane with Bobby and Brendan who couldn’t sleep. Lleyton said he could sleep a wink, so I hope he’s going to be OK. When I finally could sleep anymore it wasn’t long before the food trough came through, which was a sign it wasn’t long to touch down. Once at the airport, we were herded like cattle from place to place with officials yelling at all the passengers. The customs officials were very scary and we all had to have our finger prints scanned. I had the foresight to leave my uneaten apple on the plane. Brendan however, did not. Unfortunately it seemed like it added another hour onto the time as we had to join the things to declare line as there was no bin toss the apple into. Once outside we walked along the kerb to where the sign for shared rides was. Brendan announced that he didn’t think it was the right way as we’d walked to far and we didn’t see anything. I thought it was a huge airport and that we probably didn’t walk far enough. Turned out I was right and we just had to walk a little further and we wouldn’t seen it. It hard to describe what one of the busiest airports in the world looks like when it comes to the amount of traffic coming through. Of course, due to security, no one is allowed to be stationery for more than a few minutes, so most people were making the half hour circuit to come back again if they didn’t pick up anyone the first time. Once we found the right company they told us to wait and it seemed like forever. Another Australian family was waiting and when we were all eventually allowed on the shuttle I thought beauty, we’re on our way. This is when the shuttle had to do another circuit of the airport arrivals. Sigh! Another half an hour later we picked up another two passengers. We made small talk with the other Aussies with the usual where are you from, where have you been, where are you going. If we were in a third world country, the next question would be how are your bowel motions. The other passenger who used to live in LA informed us that the traffic was very good at the moment as I stared wide eyed at the 6 lane highway where every one seemed to be going like a bat out of hell. It was all so surreal as all the traffic lights from oncoming traffic seemed to start floating in the sky, until I realised it was a queue of planes ramping in the sky waiting to land at LAX. It was less than an hour before we were at our hotel. The room was surprisingly nice for the price we paid. Once our heads hit the pillow at 11.30pm there was no stopping our sleep….until three hours later a little voice from the dark whispers “Mum I can’t sleep”. I suggest all kinds of remedies to Lleyton. They must’ve worked as I didn’t hear anymore of it. The problem is I never got back to sleep until the alarm went off at 6.15am. My brain was in over drive despite being intensely tired. At 3am I wanted to get up and make coffee and do stuff, not lie there and do nothing.
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