Somewhere over the China Sea

Somewhere over the China Sea   We left the hotel at 7 am.  Given we were under the flight path we didn’t have far to go but the hotel buses weren’t quite prepared for our voluminous luggage.  So, we stuffed and stuffed and crammed everyone and everything on board.  We got to the airport in plenty of time and had another easy check in.  Our flight to Hong Kong was on a 777 so we had no issues storing our equipment.   We are getting quite good at it.   Transferring to the International terminal at Hong Kong was a zoo.  We had to switch terminals, take a train and get rescreened to get to our next flight.  We didn’t have a lot of time to spare but as luck would have it, the flight to SFO was delayed and we got to switch gates as well.  But, we are all on board and settled in for the 11.5 hour flight.

We have a 747-400 this time.  Of course, we are at the back but it’s comfortable none the less.  There are over 100 movies and lots of video games to choose from.  We hope to sail thru security and be on time for our final leg of the journey but were 1 ½ hours late in departing from Hong Kong .   I’ve asked a lot of the kids what was the highlight of the trip.  Most don’t have an answer but the most common answers are the Great Wall, the first performance in Beijing , the school visit in Guangzhou and the Guilin Impressions performance we watched.  I would agree.  The Wall is something you read about and imagine.  Being on it is a surreal experience especially when it’s a Chinese Holiday and there are literally millions of people with the same plan.  The first performance in Beijing was a school exchange and we played really well.   The school was very welcoming and seeing the Chinese instruments was really special.  The pressure was off that night and it was the best performance on our end.  Walking into several hundred kids clapping and the performance that was put on in our honor at the experimental school in Guangzhou was so moving.  The banquet there was one of the best meals of the trip too.  And Guilin was an incredible place. The beauty of the landscape, clean air and watching a performance enhanced by the natural surroundings and a monsoon was unforgettable.  It took days for our shoes to dry out but it was worth it.

The lessons learned – patience and flexibility pays.  Self reliance and trying new things such as foot massages, mysterious foods and exploring a new culture can be fun.   Sleep is necessary.  Making new friends can be terrific.  I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.  I too look forward to flush toilets, not needing a room key and a scrambled egg.    I hope you enjoyed following our adventures thru China!

Posted in China Trip 2010.