Today was yet another day of travel. See the pattern? Get comfortable then move on. That’s generally how our week in China goes.
Last year was our first ever trip to Zhanjiang, to visit with Danny’s cousin. When we returned to Hong Kong the bus ride was over 7.5 hours of pure unadulterated hell and I vowed the only way we’d be back was if we found another method of travel. This year, we are flying back and forth, via China Southern Airlines (AKA...China Scary Airlines).
We had a scrumptious breakfast at the White Swan hotel, as you can see by the happy smiles on the girls’ faces. After being away from home for a while, the “Canadian breakfast” really makes them happy, especially Emily. I stick with dim sum, ‘cause that’s my favourite, and Danny has some of both.
After breakfast, we quickly packed up our belongings and hopped onto the hotel’s airport shuttle, bound for Guangzhou’s BaiYun airport. The trip was easy and pleasant, just 45 minutes. On arrival, that was another story. In typical China style, the line ups to check in are just suggestions and people routinely bud in front of you. You have to show your passport about 15 times before you get anywhere near the plane and yet the actual security screening is cursory. Funny mix! We were there in plenty of time, because we had no control over when the shuttle was leaving, so the kids were hungry again by the time we were at the gate. I took it upon myself to go to the store and buy them something to eat. I had asked Emily what she wanted and out of nowhere she says “buttered bagel.” Buttered bagel? What?? Are you freaking kidding me?! In Guangzhou airport? So I bought something that said it was “muffins.” Couldn’t tell what flavour they might be, but they were cheap enough, so I didn’t much care. Turns out they were little orange cakes that the kids actually really liked! Yay me!!
Although the in-China airlines are famous for delays and not taking off on time, our flight was full, and we took off almost exactly on time. The plane was really old and really dirty, but I’m still writing this, so I guess it was okay. They served small packets of peanuts and a bottle of water, and then we arrived. The flight is only about 45 minutes versus 7.5 hours in a bathroom-less bus! Um, hello??
When we arrived, Danny’s cousin and his son met us at the airport with their vehicles, so we didn’t even need taxis. Although we really wanted to get to the hotel and relax for a bit, they announced that we were going back to their apartment for a bit. Oh well, guess that’s the price of the ride, eh?
We visited for a short time and his cousin’s wife had made some lovely chicken soup for us, but they also told us we were being taken out to dinner in like, 45 minutes. So, we had them pack us back up and headed for the hotel.
I chose the hotel, based entirely on my reading about it (in English) on the internet. Seriously risky in China, let me tell you!!! Turns out it is ok, but not great. No worse than the one we stayed in last year, but in a way better location. We’re right next to......wait for it......WALMART! Yes, Walmart in China.