Plane Please

May 05, 2011 7 Comments by

After recovering my voice finally, I debated the best way to get to Xi’an. The train is the cheapest option available, it also takes 37 hours. Ummmm I tend to think I will become homicidal after more than 1 day on a chinese train. The combined smell of cigarette smoke and cup-o-noodles is positively disgusting. I voted instead for a plane. It was slightly more expensive but more time effective.

The only problem? It left at 7am. Ughface I hate mornings. I pulled myself out of bed at the fabulous time of 4:30, and made my way downstairs. The nightime check-out guy was still there and after making plane noises and running around like a plane, he understood that I was off to the airport. He wrote me a note in chinese to give to the taxi driver, so that they would take me there. But I’m still not sure exactly what he wrote down. I managed to find a cab fairly quick given the hour but he didn’t understand my note at all. He finally just motioned for me to get in and he drove to find another taxi. After locking me in the car AND taking the keys, he came back smiling and nodding. Evidently the second cab driver could read it and we were off!

In true Chinese fashion the airline wouldn’t begin check-in until only 1 hour before departure so I had some time to kill. I managed to find a bench that I could curl up on and took a short, slightly uncomfortable nap. When I woke up to my alarm going off, I sat up to find a whole group of chinese tourists surrounding me and taking my picture. Quite a wake-up call. There was even a small girl who came up to play with my hair. She loved the curls. :) Smiling and trying not to act freaked out, I left my fan club and went to check-in to my flight. The ticket ladies always look slightly frightened when I walk up to their counter, but everything worked out fine and I dropped my bags off and grabbed my ticket.

Deciding to grab something to eat before heading through security, I went to see what could be found this early. How about a fruit market?! I was super stoked since I really didn’t want to have to eat noodles this early. I grabbed a few apples and then lined up for my security pat down. I tell you, those chinese guards put ours to shame. Not only did I get a FULL pat down (felt like I should have bought the girl a drink first) I was watched the whole time by guys with big massive machine guns. Not gonna attempt anything here, promise you that.

I think when I get back to civilization and board a plane through the concourse I’m going to be disappointed. It’s become so commonplace to catch a bus out to the tarmac and climb up the stairs. Anything else will just be boring! Best part about the flight was the end. The crew came around selling miniature versions of the plane on pedestals. Like they did back in the 50’s! There were 3 sizes: a full scale large one, a medium and a small that had no pedestal. The older chinese gentleman next to me made the crew take a sample of each out of their pristine boxes before he could decide which to purchase. The final decision? He went for the big boy! You know the saying, go big or go home. This guy took it to heart. That plane had to be a good foot long. Crazy chinese peeps.

Piling off the plane and into the Xi’an airport I was surprised at the amount of english spoken here. There was no problem finding the shuttle bus into town and I made good friends with my seatmate along the way. He was, of course, shocked that I was traveling alone but we had a good time. He even told me about the International Horticulture Expo that was going on right now in Xi’an. Only problem being no foreign tourists were allowed. Bummer. I so wanted to learn about plants.

Finding my hostel was fairly easy, plus I had been upgraded to a 4 person girls dorm instead of the 8 person mixed dorm. No complaints from me since most of the time girls don’t snore. The only downside was the 2 chinese girls who checked into my room at approx 1am this morning. The chinese are not known for their ability to be quiet or for the need to NOT turn on the overhead light at that hour. Boo hiss, but still. No snoring. :)

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About the author

One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.

7 Responses to “Plane Please”

  1. Drew says:

    Odor of smoke and cup o noodles? It must be like being in college again

  2. Mom says:

    natty light??

  3. Mom says:

    ah!! now i remember!! virginia & i see it in ditches along argo rd. when we are walking!!

  4. Natalie says:

    or an excellent halloween costume, just saying. 😉

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