Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beijing Trip - Haneda Airport Again

Yay, back on the other side of the GFW with free and open Internet. Dang it I hate the Chinese Communist Party. I was checking my usual sources for China news/commentary in my hotel this morning and most of the sites are blocked: China Digital Times (CDT), Global Voices Online, ChinaGeeks, ChinaHush... this is in addition to the usual blocks on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, etc. Interestingly, ChinaSmack was not blocked nor are blogs on Wordpress.

Anyway, Haneda Airport is pretty deserted at this point. I have about three hours before my flight and there is no one waiting at the gate. I thought about going out to Tokyo again to check out the night lights but I wimped out... it's close to 30C outside and our plane was delayed a bit so I'm worried about making it back for my flight. While we were waiting on the runway at Beijing airport, the pilot said the delay was to to runway congestion. However, looking out the window I saw 3 Air China flights plus one Air Macau flight cut in front of us and took off on the same runway. WTF? It would be so lame if the tower made the "evil" Japanese airline wait after domestic airlines. Maybe there were VIPs aboard those flights. I can hear the fengqing yelling 加油!

Here are some posts made I made while in Chinese Internet hell...


One hour from Beijing

That was my third time in Tokyo but the first time that I stepped out of the airport. The trip feels long already but that’s probably because I took the side trip to Tokyo Tower. Usually I sit on my ass in the airport; still debating whether to venture out of the airport again on my way home.

Right now I’m about an hour east of Beijing. From the flight map, our flight didn’t take the most direct route, probably trying to avoid flying over North Korea. Don’t want to take any chances on being shot down. This flight is on a Boeing 767-300 and it’s about 75% full. The flight attendants keep trying to speak Japanese to me. When I give them a blank stare, they would try Mandarin (since we’re flying to Beijing). Finally they would speak English but it’s hard to understand with their accent. I just watched Monster House on the little TV screen in the airplane seat back. Sigh… the legroom is not sufficient; I’m jammed against the seat in front of me and he’s not even reclined. I didn’t know about the premier economy class on ANA; maybe I’ll try that next time I fly to Beijing.


Quick Beijing Trip, Day 1

Two things welcomed me to Beijing this time: the oppressive heat+humidity, and the China smell. I think the smell is air pollution from burning coal and it’s actually worse in Chengdu. Oh yeah, one more thing that greeted me was the wonderful Chinese customer service attitude. It was even more obvious after the treatment I got at Haneda. Leaving Beijing Terminal 3, there's one guy flagging people at random to put their bags through an x-ray scanner. I've never been picked before but I made eye contact and the guy (it's always a guy) yelled at me in Chinese to put my bag through. Look dumbass, Beijing gets a lot of foreign visitors and not everyone speaks Chinese. A bit of courtesy would be nice. As usual, Sindy was there to pick me up and I was sweating profusely just from the walk to the parking lot. It was the hottest and muggiest day so far this summer.

At the hotel, I had to pay to upgrade to the next room level to get something on the non-smoking floor. The said they could "freshen up" one of the rooms on a smoking floor but I wasn't falling for that trick (it doesn't work). After checking out the hotel floorplan, it was good I didn't go for the cheaper room... it's 1/2 the size of the room I got. The rest of the day was uneventful. We walked over to Sindy's parents' apartment, had dinner there, and walked back to the hotel in the rain. Usually I smell lots of good stuff while walking around her neighborhood... I hate to think what was in the puddles I had to step through. I also set up the Apple AirPort Express (old 11g version) I brought so Sindy can have wifi in her apartment, and be able to use the iPad 2 I got her for her b-day. FaceTime works really good.

1 comment:

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