It's a long way to China

04:12 Paul Robinson 0 Comments

I arrived at Manchester Airport to find that the Manchester United team were also checking-in for a flight. It was great to see Giggsy and Rio. What was surprising was that my entourage was almost as big as United's. Three different sections of my family had turned up to bid me farewell and it was a really great gesture from them for all turning up.

At check-in I realised I'd made an error with my travel itinerary. I'd stupidly booked a journey which landed in Shanghai Pudong and then left again from Shanghai Hongqiao. This meant I had to transfer across one of the World's largest cities by myself, with all my luggage and without being able to communicate in the language. I guess I did move to China for the challenge.

The journey began and the flights between Manchester, Heathrow and Shanghai were relatively painless. Even all my baggage arrived, so a big congratulations to Heathrow for getting that right. I was absolutely exhausted though. Despite my best efforts (pillow gymnastics and a blanket over my head) I couldn't sleep on the plane.

 I boarded the plane in London feeling like this...
picture from here
...and left the plane in Shanghai feeling like this.
picture from here
All that not-sleeping gave me chance to observe some Chinese behaviour. Throughout the flight people got up, walked around and stretched. A few guys even did some running on the spot at the back of the plane. No DVT for them.

 The transfer across Shanghai was easy as well, with a shuttle bus saving the effort of navigating the subway. After checking-in for my third and final flight I had some food, had a wash and tried to remember what day it was. On the plane I felt like I could sleep forever. When I touched down in Jinan I met a manager and fellow newbie teacher from our school. It was nice to meet them and begin to get to know them but all I could think about was getting to bed.

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