I know I promised a post about the day after meeting Xiao-Jie, but I don’t have time. I wrote this in Guangzhou, after we flew there from Xi’an, and I thought I’d share what I learned. We were not seated all together on this flight. I took one for the team and sat with the New Kid, and Steve sat with Bini in the middle of the plane. I was in the back row with XJ, and an older man with terrible manners.
I hope this is sufficient for now. If not, too bad. I’m busy, damn it.
Here’s what I observed on a Shenzhen flight within China:
- Some men apparently like to cut their whiskers with nail scissors. On an airplane. Or, at least the man sitting next to me did.
- Intra-China flights are unbelievably packed. I had absolutely no leg room, and XJ wanted to sit on my lap. By the end of the interminable flight, I was sweating and so was he.
- Flights just change gates randomly at the airport. And, if you don’t speak Mandarin, it can be challenging to figure that out.
- You are NOT ALLOWED to play games on your iPhone during flight. iPads and handheld game machines are, for some reason, totally fine.
- Chinese men like to hack up phlegm and deposit in a paper cup, which they then hand to the doll-like flight attendant. Or, at least the man sitting next to me did.
- Little known flight rule: If the person behind you has their tray down, you cannot put your seat back. It is rude. (I’m going to try that back home.)
- The in-flight magazines contain reassuring employee profiles, such as “Zhang Xin: A Competent Pilot.”
- The way to keep a nearly 3-year-old child that you’ve just adopted occupied during a two-and-a-half hour flight is to feed him tiny bits of a Clif Bar for an hour.
- Another way is to show him how to lower and raise the window shade.
- Another way is to fire up “The Monster at the End of this Book” app on the iPhone until a doll-like flight attendant comes over and tells you to shut it down.
- Another way is to feed him an in-flight meal of chicken, rice and part of a roll.
- Another way is to let him take all of the periodicals out of one seat-back thing and methodically put them in the one next to it. And then do it again. And again.
- And yet ANOTHER way is to let him shred two airsickness bags into tiny bits of confetti. And leave it for the doll-like flight attendant to clean up later.
- I will silently pray to sit with Bini on every subsequent flight, because he’s comparatively easy now.
- My husband needs to realize he’s going to get punched if he remarks on how fast the flight from Xi’an to Guangzhou was.