But I don’t recall anything about covert clichés.
This particular journey began with one big sit -- rather than a step. Even before we left for the airport, we knew our flight had been delayed. Roy predicted a “rolling delay.”
You know how it goes. The airline knows the flight will be delayed for hours. But they dribble it out in 15 minute increments.
Roy was correct. But we decided to take our airway water boarding torture in style. After checking in and getting our seat assignments, we retired to the Delta Sky Club for a few hours of free food, comfortable chairs, and free internet access.
But all good things must end. And we knew the 11 hour flight to Beijing would offer somewhat more limited accommodations.
I do not have to tell anyone who has been in the coach section of an airplane in the past few years that it is something to be endured. Triple that factor with overseas flights.
But we were both lucky. We had chosen aisle seats in the 4-seat abreast center aisle of our 747. And no one sat in the seats next to each of us. Without that extra space, the seat would have been too tight to drag out anything from my small backpack under the seat in front of me.
And when the woman in front of me reclined her seat, I could not use the seat back table to use my 13” computer. The space was too tight to open it. So, I used it in the seat next to mine.
To avoid boredom on flights, I pack snacks. In this case, a packet of jerky, some salt water taffy, a bag of sliced pepperoni, and some sliced sharp cheddar Tillamook cheese. Fulfilling my sodium intake for about a month.
That may help to explain why I did not particularly enjoy the two Air China in-flight meals. They were no worse than any other airplane food. I ate the fresh fruit. Picked at the rice. Ate my steamed vegetables.
What I did not do was sleep --– something I cannot do on an airplane. (My brain is usually too busy trying to fly the aircraft.) In this case I am glad I was not asleep when we started our flight over mainland China.
Every city we flew over looked as if it was under a shock and awe air strike. There were repeated bright flashes everywhere. I wondered if everyone in China was outside pointing their camera flashes into the air.
I was close. It was the last night of Chinese New Year -- the Spring Festival. And those flashes were fireworks. Big fireworks. Thousands of them. And they went off continually until midnight.
Even when we drove through Beijing to our hotel, fireworks were fired off within feet of our bus. It was almost like being home in Mexico. But I suspect fewer spectators were burned by errant bits of fire.
Our journey may have begun late, but that first step certainly put us in China at an auspicious moment.