Saying goodbye to my mum (I’ll see her again in a few weeks) I took of to the airport. The first shock was my Cathay Pacific flight was actually a “Air China” flight, the second was the QANTAS First Class lounge didn’t have a shower (they did however have some nice ice cream). Once of the flight I found that I was the only white western on board, reminded me on a Memphis bus trip I took when my friend Jon and myself were the only white people, feels weird when everyone looks at you like that. However it seems all flights make announcements in English as well as the local language.
One of the passengers actually fell asleep and started the loudest snoring I’ve held in public, it made for much laughter from the Chinese on board. As for the Beijing Airport it is super efficient, when I was handed 3 different registration cards (1 x entry, 1 x health declaration, 1 x customs) I had my doubts on how long I’d have to wait. It turned out I was through the airport very quickly, probably the fastest at an international airport ever. The Imaginative Traveller representative found me and I was off to the hotel for a briefing.
It turns out the group is only 7 people (Alex, Gareth, Bronwyn, Miles, Hanna, Alice & me) plus the Tour Leader (Brett). I also got a room to myself (which I’ll get for 8 nights) which is a bonus. I was surprised that only the UK girls (Alice & Hanna) are younger than me. Should be a good but intense trip listening to the briefing.