Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 1

Travel day and first day in Shanghai. It is after 11 PM local time, and I have just showered and hit my bed - which is rock hard. At least it is brand new, including the sheets I just bought at Carrefour... but I digress.

It really is two days packed into one. All day Tusday I spent packing and running the last of the errands around the house - taking out all the trash, bringing the bikes up the stairs and into our courtyard, filling the fridge with bottled water, packing, etc.

I showed up too early at the office and milled around for 45 minutes until we left around 4:45. First screw up of the trip was mine - I had my keys in my pocket, with my mini Swiss Army knife and its priceless plastic toothpick. They were kind enough to give me my bag back though the lost and found, and after I stuffed my keys and knife in there I ran it back around to the check in counter, which was all fine, but caused about a 20 minute delay for the rest of the guys as they waited around for me.

As soon as we were in the boarding area we were called to the gate and onto a bus to take us the 200 meters (ridiculous procedure) to the plane. But not before the bus driver had a "Truman Show" moment and seemed to be grinding the gears of the bus into sausage. Somehow he got it going forward and after a couple of really hard jerks back and forth to an enthusiastic burst of applause from most passengers.

The leg to Paris was uneventful - but we rushed through the terminal change and immediately past security to the gate to find no decent food options. So we proceeded to exit, clear customs, find our way back upstairs and snag some very stale pannini (by now the only option and CDG seems to close at 9 PM) that nearly made my jaw fall off.

This gets us to boarding the Paris to Shanghai leg, and I am beat. More tomorrow, or as soon as I can get on the net - which hasn't happened yet!

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