I officially made it to Beijing. It took us about 5 hours to exit the plane, go through customs, find a taxi, and check into the hotel. Agh, feels great o relax after a long plane ride.
We've had some interesting interactions so far with the Chinese:
There were so many people at the airport. We had to take a shuttle to the baggage claim area, and people were packing these shuttles like sardines. I was separated from Alyssa and Brandon at one point because I was caught in a stampede lol. At least that's what it felt like. You would have thought there was only one shuttle running. In fact, there were two that ran every three minutes.
We were then approached by a random man offering us a taxi. He pulled out his Taxi business card, but I wasn't convinced. He even negotiated a cheap price, but I didn't want to be part of Taken 3.
The taxi driver, who brought us to he hotel, didn't understand much English. He even pulled out a translator app, but it worked for me! We figured out everything and he requested his money up front. We paid him, but I hope he didn't think we would run out him with six luggages packed in the back of his van.
Here's the best part. We arrived in the hotel room but couldn't figure out how to turn the lights on. We found the light switches, but they weren't working. Come to find out we had to swipe the key near the alarm system to trigger the lights. Boom the lights came right on. A minute later, everything turned off. We swiped the card again and they came back on. Well every minute the kept going off. If you know me, you know I'm scared of the dark. I was freaking out. Alyssa called the front desk and ask "I know this may seem like a dumb question, but how do we keep the lights on?!?!" They didn't understand what she was asking. Brandon finally figured out that we had to leave the key in the alarm setup. Wa La! The lights stayed on.
Unfortunately, I got sick on the plane, so I wasn't ready to venture out on food today. We found a Seven Eleven across the street from our hotel. Everything in the store was in Chinese, and the associates did not speak English. Good thing fruit looks like fruit no matter the language. I purchased a small container of cantalope, a package of 3 apples (or they could be grapples), a lemon flavored sparkling water, and some baked potato chips all for the equivalent of $5 US dollars. I though that was cheap assuming the cantalope would have been almost $3.
It's been a long day. Needless to say, it's going to be a great adventure and a tough one. I'm exhausted and we have a tour tomorrow starting at 8am. I will take lots of pics. I will post some if the internet allows me. I'm about to hit the sack. Peace!
This picture was taken by the lines to go through customs. Took us over an hour to get through.