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Blogging from China : Day 1 Beijing

What a surprise I had when I arrived in my hotel room and went to sign into my blog to send what I wrote on the plane and nothing came up. Hm. Weird. Internet problem? Nope. Yahoo worked. So then I tried Facebook. Nothing. Then Twitter. Blank. So I googled “China blocks blogger” and sure enough, I am behind the Chinese governmental block of the series of tubes known as the internets. Crazy, huh? Well, that’s pretty clever and all, but I just emailed all this to Peung and had her sign in and post the stuff anyway…

I was unimpressed by United Airlines on my recent flight to Asia . Perhaps I have been lucky these past few years but I have never flown a trans-Pacific flight without the personal video screen on the seatback in front of me. Of course, Japanese airlines JAL and ANA have fabulous planes with the latest in personal entertainment. Plus fresh sushi is never a bad thing. And even American Airlines with its aging planes has managed to keep me well distracted with films I’ve missed. So I was more than a little annoyed to find that the 13-14 hour United Airlines flight to Tokyo was going to be with just the main cabin screen and god help me, Ice Age 3. (Star Trek was on the Tokyo to Bangkok segment at least) United already has a pretty bad reputation (note the instant YouTube hit about United Smashes Guitars) so I will definitely think twice about saving 50 bucks and flying United internationally again. And don’t pretend it’s a favor to offer me five more inches of leg room for $150… each way and each flight segment! $600 for five inches? Why not $400 for five inches, like buy four get an inch free or something? Can I rent one of those little spiky nail things churches keep on windowsills to keep pigeons from perching? That would be really useful on the armrest for the all-too-common greedy elbows I’ve been flying with lately which don’t stop at the armrest but venture into my airspace. What the hell is THAT all about? Mind if I put my head on your shoulder, mister?? I have some personal space issues here.

Today I boarded Thai Airways to Beijing and was dismayed to find another somewhat worn plane (and freaking Ice Age 3 on the main cabin screen). And we were an hour late for take-off. (Hey, if the pilots aren’t comfortable flying in the rain, then neither am I!) Food was so-so and when I asked for Coke I got Pepsi. (Yes, I’m picky about that, but it’s one thing to not have one or the other, but just silly to have both right there at hand. I didn’t notice until she had poured and wasn’t about to be THAT passenger for the day.) But isn’t it amazing how one little thing can change the mood? Like when the pretty Thai flight attendant came down the aisle and said, “ Cognac , sir?” Cognac ??? In Economy? Ice Age 3 might just become a little funnier.

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

One thought on “Blogging from China : Day 1 Beijing

  • I feel your pain. Flew back to the Uk with China Southern from Australia and saved 200. Still wasn’t worth the discomfort for over 22 hours.


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