Cont from The Ganesan’s in the Orient – 1 …. https://uma197.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/the-ganesans-in-the-orient-1/
Adelaide airport was calm and no sign of cancelled flights, Cathy Pacific staff looked unmoved and it didn’t seem like the world was going to end any time soon, so we decided to board the plane and go to China.
After 9 long hours of discomfort and boredom we arrived in Hong Kong. The airport looked deserted. All shops and service counters were closed. And definitely no sign of protesters. Phew!!. We still spent a few more hours of apprehension as there was still no sign of gate allocation for our next flight. About 40 minutes to spare we finally get the gate allocation and we board the flight to Shanghai.
Ni Hao Shanghai
The Ganesan’s touch down.
The earth roared and the sun emerged. A red carpet adorned the air bridge.
China was waiting for us. It could’ve been just turbulence and sun may have just risen as it was the morning, but we will never know if the show was for the benefit for the Ganesan’s. It was disappointing that Xi Jinping did not come to greet us, but we are not one to hold grudges, with everything that was on his plate we could certainly understand. Also we wanted to blend in, not bring attention to ourselves. Please, enough with the paparazzi.
But there was no chance of blending in, every turn there were big signs that blared out “FOREIGNER” and we were continually directed to those lines and queues. We see two tunnels – “To Declare” and the other “Nothing Declare”. Just when we were going to head towards the “Nothing to Declare”, we were shooed off to “Declare”. There was no time or opportunity to explain, we in fact had nothing to declare. The guy (the officer) could see and comprehend what we were trying to say but he sternly pointed towards “Declare”. Such a contrast to the Australian airports. Over here in Aus you get the feeling they just want you to sod off, unless you are bringing in food, especially bananas or a dog, they just want you to get on with it. The other difference is that, other than in Australia all other airport officials have a thing about smiling. It is almost like if they smile or make eye contact somehow they might jeopardize the security system. But honestly I feel more safe in our airports than anywhere else. Pretty sure they catch all the real criminals, however they don’t feel the need to put the fear of god in every passenger for no reason. Every time I see that stern face I get the urge to tell “Just chill mate, just breath in and breath out”.
I had gone off the tangent once again. We slowly got through each section. I was alarmed when I realised that I was going to be finger printed. I had a choice, to argue that it was a violation of my privacy or just get on with it and enter China. Obviously I chose the latter. Losing all the money I had spent to come to China vs holding on to my rights, I realised holding on to one’s rights was so overrated. But on my return I heard from my son that he was finger printed in LA and Canada. I think it’s an argument/topic for another day.
Finally coming out to a sea of people at the arrival gate was such a relief. I skim through all the signs and posters from those who had come to pick up passengers and finally see the sign, “Wendy Wu Tours”.
WE ARE HERE, OUR HOLIDAY BEGINS.