SLOW PLANE FROM CHINA

BEIJING AIRPORT
Slow boat to China still applies when travelling by China Airlines

If you must go to China find another way, it would be quicker by boat
I suppose it is true about every flight – the one you are on now you think is the worst you have evry been on but in this case I think it is true
It is hard to imagine how much more inefficient and crassly stupid the airlines could possible be
After getting past the single open check in desk we are told that the plane has been delayed by one hour
We manage to pass the security check but I don’t know how. I was frisked rather intimately by a tiny girl with invasive fingers which under other circumstances 
would not have been all that bad – This was because I had set the alarm because having been told it was unnecessary to remove my bet my belt set the thing off So after a long wait we eventually get on the plane to be told that the plane was being held waiting for some passenger from a connecting flight.
So we wait an hour and a half – I always thought that you got there on time or you missed the plane but not on this one- Anyway We where then told that the late passengers where having trouble with immigration but their baggage was already on board so this was off loaded and off we went – or so you would think – no- we had to wait a further twenty minutes for takeoff congestion to clear nearly two hours lat we took off.
That is the en d of it and all plain sailing from here you would have thought but you would have been wrong
Because we left Beijing with a stopover at Shanghai – still in China – we had to leave the plane , march to the transit area almost the whole length of the terminal go through immigration c  then customs then security – another brush with a light fingered girl – this time I had taken off the belt but put my passport in my pocket so as to be empty handed thus setting off the alarm again. Another walk back the full length of the terminal to get back on a plane which hadn’t moved since we got off the thing – all the while being hustled up because the flight was waiting –pasta a check in desk – a single desk manned by three people all getting in each others way
So now the flight crew are rushing through the evening meal and trying to get everybody quietened down so they can knock off for the night
I saw a plaque in Beijing airport claiming it had been voted the best international airport in the world. The second line reading the second best international airport moving more than 40 million people a year
I leave it to you to decide which might be the truth.
I look forward to Sydney the airport I usually consider the worst in the world.
Incidentally you have to put your bags through an x-ray machine before getting on the subway- I wonder if that is something to look forward to in Sydney
Having got passed that though, the subway seems to work very well.
I was getting ahead of myself and I take it back Sydney airport was just as bad. We arrived  – late and it took forever to get parked, no surprise there but it took an hour and five minutes before the bags turned up on the belt. There excuse was that cargo had been incorrectly in front of the baggage – crap – how long does it take so called professional baggage handlers to move a couple of cages using a fork lift .
In all the rush and pressure of the late disembarking passengers we experienced what I think the airport called a double wrong bag pick up or they got ours and we got theirs, who got whose first I wouldn’t know, We noticed before leaving the airport but the others must not have done so We therefore spent the next ninety minutes trying to work out what to do then we left hoping for the best and that the other people would take our bag back enabling a swap. I don’t retract anything I have said about airports but it has to be said that in this case the department that handled this ws very quick to notify us that the bag had been handed in and they arranged for it to be couriered to us the same night, actually it turned up at about three in the morning    
 Having been to Beijing for a two day stopover I can’t see myself going here again for any reason. It was interesting to see – what you could see of it as the smog was the worst I have ever come across – I think the visibility would not have been much more than 1000 metres if that. We stayed in a pretty decent hotel and there are some massive ones with receptions the size of city railway stations – but it has the usual mall shopping filled with shops selling stuff I can’t afford and couldn’t fit in to if I could’
It appears as though all the scooters are electric as they creep silently up on you and pedestrians are a sub species in Beijing with vehicle apparently having the right of way.   
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