Friday, February 14, 2014

Flying Home

I guess they don't want to encourage people to sleep on the chairs in the waiting area of the departure hall, but they know very well that many people do, so it seems like they would be a little kinder in having chairs without gaps in between them to make it slightly more comfortable.  Oh well.  I arranged my bags around in the seat next to me and made a pillow of sorts out of a jackets and a couple of scarves.  I had intended to use my inflatable neck pillow, but it inopportunely sprung a leak.  I couldn't find any comfortable way to recline, but made myself somewhat comfortable sitting up leaning on my bags.  I used on of the sarongs I bought in Ubud as a blanket, and actually slept fairly well, all things considered.  I probably got four hours or so of sleep all together, although I'd have to wake up every forty-five minutes or so to unkink all my muscles that were going to sleep.  

About a quarter to five I rearranged my stuff back into flying order and went to brush my teeth and freshen up.  I planned to put on shoes at this point, but I just couldn't bring myself to just yet.  I may end up being cold for a few minutes once I land in Wuhan, but it's worth it for a few more hours in flip-flops.  

Check-in and security went as usual, and I headed in search of breakfast on the way to the gate.  I had been disappointed, as the Krispy Kreme I had been to on my last trip through the Don Mueng airport was on the domestic departure side, and there wasn't one listed on the international departure side.  Fortunately, the signs were wrong...there it was, tucked in the corner right next to the Subway and McDonalds.  I had a subway sandwich for breakfast (yes, I know that's rather an odd breakfast, but I wanted something solid and non-greasy), sitting in a small waiting area balancing it on my lap, since all the tables were full.  I bought a couple of donuts, of course--I ate one for dessert after I finished my sandwich.  I wasn't in the least bit hungry for it, and sadly it was cold (what kind of Krispy Kreme doesn't have warm donuts at 6:30 in the morning??), but after I'd waited all night for it I wasn't going to turn it down.  I saved the other for later, though, as it was cold anyhow.  

I finally wandered down to the gate.  After sitting for a few minutes, I stood up and surveyed my belongings, considering whether I needed to go bad enough to schlep it all to the bathroom or not, when someone three rows back stood up to and called my name.   

Kristin, who works at the university-next-door where we go on Sundays, had been travelling in Thailand and had booked the same flight back to Wuhan.  Later on, we saw another teacher from Wuhan also on the same flight, but neither of us was close enough to talk to him. What are the odds?
We finally landed in Wuhan around lunch time.  Other was one of those landings where they pull the stairs up to the plane, you disembark onto the runway, and then they bus you to the arrival gate. As I was still wearing flip-flops bad it was supposed to be only 43 (although sunny) in Wuhan, I was prepared to freeze, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't seem too cold at all.  Maybe it was the sunshine. I did, however, put on shoes after collecting my bag from baggage claim.  

One of the great things about running into Kristin was that we could split the fare of the rather expensive taxi home, since our campuses are so close. It was a good trip, but coming home is nice, too.


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