Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Show me the Chinese... please!

For a country of 1.3 billion, it sure was a pretty empty airport. Nobody on the long corridors, absolutely empty immigration lines, not even enough folks relieving themselves in the swanky loos. For a few paranoid seconds I thought we may have landed in Fukushima! However on exiting the airport, all was well. There were indeed a billion people out there (and of course being an Indian I should know what THAT feels like!). We were greeted by – as promised – uniformed chauffeurs… our very first of the many human interactions to follow that would begin and end with a polite ‘Ni Hao’ and lapse into helpless silence. The chauffeurs politely took over our luggage trolleys and we allowed them to, which would have been a fair concern to our in-country Security Officer who had, over a telecom, briefed us (in a nutshell), that everyone everywhere is raving mad with blood shot eyes out to get our valuables!

To be fair to the good Security Officer, my chauffeur did almost leave my laptop bag on the trolley next to an isolated pillar in the basement assuming perhaps that anyone who travels with as much baggage as I did, would probably have everything in the two bags, and that the laptop satchel parked on the top of the trolley was probably some expendable item.

Great drive to the hotel in a car I would not be able to afford on my salary for the next 20 years.

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