Wednesday, August 22, 2012

made it!

Hello, friends! I made it to Hong Kong! I'm sitting at the airport now with several other teachers, waiting for the ferry that will take us to Shenzhen. I'll be there for a few days, completing paperwork, and then I'll be on my way to Zhuhai, where I'll be living and teaching. 

Cheesy family photo at the airport. So nice of them to see me off at such an ungodly hour!

I can no longer say I've never flown!

My first flights were exciting and also felt completely normal, which I guess is good. My first thought as the plane landed in Toronto: "I want to go everywhere!"

While I was going through security this morning, I had a mini freakout moment when I thought I forgot to attach tags to my baggage. A guy beside me explained that I didn't need the little tags until I reached my destination and then laughed when he found out it was my first flight and I was going all the way to Hong Kong. He was catching an international connection in Toronto, too, and offered to show me where my gate was when we deplaned.

The TO airport was huge and although I know I could have found my way, it was nice to have someone who knew exactly where he was going. After we found our gates, he invited me to be his guest in the Maple Leaf Lounge, which seemed a lot better than hanging out near the gates. I definitely liked using the private washrooms! And the free breakfast was awesome, too. It was nice to have someone to talk to (don't worry, Dad! I was safe!) and meeting a kind stranger was a nice way to start the trip.

Some notes from my first flights:

+ On my first flight, I had an aisle seat, but I was still able to see out the window. I slept a bit but I kept wanting to stare at the clouds. They were gorgeous, so white and fluffy. I wished I could jump on them or have a nap.

+ I have to admit, as nice as it was to look down at the clouds, I wondered if it would ruin the magic of looking up at them.

+ The sun was rising as we flew towards Toronto and the glimpses of pink sky I saw were beautiful. The orange glow of the sun as it hit the plane was breathtaking.

+ I wasn't nervous at all, which was surprising. We got a bit of turbulence on both flights but it didn't bother me.

+ I was surprised by how stereotypical (movie-like?) the flight attendants were. They wore floofy scarves. And their hand gestures as they showed where the emergency exits were made me smile.

+ On the flight to Hong Kong, one of the meals was noodles and we were given chopsticks. Of course, I managed to give myself a small splinter. I just hoped my neighbours didn't notice.

+ Although the flight was really long, I didn't mind and tried to sleep as much as possible. I also watched two movies (Away We Go and Bully) and finished a book. It was only the last 3 hours that were almost unbearable.

+ I'm not a fan of airplane washrooms. (But is anybody?)

+ Flying is intimate. I think, at least. Sitting so close to each other, making conversation, eating, and falling asleep next to each other.

I have to go get my ferry now and probably won't post for a day or two. But remember, I've scheduled a few posts so check back!

P.S. Thank you for all your well wishes! I'll replay ASAP!

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