China Journal

We used Global Entry at JFK, the bags came quickly, and we were through immigration and customs in ten minutes. I’m writing this from the stretch taking us home from Kennedy. We flew 9 hours from Hong Kong to Dubai, and 13 hours from Dubai to New York. The first class service on Emirates is simply stunning. Showered and changed clothes on the plane before landing, feel like a million bucks.

The Temple Market in Kowloon

There are hundred of these stalls

The view from the terrace of our restaurant on Friday

I believe these are grouper

This is a ray or a skate, both in the same family

Waiting to close the doors to my suite on Emirates

4 thoughts on “China Journal

  1. Wherever I’m going, it’s coach class. I just like the rough and tumble of being with people. There’s something about Asia that’s chaotic. In Bangkok if you want to turn into the traffic, you just edge your car into the oncoming stream and it’s understood. They let you in, you get to move. If you waited there patiently like you do in Europe, they’d think you were daft!

    I know it’s nice having legroom, only I meet all sorts of people that I’d never have met otherwise. The last time I was at HK the plane was loading and rather than stand in line, I sat next to someone as we waited for it to shorten. I mean, they weren’t going anywhere without us, were they? We joined the queue and I took a peek at his boarding card. We were sitting next to each other on the plane too – and me without a word of Vietnamese! On the plane the student on my other side was from Vietnam too, so he got to translate for us.

    All in all, we had a pleasant trip – if a little cramped.

  2. You can meet people easily anywhere, so I don’t think you need to be totally uncomfortable for 12 hours with the pretense of that’s how to meet people! Parts of Asia may be chaotic, but I fail to see why that justifies coach travel, which is sardine-like regimented.

    • I guess I just prefer travelling that way!

      When I was a kid, we’d sleep in the gangways by the emergency exits, lots of legroom that way. I guess it would be frowned on these days.

      And yes, I do meet people everywhere; it is much, much easier if you’re sitting down near them though.

  3. There are a lot of ways to meet people, I do so every day. But sacrificing your health and comfort by traveling coach makes you a martyr, and reminds me of George Ade’s remark: Don’t pity the martyrs, they love the work.

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