Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Day's Journey by Air, Bus, and Rail in China

Similar to the recent dinner I had on an overnight train, the meal I consumed on a plane today will not enter my top ten list of meals I have enjoyed in China.

Chinese airline meal

The flight attendant told me the meat was chicken, but it didn't seem like a poultry substance. I am not sure what it was, but it reminded me of yak meat. The wet wipes had a nice smell and were made in Xinjiang.

I feel fortunate that my nearly three hour flight did not feature anything similar to one of the "flying China-style" problems which seem to often make the news these days. In other words, the flight was not delayed, no flight attendants were violently attacked, and no passengers attempted to open the emergency exit door for fresh air. Way to go, team.

The end of the flight did feature something I commonly experience when flying in China and which does not thrill me. Despite numerous open gates at the airport, the plane did not park at any of them, and instead we had to take a bus from the plane to the airport terminal.

airport bus

Once off the jam-packed bus, I considered the architectural style of the airport concourse.

After that, I was excited to be back in a city I hadn't set foot in for almost exactly 6 years. Rail was not an option for traveling from the airport before, but it was now.

Since the monorail train, which soon filled, traveled above ground most of the time during my hour-plus trip, there was ample opportunity to look around at the city and marvel at its size.

I paused to soak in one scene when I was switching train lines.

sunset in Chongqing

Not long after that, I was able to put the plane's mystery meat behind me by diving into some appropriately numbing and spicy local food.

Mala fish in Chongqing

That was definitely fish.

Some savvy readers may have figured out my current location in China, which is far from Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing. For others, I will provide one last clue: the beer which accompanied my outdoor dinner.

A bottle of Chongqing Beer

More soon about a fascinating hilly city where I have already noticed a tremendous amount of change since my last visit.

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