just a bit over a month ago, my boss told me, “get your passport, you’re going to China.” our company has a branch in Beijing, and we send people over every so often when they need to borrow some of our know-how. i’ve been hoping something would come up when they needed a vet rather than, say, a surgical tech or an administrator, and woohoo! i’m off!
thusfar, the travel has been a whole lot smoother than i expected it to be. i didn’t expedite my passport application, but it still showed up in 2 short weeks. customs & immigration involved me handing them a form and walking on through. the 13+ hour flight over here was not the torture i’d assumed, either.
i thought i’d be doing the same thing i usually do on the airplane, reading a lot and napping uncomfortably for about 30 minutes, so there were 5 novels in my flight bag + another dozen and a half in pdf format on babycomputer. while i did finish one of each, i was treated to the magic of personal on-demand entertainment. every seat had a tilt-out touch screen about the size of a netbook embedded in the back that would play movies, tv shows, games, and a super-ingenious “are we there yet” map. i watched some silly tv shows (“super spoiled hollywood pooches!”) and a couple of movies that Chris didn’t want to watch (‘julie & julia’ way cute, ‘500 days of summer’ gimmicky and awful). while i certainly loved it, it was genius for little kids especially – all of the harry potter movies were available, and those have more than enough hours in them to last the longest of flights.
yesterday afternoon, i arrived to a foggy (smoggy?) overcast city that didn’t look much different than any other big city. i dozed off in the car, and then arrived to the massive loong palace hotel. we’re all amused (we = me + the other 2 people from my office who arrived a couple of days ago for a different project) at how the whole hotel is tricked out for christmas: the female employees are wearing red & white santa dresses, and everyone answers the phone “merry christmas!” the rooms are large and very nice, and the cocktails in the bar last night were expertly layered (i love stripey drinks), so things are super so far.
pics to come!