What are you doing!?

May 21, 2009 at 10:28 am 1 comment

Arrived in the airport in good time and walked around the duty-free eating samples. Thailand’s duty-free is more expensive than others I’ve been to but it compensates by providing dozens of jars with samples of cookies, dried fruits and chocolates.


The sun was setting as we left Bangkok and I could see the horizon, thousands of houses and bright lights stretching far away until they met with fog and blended into the sky. I thought about how small I am by comparison to this city and yet how meaningful to someone in this city.



To my left sat a Swiss man, a veteran traveler to Guangzhou, who comes to the city a dozen times a year to shop for clothes to resell in Switzerland. The first thing he said to me about China: “There is nothing to see there, why are you going?” He was an interesting character, reserved and yet animated, although I ignored many of his witticisms in the beginning (my habitual reaction to styles of humor I don’t like). He was a superstitious person and decided that since he’d made the plane (he left the center of Bangkok only an hour before departure sure that he was going to miss the flight), since he met me (and he never meets anyone to talk with on these flights to China), and since my name is the same as his daughter’s (which is his favorite name) I had to tell him something that would be life-changing.

Instead I told him about my mother and how she pleads with me to come home every time we talk. He took this as an omen to befriend her. “What’s her skype?” “Maybe I’ll leave Bangkok and come to NY.” I suggested he take a trip to Burma instead. But he preferred the idea of my mother.

Many of the Asian passengers wore masks and before we landed the stewardesses sprayed the plane with orange-flavored disinfectant. Everyone had to fill out a form promising that we haven’t had any diarrhea, cough, fever, pain…etc in the last 2 weeks.

When the plane landed we weren’t allowed to go. Two men, dressed in space suits, goggles and face masks came on board and started checking every passenger’s temperature.


I think only one passenger failed this test, a little girl traveling with her mother, and they were escorted into a room for further questioning. One of the astronauts saw my camera and yelled at me: “What are you doing!” Like a schoolchild I cheekily said, “sorry.” And so these became the first words addressed to me in China by a Chinese person.

Like in Burma, wordpress.com is blocked and my mom will be updating for me =)


Entry filed under: travel.

Northwest airlines suck Guangzhou

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sukhumvit Hotels  |  May 22, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Great post! I like this blog and good article also.


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