Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Travel Troubles

Well after 26 hours of travel I made it to China! Of course over here it's almost 3 a.m. and I'm wide awake.

The other day my 10 year old daughter and I went shopping for a nice big suitcase.  She picked it out and I figured I could spot it anywhere,  so it made the cut. I spent hours over the weekend packing and repacking so that each suitcase was under 50 pounds.

On the way to the airport I bought a travel stroller bag just in case I needed it and luckily-I did not.

We passed a turned over tractor trailer truck on the other side of the highway in New York and aside from hoping that everyone involved is ok-I was thankful not to be stuck in that traffic jam. Until we got closer to the city-and it was so congested that I was worried that I wouldn't make it to JFK in time. I made it and tried to get some cash out-an unexpected additional expense if I want to visit Julia Mei's orphanage-but all ATM machines were out of money.  Okay....

I double checked in New York and Shanghai that my luggage would be transferred to the Zhengzhou flight. I survived the long flight to Shanghai but it took an extra hour and a half and I only had 20 minutes to get on my next flight--and it says right on the boarding pass that you must be boarding 15 minutes prior to departure-no exceptions.  What a relief that I didn't have to deal with luggage or I would have missed my next flight. One worker told me to go downstairs for domestic transfers.  Another said to go up to the third floor. I had to go back through security and she wanted to check the batteries in my carry on. Anyway  I made it and got in line. One worker said something in Chinese and the crowd started to groan. Hmmm...It turns out that we had to take a bus over to the plane in the pouring rain. My students would have loved that bus and if my phone wasn't dead I would have snapped some pics.

The flight to Zhengzhou was only about 2 hours. I was going to use the ladies room - thinking the squatty potties can't be at the airport.  Wrong. I'll wait.  The only baggage that made it was my stroller.  I had to get my guide to come and translate since the Chinese version of a Google translate program wasn't cutting in. My two 50 pound bags are gone. Perhaps in Shanghai?  Gifts. Medications.  Clothes for the 3 of us. Two Beco Butterflies AND a ring sling.  Oh, and all of the yummy food that I packed. We drove an hour to the hotel.
I figured out the VPN/wifi/Skype stuff, but I'm feeling really defeated about my luggage and travel so far--and I don't even have any children with me.
I'm hoping to hear from the airport tomorrow and I'm hoping that when they call it is with some amazing luggage news.

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