Beijing is a cold place. A frigid, dark-at-4pm, kind of place. I can tell you this because I am currently in Beijing, holed up in an airport hotel.
What’s that? You’re wondering why I’m not currently sailing over the Arctic Circle, due to land at JFK in 7 hours? That would be because I am an idiot, and due to various things that are completely my fault, I missed my connecting flight in Beijing to NYC and am now stuck here until tomorrow.
Being that I am feeling particularly annoyed with myself about this, and due to the fact that I had completely forgotten that Beijing is a gloomy ice box (the last time I was here in the winter it was with my then new-ish boyfriend RP, and I think the love glow might have blocked out the Siberian winds) AND due to the fact that I just had the worst Chinese food in history at the hotel canteen downstairs – what better time for a tardy Friday Love List?! Ahem:
- Air China. Ok, I know they have a bad reputation…due largely to a 2002 crash in South Korea that killed 128 people…but they were exceedingly kind to me today in a situation where I was the one who had screwed up. They got me on a plane to Beijing with about 5 minutes to spare, they had a lady with my name on a sign meet me at the other end when it became clear that I wasn’t going to make the NY flight (and she endured my hysterics with a lot of understanding, let me tell you), they rescheduled my flight for free, and shuttled me for free to a hotel for the night, WHICH IS ALSO FREE. In the morning they’ll pick me up and take me back to the airport (for FREE) so that this idiot can finally get on a plane to New York. Above and beyond, Air China! (Note: I think you may have to speak Chinese in order to get this service…they’re not so good with the English.)
- Beijing accents. I’ve been in Kunming for almost 6 months, and have gotten used to the Southern brogue common to those parts. That is to say, I have gotten used to straining my ears and catching every 3rd or 4th word. Despite Beijing’s version of this, which is the addition of a strong “r” sound at the end of many words, northern people speak a Mandarin that puts me in mind of my classroom Chinese days. Ah, “我听得懂!”
- The anticipation of home. I may be getting there later than expected, but I’m on my way back to NYC. (Knock wood – please finish soon, giant New York blizzard!) I am going to eat 86 pounds of smoked salmon and soak up some family time. I will be fat and happy and I CAN’T WAIT.
I may or may not post while I’m in NY, since I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be seeing oh, say, everyone who reads this blog while I’m there. But I may.
Either way, I’ll be back before the new year – wish my luck on my way across the planet.