Getting to the airport was a breeze and not nearly the mission I was expecting it to be. Now, im a honest person with values and morals – But had I realized before paying for the Airport Express that 7 year olds paid 250 Rubles (the same as an adult) but 5 and 6 year olds paid only 63 Rubles Charlie would most certainly have become 6 again.
We arrived at Sheremetevyo Terminal 2 and trekked the 30 mile from the train station to the Terminal. Like most things Russian it is straight out of the 1950’s and is a dark, dull and grim place. All the employees look severely depressed and disinterested, completely different to what we had experienced in Moscow. I have always said that the toilets speak volumes about the state of an airport and it seems I was proven right. They are dark disgusting places that stink of 20 year old urine, the sinks so old that the dripping tap has taken of the acrylic from it.
Smoking is still aloud and I am sure encouraged, all the smoking places are conveniently placed at the gates so that you have to walk past them/queue next to them. And the shops, the duty free!! I might invent a new word because the word expensive doesn’t cut it. You know those tiny bottles of water where if a rain drop fell into it it would fill it up twice over – $4. A Snickers – Only a normal size one $2. I looked around and saw I wasn’t the only person struggling to breathe after finding out the costs.
But what really pissed me off was the disorganization at the queue for the gate. I appreciate some people have disabilities in relation to their site, but is it really feasible that some people cannot see the queue of 200 people all waiting nicely in line? So much so that they walk straight to the front of the queue with a confused look on their face like they don’t know what they are doing? Pull the other one mate, you know exactly what you’re doing – You think that you are so important that everyone has queued for an hour just to save you a place right at the front – About 50 or so people did this and the staff did nothing to stop it. Those same people are probably the muppets who stood up and started walking around as the flight was still in its climb. I would love to be one of those people for a day – Imagine being so important that nothing, no rule, nothing at all applies to you – Must be great. Well no actually, its just bloody arrogant and ignorant.
Anyway, I write this entry some 40,000 feet above Mongolia or Russia or wherever we are en route to Beijing.
We are flying with Air China on the worlds oldest Boeing still in service. But let me just say, I have flown hundreds of times with most European/US carriers. This is my first time flying with an Asian Airline and I am impressed so far. The seat pitch in Economy is much greater than ive ever known and the seats are so comfortable. The recline is also much more which is a pain since the considerate guy in front of me decided his space was worth that bit more than mine and reclined before we even left the tarmac. But he has an accessory in his seat not present in mine, his seat rocks backward and forward, I think he is somehow trying to squeeze at least and extra inch from me. Still I have room for the Laptop and am not uncomfortable. You listening Branson – On Virgin Economy you cant even scratch your leg without hitting someone three seats in front of you.
Anyway, its 2am Beijing time and there is about 5 hours left so I think its about time I subdued my kids – who for whatever reason proclaim to be “not tired” and then moan all the next day about how tired they are. Hopefully we can catch a few hours before the madness I am expecting in getting from Beijing Airport to our hotel somewhere in amongst the city that has 30 million residents.
Update – Still on the plane, its almost 5am now so only 2 hours or so left. The kids are fast asleep, the plane is in darkness as everyone except me is in some un natural contortionist position as they attempt to grab a few hours.
Funny thing, we not only had to fill in arrivals cards – Similar to the green ones for the USA but also a health card. Questions such as Where have you been for the last 7 days? Have you been near anyone with Flu like symptoms? Have you got flu like symptoms? Then at the bottom there is a part that needs to be filled in by a health official with your temperature. Apparently they board the plane and check everyone’s temperature. When I left the hysteria in regards to Swine Flu in the UK I have heard not a single thing about it until now.