A 15 hour voyage
23.01.2009 - 24.01.2009 -2 °C
Arriving at Logan at 7am, Kristen and I were dropped off by Brian, my fiancee. Both of us had 2 check-ins and 2 carryons. We were flying out United and wanted to get to the airport early before the rest of our group. We weighed our bags on an empty scale: I was at 49.5!! success for the under 50lb weight limit. So we checked through and waited for the rest of the group. It was sad to leave Brian and I did cry, but was also excited about the trip. Gao Ying, one of the Chinese teachers, said it best that this moment was
. So we said goodbye, went through security and boarded our first plane to DC.
The excitement was high and I wanted to sleep as I got none the night before since I was packing to 3am. Since I had to get up at 5, I just figured I'd stay up anyway. Brian tried to stay up with me, but passed out at about 1am. At Dulles, we all got bottled water and provisions for the next leg of our journey: a 13+hr flight to Beijing.
There was worry about the water in Beijing and that we would need to brush our teeth and drink only bottled water. I made sure I would have enough so I lugged 4 1-L bottles with me onto the plane. I also talked to my Dad and to Brian for the last time in 4 months or until I could figure out skype.
So here we were getting onto the plane and saying goodbye to the US and everything we knew for 4 months. Next time we would be in the US, flowers and not snow would be everywhere.
Kristen and I were in the very last row of the B.777 which seats 2-4-2 across. Yep...I imagined that there were pedals and a gear shaft since we would obviously be employed in powering the plane. So I will spare you the details of being holed up in a tin can with my knees against the seat in front of me and just let you know that I made it safely to ground amid one of the worst turbulent landings that this seasoned traveller had ever been a part-that claimed 2 victims in our group to losing their lunch.
It was after we made it through customs and saw the happy faces greeting us at the airport that reality set in and our long awaited journey would begin. Strangely I have not been terrified, but I did feel a bit lonely since I did not know my host family and had no idea whom I was about to meet. Miles and his parents are fantastic and after some pictures with the Jingshan students and the newton students, we were all wisked away to points far and near to take part in the spring festival celebration.
On the car ride to Miles' house, I was a chatty cathy and couldn't stop talking, asking questions and making comments. I was jusst nervous and tried to will my nerves away with my tongue. More on my host family next...