I’m up very early this morning. I get ready for the day and finish the rest of my packing. I packed very light so I didn’t have that much to drag around with me on the long trip here. I check to make sure I have enough of the proper Chinese and Hong Kong money to get me to the airport.
By 8:30 AM Yuan arrives, but his friend is not with him. Apparently, he was in a small car accident last night (oh, big surprise there) so we’ll have to take a taxi after all. The taxis are readily available at the hotel, so we catch one immediately. We have a long drive ahead and I pray the traffic is friendly. As we get close to Guangzhou, we hit a traffic nightmare. It’s bumper to bumper all the way (and I mean…bumper to bumper!). I’m getting nervous now, because I can’t be late or I’ll miss my train. The taxi driver takes a few side roads and we finally arrive at the train station just a little behind schedule.
It’s no problem at all, we have about 30 minutes to spare. I’m so relieved; the ride was a little unnerving. I purchase my train ticket and there is actually a Starbucks in the train station so we step inside to wait. I’m amazed that the man behind the counter actually spoke English. I order a chocolate muffin and Yuan orders a muffin too. He’s never had one so I enjoyed watching him eat it. He doesn’t eat sweets like this and he really enjoyed it. I hope I didn’t create a monster. But I don’t think he would ever survive on American food; I think he would become very ill. His eating habits are nothing like ours.
Well, with my train ticket in hand, we follow the signs to where I must say goodbye. I feel sad now to leave but I will return again in October. So I’m off to catch my train. The return train is ultramodern; it’s actually two stories high. The ride is a comfortable two hours and I try to relax.
We arrive in Hong Kong, and I have to go through customs again. The line is very long and I know I have to catch a taxi and get to the airport. I feel like a seasoned travel by this time though and I know right were to go. I know exactly how much money I need and I’m not nervous at all. I get in the taxi line and the taxi I get into is driven by a very old man. He attempts to speak a little English but I barely understood him. I tell him I need to get to the airport quickly and off we go.
OMG, this guy is really bad! Either he is playing me for a long ride or he’s really stupid. We drive around God knows where trying to get to the terminal. He finally stops and asks some other taxi driver because, by now, we’re completely lost. I have no idea how he could have missed the terminal. We circle the airport several times and finally get to one of the two terminals. Hong Kong airport is gigantic and I need to get to Air Canada. He has no idea where Air Canada is and I’m so upset I tell him to drop me anywhere. I walk into the terminal and can’t find any signs for Air Canada. I stop at an information desk and the woman tells me I have to go to Terminal 2 and I’m in Terminal 1. I start to panic now! I’m not sure how far this is and I’m afraid I’m going to miss my plane.
By this time, I’m running with my luggage in tow (good thing I packed light). At last I see a sign for Terminal 2. I asked a policeman where I can find Air Canada and he directs me to the 7th floor. Holy Cow, this place is so big! I get to the 7th floor and I must have made a wrong turn somewhere. I’m now surrounded by restaurants. I’m starting to sweat by this time, I’m so afraid I’m going to miss my plane. AT LAST, I find the Air Canada booths and step right up to the counter. Phew, there’s no problem, I have time. A woman checks me in and I get my boarding pass. Now I have to pass through customs again but it goes very quickly. By the time I get to the gate, I only have a few minutes before the plane starts boarding. I can’t believe it! I made it. Once on board, I can finally settle in and relax.
I’m exhausted. I slept almost the entire flight home. I woke up to eat and maybe watched part of a movie. I had plans to work on my blog, but never even opened my laptop. After a perfect 15 hour flight, I arrive in Toronto. I had to pass through customs again and then I took the wrong exit. Oh dear, I have to go back through security again. But I have some time before the plane takes off for Cleveland, so I’m not worried at all. I finally get to the gate which must have been a mile walk and sit down to wait.
I think now it’s time to board but we’re informed that the flight will be about an hour late. Great! I think I’m never going to get home. Then we’re told after that there’s another 30 minute delay. But, I enjoyed the wait because I was sitting next to a young man who was from China but was now living in Canada. He was actually heading for Cleveland Heights to visit with some of his friends. We had a great talk and I learned a lot of interesting facts about some of the habits of the Chinese that Yuan never shared with me. Such interesting people!
Well, we finally board our little propeller plane and head for Cleveland. It’s actually a very smooth ride and we arrive in no time, about 45 minutes but it’s now after 12:30 AM. I have no luggage to pick up so I hop on the Park ‘N Fly bus back to my car and can’t wait to get home. I call my husband and mother and let them know I’m on my way home but I’m sure they rolled over and went back to sleep. I also Skype my friend back in China and let him know I’m home safe and sound.
The good news is, I’m wide awake and not too sleepy to drive home. When I do get home, there is no way I can sleep, I’m still on China time and I’ve been sleeping most of the day. So I stay up the rest of the night and play with my cat. I’m so happy to see her and she’s really happy to see me. I had no idea I would miss her so much.