Today, we started out our trip to China dark and early at 2:15am. Most of us didn’t bother sleeping the night before so we stayed up in one of the Towers lounges and got to know each other a little bit. We took a chartered bus to the airport and arrived there before the check-in counters we even open! We had to wait around for a while but in a couple hours we were on our flight to DC. The moment I got on the plane, I buckled my belt and took a nap. I woke up when we landed and was really salty because I missed the snack, a waffle sandwich treat!
After we got off in DC, we got to wait around in the airport for 5 hours. I explored for a while, napped for as long as I could, and played games to get me through the wait. Eventually, we got on our flight to China. Oh, the excitement!
I wasn’t originally worried about the 14-hour flight because I had been on flights to Nigeria which were about 10-12 hours. However, this one was different. I usually like staying awake during long flights and napping during short ones. Thinking I could maximize the amount of time I spent awake, I made my list of movies to watch during the trip. However, while watching the movies I kept on falling asleep. I should’ve expected this since I never went to bed the night before. It felt like I fell asleep on the plane for hours at a time but whenever I checked the time, only about 30 minutes would have gone by. I was miserable for a while, but I tried to pass time with more movies. I saw Black Panther, Thurgood Marshall, The Greatest Showman, and Pitch Perfect 3. I also tried to eat my meals slowly to take up time. Soon enough, after many treacherous hours, we landed in Beijing.
Getting our luggage and going through customs was quite a breeze. Everything was quick, and it seemed like we landed at a great time where the people traffic was low. As we went out of the airport to wait for our bus, I noticed how grey the skies looked. I also saw lots of little white puffs like the insides of dandelions floating around in the air. I assumed they were little bits of air pollutants but later found out they were produced by a specie of tress.
After a fairly short wait, we hopped on our bus and headed to our hotel. The hotel was pretty nice. I was just happy that we had a comfortable and nice place to stay and we were surrounded by lots of malls and stores. We quickly got dressed and left to go to dinner. I didn’t really enjoy my first dinner and since it was my first taste of authentic Chinese foods, I was scared that I wouldn’t enjoy a lot of the meals throughout the trip. I had heard that American Chinese food is not the same as Chinese food eaten in China, so I wanted to start crying because I thought I was doomed for the whole trip. But I tried to stay optimistic and jetted off to bed when we got back to the hotel.