This blog contains some serious airline product placement.
I stepped off the KLM flight onto the tarmac at Beijing about 30 stone heavier than when I got on! 10 hours of being the product of some bizarre Dutch foie gras experiment focussing on what happens if you burst a small ginger Brit. About 7 hours in I started deliberately avoiding eye contact with the cabin crew as it resulted in either an enormous tub of ice cream, a box of chocolates or another entire foil wrapped meal!
There was some confusion regarding my premium dinner but that was the fault of the Chinese rather than the Dutch. Finding myself suddenly inexplicably jetlagged from the 1hr Manchester-Amsterdam leg (Put it down to working the nightshift straight before) I found myself being bullied out of my seat by some friends who wanted to sit together. Hardly a new occurrence and usually I take great pleasure in stubbornly refusing to move but this time I ended up in the seat behind panicking slightly that my caviar lunch was heading eastwards. Main meal time arrived (roughly in the middle of another ice cream round)
The helpful KLM advice:
Eat both of them. We have plenty!
Completely stuffed an hour or so later and watching an excellent new movie, the first from Saudi Arabia to be directed by a woman. "Wadjda" (Trust me, I'm a film student. Watch it.) and it was time for breakfast!
Waking somewhere over Northern China, the crew were bustling around preparing for landing by offering yet more ice cream and biscuits.
For 45 minutes I idly contemplated what would happen if we crashed into those mountains while munching on some Stroopwaffels handed to me by the world’s most Dutch flight attendant. All blond hair, teeth and guttural sounds. All that was missing was a pair of wooden shoes and a nice soft red light to frame her in the dawn glow of the cabin. (Sorry, I’m tired and jet lagged at this point)
So to summarise:
Track down Haifaa Al Mansour’s amazing film Wadjda
Research extreme dieting.
I wanted to end this edition of the blog with a large “Welcome to Beijing” sign but unlike in Europe the Chinese seemed to be taking the “No airport photography” policy seriously, which is a shame as Chinese police/army (how do you tell them apart?) are ridiculously photogenic in massive green badge laden coats and weaponry that most Sub-Saharan African countries would kill for.
I originally wrote 'Every Han for Himself' for the now closed Travelpod site. In January 2014 I was lucky enough to able to tick off a long held bucket list ambition by visiting both Beijing and the Harbin Ice Festival.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.