March 11, 2016
Ni hao from Beijing!! After 13+ hours of travel, our small group of sixteen finally arrived in the home of Confucius, kung fu, mandu, jade, pearls, calligraphy, Chairman Mao and everything that we could possibly associate with Chinese culture. The majority of the group consisting took the indirect flight from BWI to Detroit to Beijing. I would like to say that was an unadventurous trip, but like all long trips things happen.
For one Professor Pappas nearly didn’t make the initial flight due to a hiccup with his passport not being on record with the airline or something like that and him possibly losing his seat despite having checked in online. Lesson learned: when going on an international flight, check in at the airport just in case or else you may be taken out of line during boarding. And on the second leg of the flight, there was a medical emergency with an elderly woman who was having chest pains, and short of breath, which I think in the end came down to a panic attack.
But what makes flight so beautiful are the views from the air. For example, I witnessed the setting of the sun over wherever we were, probably Russia. From the middle section looking out past the passengers on the left side through the small port window, it was really quite picturesque to see the mix of reds, oranges, and pinks blend together as the sun gave to the night and the moon. And also those lucky few on the left side of the plane got an aerial view of the Great Wall as we descended into Beijing.
Our first meal in China thanks to Tony, our tour guide, involved a millet porridge, a stir fry pork dish, a well-cooked duck (but not the famous Peking duck which we will have at a later date), and other dishes that I could not describe. But to someone who has never been to China before, the food does not resemble something from Panda Express. I am looking forward to enjoying local cuisine and taking in the sites tomorrow.