I originally wrote this post on our 1st flight from shanghai to guangzhou. I was hoping that the flights would be uneventful and that everything would go smoothly. Little did I know, the adventure had just begun…
Last day on a trip always gives me mixed feelings. Sad to leave travel and adventure and return to responsibilities of school and life. But happy to be with friends and family… And no more squat toilets and sinks that actually have soap.
We woke up just in time to catch the free breakfast at our favorite Shanghai City Central Youth hostel (ends at 930am). Armed with our leftover chinese $$, we shopped for souvenirs down hipster-esque alleys lined with boutiques selling everything from cute clock necklaces to panda nail clippers. I found some fake Ray Ban aviators to replace my broken ones at home. Walking from our hostel to the metro and switching lines takes a while so we shopped very fast in order to catch our 1 stop flight to LAX.
We said bye to Jon because he was taking a different flight to LAX. After checking into our flight, we were starved because it was already past 2pm and all we had after breakfast was boba. Unfortunately, we only had 71.50 rmb (12 usd) to find food for 4 of us. We found a relatively cheap chinese food place and proceeded to hold up the line while counting our change. We were surprisingly able to buy 3 big dishes and veggies, but were sad because we were $0.50 rmb from getting fried chicken.
Now we had a 2.5 hr layover in guangzhou which seemed like plenty of time to catch our lax flight since we already checked in and had our tickets in hand. But we also didn’t think that we would be sitting in a stationary plane for 2 hours. I’m still not sure what caused the delay, but it was probably due to the fog/rain (though it was pretty dry… ). We finally arrived at our outside gate at 845 and loaded a bus to take us to a terminal, waiting for what felt like hours before we moved.
Armed with backpacks and flip flops, the four of us made a mad dash through the huge airport. Gate A106 was of course pretty much on the opposite side of where the bus dropped us off. Cutting lines, almost running over children, yelling at people in our way, it wasn’t pretty. We rode 2 carts along the way, 1 of which wanted to charge us 20rmb each (too bad we spent ALL our money on lunch). The driver stopped the cart when we couldn’t come up with more $$ so we hopped off and sprinted once again.
We climbed a mountain to train for this :P. Thankfully, the lax flight was delayed an hour so we made our entrance onto the plane and were very happy to see Tiff and Kevin! We were also relieved that Jon made his lax flight after a connection delay as well.
Oh, I should mention, we were more anxious about making our flights because our school told us we wouldn’t be able to start 3rd year of med school if we weren’t present at 8am on Monday. But we made it. Step 1, Mount Hua, Airport Dash. Check!
Our 2 week summer break is sadly ending, but we have plenty of memories and experiences to share that will hopefully be enough to get us through…to next summer :).
Written by ari