After a few hours roaming about the terminal we finally boarded our plan and raced out to the runway only to wait. The pilot said in much nicer words that perhaps we were “too heavy” for take off on the short runway, and due to the wind it was necessary to take the XL sized runway leaving Detroit. I guess the guy was right because up up and away we went (Unlike the UM basketball team, poor guys. I can’t imagine getting on a plane hours later to do it all over again).
Upon our safe arrival we breezed through customs and were met by guide Judy and our driver for our stay in Beijing. I should point out that by driver I mean well meaning maniac. Driving in Beijing is an art form I’m not sure I’m up for. There seems to be little mutual respect between cars, bikes, mopeds, and people. I’m not sure what fuels road rage in the United States, but after being a passenger in Beijing my advice is lighten up, Francis.
Our friends in Holland who also happen to be Ben’s teacher has friends in Beijing who were kind and patient enough to take three jet lagged visitors to dinner. I was prepared for something of a mix between Chinese and Western food, but instead we got Sizzler. Truth be told itwas a welcome relief after airplane checkin. It also gave us a quick lay of the land in case we needed to escape the confines of our hotel later in the trip.
The flight was long but uneventful. I do need to share a picture of the peanuts on the air plane as they were Squirrel Brand peanuts. What a great name for peanuts. It gave me a good chuckle as just last week I was in a meeting with a good client and they kept having (self described) squirrel moments during the meeting in which the attention quickly changed from subject to subject, once it even included a live squirrel. I think if the marketing team got towork Squirrel Brand could be the official sponsor of meetings everywhere.