SPECIAL NOTE: Look at the map…look at the cities on the SE of China…Xiamen is my destination from Seattle, USA. I took a flight from Seattle to Xiamen (17 hours) with Xiamen Airlines. But first the flight would take me to Shenzhen, now claimed to be bigger than Shanghai or Bejijing…the two oldest cities in China. After a brief stopover in Shenzhen, the flight was to go to Xiamen, the final destination. While in the airspace in Xiamen, we were informed of some difficulties landing because of the crowdedness…my plane flew around London for a few minutes before we could land, so I was used to such language. But soon after, we were told the weather was bad and therefore we would have to return to Shenzhen for the night. While sitting in the airport in Shenzhen, it seemed to me Xiamen Airlines had no contingency or emergency plans at their fingertips. Instead we waited and passengers were looking at each other with some bewilderment or confusion or terrible uncertainty. I would be happy to sleep inside the plane…it is winter now in China! Soon we were herded to the exit doors for transport to Best Sleep Hotel…we waited, like eternity. Then a small van appeared, enough for the oldest passengers. This time I took advantage of my age and fought for a place on the small van to the hotel. I had no idea how many trips the hotel had to make to bring all the layover passengers for the night.
Again, I could see lack of preparedness on the part of the hotel staff to handle this sudden landing of many passengers at one moment…I got in early to find a luxurious room…with herbal stuff everywhere…like back to nature type of environment! Not cheap, to me. I was able to rest for the night until an early alarm call from the front desk for breakfast ready to fly to Xiamen. I could not call Benny the previous night, assuming he would know what to do…told the flight to Xiamen was cancelled. When I arrived at Xiamen international airport, I was able to persuade a young lady to help me call Benny with her telephone. Benny arrived, a little upset that I did not call him the previous evening nor to inform him of my new flight from Shenzhen to Xiamen. He and his pregnant wife were out shopping and she was always hungry because of the baby, Benny said to me.
Anyway I would invite Jake, Benny and his wife for a dinner the next evening as I would move to Jake’s apartment somewhere in Xiamen. Benny had chosen a very expensive restaurant to have our dinner…a 400 rmb dinner…I would have spent about 200 for a simple dinner. But I had noticed about Benny since he was married to Lisa…their taste has become very expensive and worse, they would order more foods than we could consume, to me, a waste of money. But this is what Benny does best!
I love my time in Jake’s apartment which I volunteered to decorate it with a few simple things…a livable place, not a dormitory or a hotel. This would be Jake’s first time to live in an apartment…he is now taking leave of absence from his internship to finish his post-graduation papers…I would take time to start my new book KILL THE BABY: A NOVEL ABOUT LOVE AND SEX IN CHINA. It will be a much smaller book than the 612-page THIS IS CHINA which will be available at Amazon.com soon. Peace passion power, Steve Xiamen, China March 9, 2018