Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Seeing as I had bought an alarm clock, everyone asked me to be in charge for time. I set the time for all of us to wake up at 7:30am but when I'm responsible its an instant ticket to a sleepless night. I decided to take a shower at like 6:30, where I still had problems with my stomach. At that point I was getting sick of it, especially knowing that I had an 8 hour flight ahead of me. I also started getting the queasy, nauseous feeling again so I'm assuming Shenzhen's air or quality of lifestyle gets to me easy.

Just to remind, that I hadn't thrown up from sickness since I was 4 years old until I walked into the city of Shenzhen.

I told mum that we should leave at 8:30 but everyone disagreed saying that we'd have plenty of time because the bus only takes an hour. They depended on that timetable being adhered to. Of course that never happens.

We got dropped off at the Shenzhen bus station where we had to get our visas and passports checked. We said good bye to our family friend and her son and bought tickets to a bus. It left at 10:20. By 20 minutes we had already reached the border into Hong Kong.

Last time when we were coming into China, it was pretty late at night and Immigration was still crazy. Now, fresh in the morning - this place was hell. Especially because this time we also had to carry around all our suitcases in a crowd of smelly, dirty, sweaty, rude people. I decided to use my large suitcase as an advantage and create a passage way for myself, my sister and my mum to follow. It still took us an hour to go through immigration - then mum and I had to get thermal tested twice because they didn't read us properly.

By now, mum was fretting to get to the airport on time. I warned her. We ran back to our buses and the bus driver said we were destined to reach the airport by 12 something. Mum went ballistic and was yelling at him, but our flight is at 12.50pm!! So he told us we had to catch a taxi.

We unloaded all our suitcases and luggage and got off the bus and ran down to the end of a seemingly endless strip to find a big yellow bus. We queued to hop on which will then take us to a taxi rank. It was 11.50 and we got this taxi driver that let us stay together even though we had heaps of luggage. He loaded the three suitcase in the back and left the boot open, then the two smaller ones were kept on my sister and my lap.

My mum made it clear that we were tight on time, and he was also frantic if we would make it. But he tied his hair into a slick ponytail and sped. I have never seen a taxi driver go 120-140km/hr and when he was pushing on the 130km/hr the car was shaking. I was thinking what a mad dude! Hahahahahaha.

He got us there at 12.20, giving us 30 minutes and probably the idea that we wouldn't be allowed to be checked in. Mum gave us double and a bit more than the fare we were charged because he did do a crazy good job.

We ran to the check in and we got to cut this huge line. They told us that we were just allowed to be checked in (I thought that was nice! Domestic airlines don't let us check in after 1 hour before departure). They told us that our seats had been given up and we would be split. They told us to rush because even though we checked in the plane won't wait for us.

We ran through security, we ran to the train to go to Gate 66 and we ran from the train station to our destined Gate. Mum was much fitter than my sister and I combined and she zoomed off way in front of us.

Another unlucky plane story for this trip! Hahaha but we made it. For the first time in my life, I got to sit at the exit seat and so I had massive leg room, and I had a window seat! Well, I had a different seat first but when I went to board they notified me that I had be assigned that seat. Yay! Good thing I was near the toilets too because I was sick on the plane, ugh!

My sister got aisle on the side of the craft, but my mum was the most unlucky being stuck in the middle of a 4 seater. Cramped.

I got talking with the man next to me he's 60 this year and half of his life is on planes. All the staff treated him like King and I asked him what makes him so special? He said he's on the Diamond level. He got lunch served 30 minutes before everyone else, but he asked them to send my lunch too. And then every 20 minutes our drinks would get refilled.

A stewardess then came up and asked him if I was travelling with him, he said yes so I got given an express path through security and immigration (too bad I couldn't use it because I have my family) and we also got a bottle of water (normally you get a cup if you want water).

We were always offered snacks and dinner we got given first as well. The man told me all his stories and I shared mine - I won't get into it but in the end it was him who has rejuvenated my motivation and determination.

He's totally encouraged me with 120% support to keep doing engineering, with the gradual push towards structural engineering. We landed and got home in a taxi which costed 70 dollars because the guy wouldn't listen to my directions.

I stayed up until 4 am and went to bed. Back to Brisbane, back to Simba.