Sunday, September 18, 2016

Skipped Xiamen :: Onward to Shanghai

Shenzhen was bloody hot and humid. Mosquitos abound. There was barely a breeze. It was constipated because of the incoming typhoon. You could see it in the clouds, feel and smell it in the air.

I'm OCD like that. Such a trip to China is never easy. And China loves throwing me curveballs to sort out. (Not as bad as Malaysia though. I'll take China anytime over Malaysia.) Am resigned. Hence I was fixated on meteorological sites tracking Typhoon Meranti. Its path could mean that we might have to cancel our second stop in Xiamen.

With Super Typhoon Meranti bearing down on Guangdong and Fujian provinces, one muggy afternoon in Shenzhen, we made the logical but painful decision to skip Xiamen. We have a date in Shanghai that can't be missed. When news and photos of the wreckage in Xiamen came through, our hearts skipped a beat with worry for our friends and relief that we weren't caught in middle of it.

I'm secretly glad that we didn't have to take the D trains to Xiamen then Shanghai. If the rather nice local organizers seriously think our gear can fit, they're grossly mistaken. They've taken those trains up and down the cities. Call me Miss Skeptical. I've done those routes too and I'm extremely acquainted with how the D trains work. Some things don't change. Our keyboards, guitars and pedal boards would have to go into the cargo carriage with no guarantee that every piece will arrive intact. One would need to be pretty optimistic. We can't run things based on optimism. At least I'm not trained to do so.

At the last minute, we managed to secure seats on Air China (国航) from Shenzhen to Shanghai. You know what, it was a full flight and we probably got the last few seats. I resisted smirking. Air China isn't too bad on this route. From a speedy group check-in to in-flight services and all, I honestly think Air China fares better than SilkAir. (We didn't have a pleasant experience with SilkAir from the moment we deposited our luggage at Changi Airport.) We took off more or less on time from hot hot hot Shenzhen, and landed in rainy and grey Shanghai as scheduled. Whewww.

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