Thursday, 8 October 2009

China- Day 1 (26/09/09)

China, what delectation! Irrespective of the absence of the usual places like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City or the Terracotta Army on the itinerary of my first ever visit to this vast country; I was still profoundly gobsmacked. Before that I felt exactly the same way as what my sis-in-law, Liz, said about the country- a longing to visit China has never been a priority. Well now that I’ve been, I regret to say that I should’ve done it a lot earlier. For that matter alone I think it’s only sensible to put both Africa and India back on the must visit list before one fades into nothingness.

The nature of the jaunt (in my books, an 11 day one is as such) to the Fujian province is twofold- ancestral worship and eating pork touristic preoccupations. The whole purpose of this blog was intended as a daily diary but the constraints imposed by les autorit├ęs en Chine on sites like blogspot, facebook, and twitter have somewhat curbed my enthusiasm to upload tons of snapshots and the captioning.

In addition, the four weeks away have very nearly taken a toll on myself; I miss my daughter (hey Bron!), the flat whites in London and selling turntables from my store. Routine dictates my everyday life to the hour; a long holiday severs that rhythm…so thank whatever for blogging- a perfect antidote for killing time. Let’s proceed nonetheless.

A convoy of four minibuses picked the family up from the long house.

Uncle 6 saw us off.
He remained in KL. He also has an uncanny resemblance to my late Grandpa.

KLIA
(Kuala Lumpur Inept International Airport)
This is one huge and thoroughly modern airport that is consistently underused. I can only imagine that the exorbitant fees demanded by the airport dorks to land here have put the majors like BA, Qantas and American Airlines right off. The various airlines from the Middle East are of course most welcome to KLIA plus the token small airline companies that don't interfere with the routes of the national carrier that's Malaysian Airline System.
KLIA should be included in the World Heritage list by UNESCO as a prime folly of immense pettiness.

Check-in hassle (there were over 50 bags!)

The six young things who tagged along.
From left- Andre, Ryan, Pei Yi, Gwen, Nadine and Tristan.
The swine flu (they call it H1N1 here) paranoia here is greater than in Britain.

Cousins
From left- Cindy (she's a happy person because she's married to a Bhutanese), Junegirl, Johnboy, En Peng and wife Evelyn.

Our plane, I had my doubts about unheard-of airlines.

We must have taken up about a third of the 737's seating capacity.

Xiamen Airlines is wonderful.
Beautiful and smiling air stewardesses, edible plane fodder and commendable piloting over the turbulent South China Sea.
Malaysian Airlines; shame on you!

Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
I think Luton Airport is a tad more tantalising.

10.30pm dinner at The General restaurant.
The place was deserted save us.

The first of many pork dishes to come for the next eleven days.

Egg slurry only the Hokkiens can concoct.

Bedtime beckons at our near empty 5* hotel.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

HILARRRRIOUS!! GOOD TO HAVE U BACK!!!!!!!! London is rainy and grey and I want herbal soups!