China 2006 Report

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

I start this trip by haulling Warren out of bed at 8:30am in the morning. He was up a little late last night winning at poker and losing to a cough. Fortunately for me, whatever he had was not contagious since that would have been a total drag getting sick on the first day of your vacation.

I spent all morning awake packing and doing last minute adjustments. One of the important things I did this morning was test my IPAQ with the Holux GM-270 GPS with the Iguidance Software. I can say it works well and accurately with a mapped region. The real test is when I take it to China where there is no map.

Anyway, we had to get some Gravol for the air flight and some breakfast. The quickest option there would be Broadway Skytrain Station where there is Shoppers Drug Mart and McDonalds. We ended up ordering a 2 Burrito combo which is just fine for a light breakfast.

I got into the airport early enough to get a no person line up at the Air Canada check in and a no person line up at the international security check. So what to do for almost a hour and half. Well, I actually sat in front of a TV and watched part of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals between Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings, when Detroit went from 1-1 tie to a 2-1 lead with weird bouncing puck.

I walked back to the boarding area which incidently was at the other end of the international departures wing. There is a big line up of people waiting to board. Now, the silly thing to me is that it is all pre-assigned seating. So if everyone has their seats all chosen for them, why do they need to line up and rush to get on the plane? The plane will wait for the stragglers, and it is not like someone will take your seat away from you if you get there early. So, I sat down and waited until the lines died away then I got on, window seat on top the wing. I was sitting beside a quiet young slender chinese woman with short hair and a rather intelligent looking set of glasses on. Although, she wore a torn edge blue jean skirt, she was a student doing international studies. I learned she is good at doing Sudoku.

Well, the flight was 12 hours long, and I stayed up all night so I would be able to pass out for most of the trip. Unfortunately, after passing in and out of the first movie "Aeon Flux" and most of the second movie "B420", I had missed the ending of AF and only saw the ending for B420. So I will probably have to get the DVDs for these to watch them properly. They also had some interesting short features. One notably called "One Apartment and Five Drummers" depicits 4 guys and a woman doing a mafia like covert ops break and entering into this person's apartment. They start by going to the kitchen and start banging on glasses, slamming cabinets and playing with the electric appliances to make rather catchy song piece. Then they move on to the bedroom. They flick on light switches, use the nail clipper and bang on the bed to make a second musical piece. They then move into the washroom. With the shower head, toilet brush, toothbrush and the sinks they bang out another song. They move to the living room, with the hanging lamp, throwing books on the floor, a vacuum hose and an old record player, they manage to beat out another song. Then the owner walks in. In addition to this, I also watched an old episode of "Family Ties" where Valerie wins a modelling contest with her mom, Elise, but they were more interested in her mom. The other interesting show was "Black Coffee" which was a documentary of how coffee became into the staple of North American culture. The third movie was something called "Pride And Prejudice" but it was an old English love story so I ignored most of it and tried to do the Sudoku in the 24hr news paper. Unfortunately I screwed that one up. So as you see, I have watched too much of the movie programming when I should have been sleeping.

They gave me a National Post newspaper instead of a Province but that is OK, they had an even larger Sudoku puzzle page which was good for me. I did finish that puzzle.

The food on the flight was crappy as usual for Air Canada. Meal 1 was BBQ chicken which was a chunk of white meat chicken swimming in a watered down tomato BBQ sauce. There was this sort of pasta like rice which tasted like powdered flour. The bun was mildly warm and the butter was too cold to be spread easily. Meal 2 was beef slices and mashed potatoes, a cold bun with even colder butter, fruit salad (manderin oranges and melons), and vanilla ice cream. The beef did taste better and the sauce from the meat was good for dipping the lame bread.

Our snack before landing was Kimchi Cup Of Noodle. I just had the noodle without all the flavour pack since I really don't appreaciate kimchi.