We departed San Diego via train to LA close to 7pm on Monday night. My friend Kelly was nice enough to pick us up, give us a place to crash, and drive us to the airport the following morning. After getting to her place, we were able to walk down the street to a little restaurant bar, where we met Greg for a bite to eat. Then it was off to bed the night before our true departure.
The first leg of the trip was relatively uneventful. We checked our backpacks, but already felt that we’d brought too much stuff. My bag weighed 7 pounds and Zac’s weighed about 12. Air China is nice enough, but definitely nothing special. No individual TVs, only semi-bilingual flight attendants, and plenty of obnoxious children. The food was edible, which is a huge plus, and we were served 2 meals. Zac was able to sleep for 5-6 hours, and I slept about 2. The most intense part was at the gate; everyone was pushing to get on first for some reason. The security guard kept telling everyone to slow down, “We’re not leaving anyone behind.” Zac and I just kept letting people cut in front of us; what’s with the rush? It’s a 13-hour flight and you’re THAT eager to get on board?
Our first stop is Singapore, but not before a 6-hour layover in the Beijing Airport, beginning at about 1am our time. We were able to find these awesome recliner chairs overlooking the tarmac, with a nearby international power outlet. The Beijing Capital Airport offers free Wi-Fi, which is awesome. You have to scan your passport at an “Authentication Terminal,” then they will give you a login and password for accessing the Internet.
We both were able to catch up on some emails, and I napped for a little bit before we went searching for some airport grub. It was what you’d expect at the airport. The language barrier came into play already; I was showing Zac their version of the California Roll, and the waitress thought I was ordering it. Then they also kept bringing us free food – fruit, fried pork, and some sort of whitefish.
Anyway, we’ve arrived safely in Asia, and are looking forward to really beginning our journey in Singapore! Our hostel has WiFi, so I’ll be sure to update before we leave the city.