We finally took off and arrived in Beijing at 3.00am. However, none of the passengers on our flight had their luggage, including me. I had travelled in jeans, t-shirt and flip flops – not the attire for business meetings! I thought that my bag would make it the next day, but no such luck. I was in Beijing for a large customer conference and many of our very Senior Executives had travelled to China to attend this. I had met some colleagues in the convention hotel bar and to my dismay, most of these Execs were in the same bar. I am now at the end of Day 2 wearing the same outfit (and flip flops) and not exactly dressed for Executive interaction. However, after explaining my predicament, no-one held it against me!
Still no sign of my bag and Cathay Pacific were so unhelpful with no opinion on where my bag was, never mind when it would be delivered. So, off to the mall for some shopping for me. Everything was so expensive and I needed so much for just a few days – make up, toiletries, underwear, shoes and a couple of outfits. The worst thing was not being able to find any shoes that fit me and I do not have big feet!! I ended up spending 3 times more than I have ever spent on a pair of shoes. Even worse…… they are so uncomfortable and I am not sure I will wear them very much!!!!
Finally, on Day 4 (at 2.00am, so just about Day 4) there is a knock on my hotel door to let me know that my bag has been delivered. Thank goodness, my feet would have some relief with my favourite comfy shoes.
Perhaps this is a lesson to not check a bag when travelling. 🙂
It has been a very lonely existence for me in Shanghai all by myself. Owen and the kids left at the beginning of July to spend the summer in the UK and I will join them at the beginning of August. Work is so busy for me and I have so much weekend work during July that I would not have seen very much of them had they been in China. BUT, this weekend was my 1 weekend at home alone and it was a horrible feeling.
I would like to send my sincere thanks to Steve Jobs for inventing FaceTime. I hope he can feel my gratitude beyond the grave. FaceTime is what keeps me sane – I can actually see my beautiful children and feel like I am in the same room as them when I check in each night. (Not forgetting my gorgeous husband either!) The other great thing about FaceTime is that it is free over wifi!!!
Back to the weekend……. Friday night was supposed to be a casual dinner with a group of people from the office (ex-pats and locals). We went to a Japanese restaurant for Teppanyaki and Sushi, which was a great choice as I love Japanese – especially the Saki! The thing about Saki is that you do not feel any effects while you are sitting down and drinking it – it is only when you stand up that you realize your legs do not work any more……. Which is exactly what happened to me! I quickly realized that I probably needed to be at home before I made a fool of myself so made a fast exit.
5.00am came banging through my dreams – I knew I had been drinking Saki the night before and needed pain relief! 6 hours later, 4 Tylenol Extra later and I felt much better! After several weeks of overcast, cloudy and rain, this weekend was perfect – glorious blue skies and sunshine. I spent the afternoon at our compound pool before getting ready to see Shrek the Musical with a group of friends from the office. The Shanghai Cultural Center is a modern, great acoustic theatre that has an intimate feel to it, despite seating seating about 2000. Normally a great facility for experiencing a musical, however, “This is China” and things are a little different. I should have been warned when I saw people walking up and down the aisles with signs saying “quiet please” in Mandarin and English. The show starts and it is in English with big screens either side of the stage displaying Chinese translation. Only issue with this is that most Chinese kids in the audience cannot read Chinese so their parents are loudly explaining what is going on in each scene. As the show progresses, the kids are getting more animated, louder and more fidgety. No-one cares about the noise level! We get through the show – not bad, but not in my Top 10 of musicals. I probably would have enjoyed it more with Isabelle and Oliver.
After the show we all headed out to Zahapats Mexican for dinner and drinks. After a little dancing on the bar (a la Coyote Ugly!) it was time for me to call it a night. It was a fabulous night out with a lovely mix of locals and ex-pats who all had fun together. As this is 1 of my only weekends in Shanghai while the family is away, it was nice to have some plans to be out and about.