Even trying to remember the sequence of events that happened just before my journey to China, during it and when I finally arrived is a challenge. I had to be on guard all the time about the circumstances in hand and my mind was buzzing all along about things I haven't managed to finish back home. Sleep was elusive for the whole night, let alone it was dawn in no time! I left at 9am from Barcelona Prat Airport and I called my brother around 11pm (their time), to tell them I've arrived in Beijing, with another leg of the journey to cover ~ final destination Xi'an.
With an hour to kill between flights, I managed to make my way to the boarding gate for my next plane. Probably this was the strangest experience at this airport, where you get a taste of the change of culture only by walking from the international terminal through to the domestic flights part of it.
Strong impressions of the not unexpected change of culture started to replace my mental clatter over unfinished business on the continent I left behind. People rushing all over the place, like ants, was a good alternative to my usual morning solo (read expresso, those of you who haven't experienced a Spanish black coffee).
I couldn't afford to stay in the zombie state that my whole system was seducing me with! I tell you what... if it wasn't the flavour of a strong coffee - one of those you could stick your teaspoon in, standing - that shook me out of my prolonging tiredness, the stench from the toilet where I had to squat 'n do certainly did!
There was time for a glass of water dispensed in a wafer thin paper cup just before embarking again. Once in my seat on the plane to Xi'an, I closed my eyes, thus disappointing the young chap who started to practice his English with me way back in the queue. There was no move forward for quite a while, followed by an announcement, followed by a slight and sluggish departure, after which we repeated this stop-go-stop dance for at least three times. After two hours of this my feet were twitching but we finally left.
Luggage: to be or not to be at the destination?
Well, my case was one of the 'not to be' kinds - a call for yet another couple of coffees worth of, to be served on arrival. I attempted to prove my case, using my paperwork clearly stating Xi'An not Beijing, but by then I started to worry about missing the Aston pick up representative! They sorted it out between them and the result was the promise that the matter would be resolved 'today or tomorrow'... Hey! my previous mental clatter had a chance to freeze on that promising word 'mañana', which I must admit brought a slight feeling of dèjá vu to my system. But I was too tired to analyse. Like I am now... so, I shall say to you 'to be continued... mañana'.