Big trouble in little China

I’m sitting in a small room at Beijing airport with a thermometer
underneath my armpit. Chalk up another experience…

My ridiculously long journey home started what seems a lifetime ago,
flying from Melbourne to Sydney. A few hours’ wait there and then an
11 hour flight to China, 7.5 hours’ wait and then another 11 hours to
Heathrow. The sooner I invent that teleport the better…

Since I left, it appears that swine flu is the latest craze sweeping
the world. Great. China are particularly cautious, and so I had to
fill out a form about my health. You had to answer truthfully, and
whether you had had a cough recently. Well, I’m still getting rid of
the last bits of a cold a caught off someone in a hostel weeks ago, so I ticked the cough box. Next thing I know, I’m being hauled off to a
side room and being shown a thermometer and where to put it. Well, at least I’m not a cat, I suppose.

There is a blue sign in front of me that I attempt to read to pass the
time whilst my temperature is being read, bit it’s all in Chinese.
Except something about SARS. Mmmm nice. Eventually, it’s time for the armpit reading…I’m ok, I can go. Obviously no pig flu for me this
time.

The airport is huge – it took ten minutes just to park the plane – so
I find a secluded spot to pass the time. Should I sleep? Didn’t sleep
much on the plane. Eat? Not hungry yet. Besides, I have no money! No local currency anyway, and no ATM in sight. Maybe I’ll change some up if need be or put on card. Not that I have a clue of prices. I’ll just blog and do some writing for the moment.

I have a snack a bit later which could have cost five or fifty pounds;
guess I’ll find out later. Discover some free wireless and delight in
Liverpool’s victory that puts them top for the minute. The dream
lives on, despite the odds still against us.

Somehow, the hours fly by and I’m on the plane, trying not to cough
and cause widspread panic. Just a mere 11 hours in daylight, probably with the same films as earlier.

Time to switch off – bringing the end to Travel Andy’s international
blog…for the moment!

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