It’s about 11:00 PM local time in Beijing and it has been a long day. I awakened at about 5:30 this morning, a half hour before the alarm went off. Since I went to sleep after midnight, this was not a good thing. My wife dropped me off at the airport and we said our goodbyes. I checked-in early, got on a plane to Detroit, another to Minneapolis, a third to Tokyo, and a forth to Beijing. Because I’m a picky sleeper, I only sleep when I’m exhausted. I had a 15 minute nap at the beginning of the 12 hour flight to Tokyo and endured the in-flight movies the rest of the time (Agent Cody Banks 2 is not worth my ever mentioning it again). The other 2 movies weren’t bad; at least the target audience was over the age of 11. Then there was Trading Spaces Family. They took a decent show with a kinda hot female carpenter and a pretty hot hostess and replaced them with dudes. And they also added teenage kids who “helped” with the projects and gave insightful comments such as “I don’t know” and “yeah”. My final flight to Beijing also provided in-flight entertainment. Trading Spaces Family – the same episode. Luckily, that was enough to put me over the edge and I went to sleep for the final hour of the flight. That’s the only reason I’m awake now to type this.
Getting through customs / immigration was no big deal; I’d had more difficulties getting into Canada. I got my luggage with no problems and as soon as I walked out into the receiving area, I saw a sign with my name on it. The guy from Traders Hotel took my bags and walked me to the car — I was surprised that it was a Audi A6 (black, 4-cylinder engine) with lots of leg room in the back. He loaded my bags into the trunk and he and the driver took me on a 15 minute commute to the hotel. I was impressed by what I saw of Beijing at night with all of the neon billboard advertisements. Check-in was not a problem and I quickly got to my room. Below are some pictures of my room and the view.