The flights across the US and to China were not bad. They were very smooth and shorter than expected. The flight to LAX was supposed to be 5 hours, but we got in at least an hour early. The landing was a bit difficult for me, though. I got really nauseous and thought for sure I was going to throw up. It wasn’t rough, just intense I guess.
This is the only time I have ever been to California. Apparently, it is this magical place where celebrities meet you as you get off the planes. As we were walking from the domestic to the international terminal, we met Eric Estrada! I saw him and I instantly thought, “that looks like Eric Estrada. I must be crazy. He must just really look like him.” But I kept looking back because it just looked too much like him. Then I saw someone taking a picture of him, so I realized it had to be him. So I called to Seth and told him, “I think that is Eric Estrada,” and he was like “huh, so it is.” So I grabbed my iphone to take a picture and Eric saw me and said “No, you can’t take my picture…unless you are in it with me.” So I handed the phone to Seth and he took our picture. He then said he needed to go say good-bye to his niece. He was seeing her off, so that was really cool.
We got to LAX early, so the international ticket counter was not open yet. So we had to wait about half an hour. But it gave us a minute to look over the Duty Free Shop. Even duty free, though, is expensive. It is all designer stuff that you just don’t have to pay taxes on. But you still will pay $150 for a wallet or $75 for a tie. So if you are going to buy designer stuff, saving the few dollars on tax is a good deal. But if you think you are going to get a good deal on designer stuff because it is duty free, you are mistaken (as I was, sad face). After we got our tickets, we went ahead and exchanged some American money for Chinese money because I knew we would need it in Shanghai. The exchange rate wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t bad. The exchange rate hovers around x6 (100 USD is 600 C-RMB) and LAX gave me almost x5.9 and charged a $5 fee. I knew it would not be the best, but we needed the cash and the banks in Shanghai would be closed. So it was fine and we had 200 RMB Derek gave us to help out too.
We then had a 4 hour layover with no internet. This upset Seth because he wanted to check in with people. But we got to check out the latest episode of True Blood, which was awesome. Then when we were getting ready to board, we met the most awesome couple from St. Augustine, FL, Derek and Joanna. We had so much in common with them. They were big nerds too so Seth and Derek got to talk comic books and we talked about True Blood and Scott Pilgrim. They were going to teach English in China too, but were going with a different school in Harbin, China (waaaaay up north). But we got their contact information so we can keep in touch and maybe meet up later after we are all settled.
The flight to Shanghai was huge. The seats were 2-4-2 across. So at least we got a window/aisle seat to ourselves, but it was cramped. The flight was very smooth. We originally had plans to like talk to people, maybe play a game or something, but we were so exhausted already that we took sleeping pills and tried to sleep. We only woke up to eat. But the food was DISGUSTING! First we had chicken and noodles, but the chicken had the consistency of dog food. The second meal was chicken and rice for Seth and seafood noodles for me. Again, gross. Both meals did have hot rolls, so we ate those. They did bring us a snack of a beef-filled hot roll about two hours before landing. It was actually very good. We both scarfed them down.
The landing was very smooth and I didn’t get sick at all. So then we were in Shanghai. I will make a new post for that.