Friday, January 18, 2019

Away for the Holidays - Brisbane to Vancouver - 2

Every flight is different.
Particularly when we arrive in Shanghai, the halfway point of our journey to Vancouver.
Landing, on time, and a little scary because of the rain and wet runway, the plane feels like it is slipping and sliding everywhere until we slowed down to taxi speed.
This is where it all gets a little weird.
We taxied, and taxied and taxied, all the time getting further and further away from the terminal building.  10 minutes and then a further 10, past what looked like a plane graveyard, until we reached the end of the airport.
Then we turned into a bay, the last one, and stopped.
As usual, everyone is out of their seats and emptying the overhead bins.  The same mad scuffle for positions in the aisle, making way for others in their group and making it difficult for anyone else to get their bags out of the bins.
All to no avail.
We are informed over the planes PA system that no one is going anywhere, that we should all sit down again because two passengers are apparently sick and the quarantine people need to check them before the plane is cleared for passengers to deplane.
Yep.  And for the next twenty minutes, we can all speculate whether we are all going to be locked up and miss our onward connections.  Looking for the tents and people in hazmat suits.  It certainly explains why we were sent to the furthest part of the airport.  If it was a contagious disease, it was the best place for it.
So we wait.
And then all of a sudden we're disembarking into the pouring rain and onto buses.  Yes, no gate, no air bridge, but buses.  It takes all of fifteen minutes to get to the drop off point, being thrown around, even at the low speed we were traveling.
It's fine though.  We have hours to spare before we get our next flight.  A cup of coffee, a cake, and a glass of beer, we're ready for the next leg, after a long walk, a gander in a few of the expensive so-called duty free stores, trying to find some cheap confectionary, look in a pharmacy that has no pharmaceuticals, and at last finding the Chinese equivalent to seven eleven where everything is cheaper.
I didn't check the price of similar goods on Australia, but I'm told it is the first duty-free store we've been to that had Bacardi Black Label.  If we cannot get it in Canada when we leave then we'll be calling in on the way home.
Cigarettes too are very cheap, and by the carton, roughly the same price as a packet of 30, around $35 Australia,  but the problem is we can only bring back one pack of 20.  Ideal if you are going somewhere more sympathetic to smokers, no much good for us.
Good thing then I don't smoke.
Something else to note...

The four-hour stopover didn't seem like four hours, not like in some airports when it seems like time had stood still.  Perhaps the leisurely wait at the 'Coffee and cates' cafe, the long walk down the length of the terminal building and back, and then the sorting of the onboard bags made the time fly.

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