We made it to Seattle on time but only had a chance to use the restroom, grab a couple of bottles of water at the tourist trap and run over to the gate before we had to board. A few minutes later the pilot came on and notified us that a navigational system issue was being worked on by maintenance…and that with “tonight’s flight over parts of Russia and China, believe me folks, you and I both want this system in working order”. Er, ah, ok Mr. Pilot Man, do what you gotta do. About an hour later we were notified that maintenance could not fix it nor find a replacement part so Delta Headquarters was working on rerouting us over “somewhat friendlier parts of the same countries.” OK, that was just too much to wrap our heads around, so we’ll just sit here in the plane for as long as it takes you do whatever in your professional opinion is the SAFE and right thing to do. After another hour, the Captain proudly announced “the various required Embassy paperwork has come through and Headquarters has released our new route…basically folks, the worldwide regulations just got re-written in a matter of 60 minutes.” Heh, heh…God moves mountains people.
The flight was long (11 hours), no doubt, but not really that bad. A few naps, a few movies and a little restlessness, but overall not too bad. The really good news is our in-country guide, Mary, was still waiting for us when we cleared the rather easy customs process. Hooray for Mary!
So we’re here. We’re tired. But we have arrived. And I’m sure there will be more to say about what China has looked like, felt like, sounded like, and yes, even smelled like so far later. But for now, before signing off for an interesting night of sleep (been pitch black ever since an hour after we got on the plane in Seattle at 5 PM Fri…and now it’s just past bedtime 12:30 AM Sun?!?!), we’ll simply say good night to our family and friends on the other side of the world.
And for the last and final time….hold fast Maggie…Mommy and Daddy are HERE !