I DID IT! I actually checked in and got my boarding pass. Can you believe it? I can’t. “Only” took me one and a half hours. I had to stand in line in the queue for the passport control twice because I forgot to fill out that little yellow departure slip; so I had to duck under the dividing belts, earning myself a disapproving look of a security guard, to go and fill it out. Queue was moving along surprisingly speedy though, there is hope yet!
Security check was fascinating, they have this futuristic boarding pass scanner presumably in order to wait for you an extra couple of minutes if you are running a little late. Shanghai is so modern.
On the way to my gate I walk past the duty free store and remember I only spent half of my petty cash on my extravagant dinner, I still have a little money left for a snack. So, drumroll please, … Here is what ¥4 will get you at Shanghai airport:
Speaking of fingers, a majority of my gel nails, which last about a day due to the inferior product I got off Taobao, have been peeled off during this trek; my equivalent of nail biting.
Good news is I had my celebratory pee ; best pee of my life. Am considering whether or not to write a Pee Guide to Chinese Toilets.
Finally, I am at the gate. NOTHING CAN STOP ME. Well, if the flight leaves that is.
Frankfurt to Freiburg – Smooth Sailing
As soon as I left Shanghai, the rest of the trek proceeded without incident, further confirming my very unhealthy superstitious obsessions with the city – will be curious to see what happens when I return beginning of January.
Having arrived at Frankfurt airport at 6am, I was looking at a four-hour wait until the departure of my bus to Freiburg. The time went by in the blink of an eye as I wandered through the stores selling German and European sweets, snacks and beverages; squealing with excitement like a five-year old.
Then I managed to hook my phone up to the internet and had a bit if a surf-gasm; the internet outside China is soooo fast! That was exactly what I posted on Facebook, which I had never seen in its latest mobile incarnation, what with the VPN only being able to take you that far.
The rest of the time I simply sat staring at all the people around me from all corners of the world; coming from a rather culturally homogenous surrounding, where you still get excited when you spot a different hair colour among a mass of black, I was not used anymore to the multicultural environment of Germany’s busiest airport.
On my bus trip to Freiburg in the Black Forest, which lasted another four hours, I had a very interesting conversation with Joy, my seat neighbour, a young girl from the Netherlands who grew up in Germany. She even fed me German chocolate, definitely the highlight of the entire trip (although the English breakfast on the airplane was a close second).
After 30 exhausting hours I finally arrived in my parent’s flat, only to fall into an almost 12 hour sleep at 8pm. Yep, that was a silent night, alright!