So right now I’m sitting in the airport in Beijing waiting for my flight; a wait of about 2 hours now. I have a myriad choice of internet connections here. I could sign up for the free airport ones via SMS if I had a Chinese phone, or if I went to one of the many kiosks that would allow me to use my passport number (which are over the other side of the airport). Needless to say, those are a no. Various other services are there to pay for, if you can find your way through the menus and pages that direct you to where to pay. In the end I’ve settled for good old Boingo wifi, which I’ve used in various other airports and pretty much always just works. It’s a bit pricey, but it works.
Now for the down side. Of course, the internet here is massively restricted for anything outside of China – or so it would seem. I still can’t get Facebook, or Twitter, or any connection to a great deal of websites, returning “No Data Received” and “Connection Error” and “No Route to Host” errors. Great.
Besides the internet issues there’s also the fact that I’m hungry and thirsty. There was breakfast at the hotel but I walked in, looked around, and walked straight out again. No coffee. No tea. No toast. No eggs. No bacon. All that was there was odd soups, noodles, and various other bits and pieces that didn’t look entirely edible to me. All of it was far too heavy to have for breakfast. Instead I settled for a cup of green tea (very old green tea) in my room. The problem here, at the airport, is that I have no money to buy anything. Generally the currencies they accept are of the country, and American dollars. I have about 7000 Japanese yen, and about £5 in my pocket. And not an ATM in sight. So… I’m screwed until I get on the plane and they give me something to eat and drink.
Oh and I didn’t get an upgrade. I asked. They quoted something like 14000 RMB for it; roughly £1350. So that was a no. Arse.
Here’s to two hours of waiting boredom.