Day 1 - London to Shanghai to Auckland

Up by 8:00 to wave Max off, then at 9:00 to drop Wombat the rabbit off to his holiday home.  Back by coffee and the taxi came at 11:30.  The taxi drive, who we’d used before, was very much Chatty McChatty.  More monologue than dialogue.  Mostly religion and politics.  Delays on the M25 meant we got the airport a little late, but still time.  We boarded at 1445 and took off a little late at 15:38.

I had to put my can of “Monster” down to accept the free champagne.  I’m nothing if not classy.

Sometimes you find yourself so hungry that you smell smoke on a plane and think I hope the plane is on fire, because otherwise they’re burning lunch.  It’s nice to be on a plane and get proper cutlery and coffee in a real mug.

I watched a great short film called “Clanker Man.”  I’ll not spoil the premise.  Go and look it up.

The flight was quite alcohol heavy so it was good I wasn’t due to be driving for a good 24+ hours.  Champagne, beer, red wine and then Amarula – all before 6:30pm.  Aeroplanes are like Christmas morning.  Normal drinking rules need not apply.

10:30 (14 hours of being awake) and I finished watching “American Animals”, a film about a heist gone wrong. Well worth a watch if you’re so inclined.

A 2:30 we landed at Shanhai Pudong Airport. Despite the time I wasn’t that tired. I guess my brain was fooled because someone told it that it was nine in the morning. I think the sun was in the subterfuge too.

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A hotel room was booked to throw the stuff in rather than drag it around town. The room number was 6272 though it was on the second floor. I wondered why all their rooms were prefixed with a six. I thought that perhaps six was deemed lucky, but have just looked it up and that’s eight, not six. I have nothing.

The maglev train shuttles between the airport station and Longyang Road station. 160 Yuan for a couple of tickets (about £17).

The train left on time to the second (take note stupid English trains) and was soon doing 300km/hr (in peak times it goes to 450km/hr). Within eight minutes the train pulled into the station.

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It was time for a nice coffee, though for reasons that elude me (well, apart from health reasons) the place didn’t stock sugar.

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We walked through a residential part of town and as enjoyable as it was, it was pretty warm and the tiredness was somewhat too much so back to the hotel for a shower and a sleep.

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Back to the airport and another plane. How was being at home so very long ago and we’re still not in New Zealand? How is this possible?

There are currently 1.379 billion people in China, but sadly only two could be spared to fill the twenty desks allocated to “foreigners” at the airport.

More flying yada yada yada and then… finally… a glimpse of New Zealand.

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Hello New Zealand. You need to move closer.