Sunday, May 23, 2010

China Trip and a few firsts

The last 1 week I was travelling in China on work. It was the usual trip, but this time with a few firsts.
I had to travel to Zhuhai from Shenzhen on work. This is a 3 hour drive by land one way.

However, the alternative was to travel by sea, on a Ferry. My sales guy asked me if I was cool with travel by sea, and I thought how hard could it be. The closest I'd come to a ferry ride was during our college trip to Goa, and that wasn't even in the sea! It would be a good experience I thought. So, we took the ferry across the bay. It was a 1 hour journey each way.

The ferry itself was very cool. Pretty high-tech high-speed boats. They were quite bit too! I took a few pictures with my phone. Not bad for a 7k Samsung Corby phone camera (I'd forgotten to carry my DSLR to China this time.

The interiors were very comfortable. It felt like sitting inside a plane with BIG windows in the beginning.

The water-hostess (Did I just coin a new term analogous to the term air-hostess?) came around handing out puke bags to everyone 'just in case'! It did make me a bit nervous. I'd heard about sea-sickness and also seen it on movies!

The ride started off pretty smooth, but as we gained more speed, the "turbulence" started. I have to admit that the ride is NOT for the faint-hearted (or should I say faint-stomached?). The turbulence is much more than in an airplane, and is more constantly present almost through the entire length of travel. I think I didn't throw up only because of my 4 years of bus-journey to SVCE during college days which had trained me for this kind of travel. But I did feel queasy at some points though. A good experience never-the-less.
I was a little surprised that they didn't check my passport or visa on arriving back at Shenzhen. It's almost like I could take a ferry from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and walk into mainland China without a Visa?

The other first for me this trip was being upgraded to Business Class on my Hong kong - Chennai segment on the way back. Pleasant surprise indeed! The flight was overbooked and so I got upgraded luckily. This was the first time I traveled Business Class in my 10 years of flying! And I have to say I really liked the experience. Much more leg room for me for sure. And ofcourse, can't complain about the welcome drinks one gets even before the flight takes off. It was interesting to note that the chief air-hostess remembered every one of the business class passengers' last names and addressed us using them. Of course, poor oriental lady was struggling to my extra-long Indian last name! But I appreciate the effort! :-)

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