I swear 100% of this happened
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10-12-2015, 08:32 PM
I swear 100% of this happened
I am sitting at LAX waiting for a redeye. Why? Well this all started Thursday at 4 am Beijing time (Wed 4 pm, EST) when I woke up and took a shower, expecting my driver to come by to pick me up to take me to the airport in Zhengzhou. Well, I was told wrong and he showed up at 5, when I was drying myself off after a shower. We then proceed to drive to the airport through smog that was so thick that you could see about 20 feet in front of the car at times. Because of this, he had to drive very slowly because if you know anything about the Chinese people outside of Shanghai, they think that the highway is the perfect place for a bicycle with no reflectors. Needless to say, he nearly hit several e-bikes, bicycles, and little electric trikes (though it really wouldn't have been his fault IMO). So we get about 10 minutes outside of the airport and the road is closed. He gets out to see why (there are no signs, just a small, poorly reflective barrier and a policeman) and come to discover that the highway is closed due to the government action plan for smog. Seen this on the news on Beijing's air quality? Well Zhengzhou is worse of you can believe it. So my driver, who does not speak a lick of English and my Mandarin isn't nearly good enough so he has to call a colleague of mine who is also leaving to come back to the states a few hours later to figure out a plan. We then learn that both my flight and his were canceled for some reason. So luckily, I was going to have a 6 hour layover so something else perhaps can be arranged. I get to the airport 45 minutes later because he has to take backroads to get there that he isn't familiar with and the smog is so bad you couldn't read the street signs from the car. I go to the counter to try and get my flight changed to Shanghai airport then I am only a fairly easy trainride to Pudong. Well apparently everyone elst thought of that as well and I am sure my getting to the airport late didn't help. The only option I had was a flight at 1215 arriving at 215, so that would give me 2 hours to get through security and whatnot. No problem right? Wrong. We were delayed 30 mintutes due to "weather" (which is the PC way of saying smog apparently) so now I am down to about 90 minutes if we arrive on time. We touch down at about 310. Ok. A they still may be checking in. So we taxi to the FAR SIDE of the fucking airport and deplane next to the end of the runway. I can't even see the terminal. It takes a 15 minute busride to get the the terminal of China Eastern which has about 5 gates unoccupied. I have flown in and out of this airport many times and I have NEVER seen this before. I don't even get to the baggage claim until 345 after the taxi, busride, and walking. No way I am making it now. So I get my bag and proceed to the United ticketing to figure out a solution. The only option was to go to LAX which brings me to where I am now. But it gets even better. The only remaining flight to Chicago was overbooked so no way I am getting on that, which leaves taking a redeye to Newark, arriving at 4 am, then a connection to Indy at 7 am, getting me home a full 13 hours late. So if the rest of this trip goes off without a hitch, that brings my total clock time to 41 straight hours without much sleep. BTW, I don't like flying. I get the shakes if I have no music or something to read or watch. Sleep is next to impossible.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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10-12-2015, 08:38 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
Man, that sucks. I am sure you can't wait to get home after all of that.

Unfortunately, I'm in Northern Cali or I'd let you crash on my couch.
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10-12-2015, 08:42 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
(10-12-2015 08:38 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Man, that sucks. I am sure you can't wait to get home after all of that.

Unfortunately, I'm in Northern Cali or I'd let you crash on my couch.

I'd be lying if I said that thought hadn't crossed my mind. Big Grin

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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10-12-2015, 08:56 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
What a clusterfuck.

I was recently in Indonesia and the entire trip home took over thirty hours. They were dealing with smoke not smog. Your version sounds worse.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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10-12-2015, 09:46 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
When you travel a lot, you're bound to run into shitty scenarios on occasion Smile

I had a similarly bad experience, albeit with completely different circumstances, trying to get back to where I was stationed in Misawa, Japan once after getting bumped off an overbooked flight on the opposite side of the island. I could have grabbed a hotel and chilled out for a couple days until the next flight, which I was guaranteed a ticket on and even would have had the hotel room provided, but I absolutely had to get back to work ASAP if I wanted to avoid a major ass chewing and a possible writeup, so I ended up on a bus. Wouldn't have been a big deal, except I ate some bad homemade fruit candy I picked up from a vendor at one of the truck stops and ended up with a nasty case of food poisoning. That and the transfers made it all but impossible to get any kind of decent sleep, and I ended up getting back in time just to start work that day. At the end of the day I vomited a few more times, started to crawl into bed, and as if on queue, there was a barracks fire drill. By the time I finally finished with the drill and vomiting until there just wasn't anything left to come up, I was at that stage where I was just too fucked up to fall asleep. Fortunately that was a Friday, and when I did finally nod off, I slept for like 18 hours straight. Felt like the end of a bad nightmare.

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10-12-2015, 10:00 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
Can confirm... Wall of text DID happen. Cannot confirm it's contents.
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10-12-2015, 10:03 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
(10-12-2015 08:32 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  I am sitting at LAX waiting for a redeye. Why? Well this all started Thursday at 4 am Beijing time (Wed 4 pm, EST) when I woke up and took a shower, expecting my driver to come by to pick me up to take me to the airport in Zhengzhou. Well, I was told wrong and he showed up at 5, when I was drying myself off after a shower. We then proceed to drive to the airport through smog that was so thick that you could see about 20 feet in front of the car at times. Because of this, he had to drive very slowly because if you know anything about the Chinese people outside of Shanghai, they think that the highway is the perfect place for a bicycle with no reflectors. Needless to say, he nearly hit several e-bikes, bicycles, and little electric trikes (though it really wouldn't have been his fault IMO). So we get about 10 minutes outside of the airport and the road is closed. He gets out to see why (there are no signs, just a small, poorly reflective barrier and a policeman) and come to discover that the highway is closed due to the government action plan for smog. Seen this on the news on Beijing's air quality? Well Zhengzhou is worse of you can believe it. So my driver, who does not speak a lick of English and my Mandarin isn't nearly good enough so he has to call a colleague of mine who is also leaving to come back to the states a few hours later to figure out a plan. We then learn that both my flight and his were canceled for some reason. So luckily, I was going to have a 6 hour layover so something else perhaps can be arranged. I get to the airport 45 minutes later because he has to take backroads to get there that he isn't familiar with and the smog is so bad you couldn't read the street signs from the car. I go to the counter to try and get my flight changed to Shanghai airport then I am only a fairly easy trainride to Pudong. Well apparently everyone elst thought of that as well and I am sure my getting to the airport late didn't help. The only option I had was a flight at 1215 arriving at 215, so that would give me 2 hours to get through security and whatnot. No problem right? Wrong. We were delayed 30 mintutes due to "weather" (which is the PC way of saying smog apparently) so now I am down to about 90 minutes if we arrive on time. We touch down at about 310. Ok. A they still may be checking in. So we taxi to the FAR SIDE of the fucking airport and deplane next to the end of the runway. I can't even see the terminal. It takes a 15 minute busride to get the the terminal of China Eastern which has about 5 gates unoccupied. I have flown in and out of this airport many times and I have NEVER seen this before. I don't even get to the baggage claim until 345 after the taxi, busride, and walking. No way I am making it now. So I get my bag and proceed to the United ticketing to figure out a solution. The only option was to go to LAX which brings me to where I am now. But it gets even better. The only remaining flight to Chicago was overbooked so no way I am getting on that, which leaves taking a redeye to Newark, arriving at 4 am, then a connection to Indy at 7 am, getting me home a full 13 hours late. So if the rest of this trip goes off without a hitch, that brings my total clock time to 41 straight hours without much sleep. BTW, I don't like flying. I get the shakes if I have no music or something to read or watch. Sleep is next to impossible.

Too much meth dude.

#sigh
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10-12-2015, 10:06 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
(10-12-2015 10:00 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  Can confirm... Wall of text DID happen. Cannot confirm it's contents.

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10-12-2015, 10:08 PM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
Oh wow that absolutely sucks.

I hope the rest of your travels are without problems.

Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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11-12-2015, 11:55 AM
RE: I swear 100% of this happened
We had a similar (but seriously prolonged situation) back in 2009 when I was 15. We were making the trip back to Kodiak, AK, from a cruise we went on in Mexico. This was back during the whole swine flu scare so airport security was a bit interesting. Fortunately we made it to our first flight just fine .

We flew up to Seattle expecting to board our next flight to Anchorage within a few hours. I remember we were having a Cinnabon when we learned that the Alaskan volcano, Mt. Redoubt, decided to blow its top. Our flight was cancelled, and we didn't know when we'd get another one. Y'know, with volcanoes being unpredicable things and such.

We spent the first night at the airport. I didn't sleep at all. Sleeping in public isn 't something I'm comfortable with. We couldn't find a hotel either, since we were one group of many that were stranded that night.

The next day, we found finally found a hotel. It was a nice one aka ridiculously expensive ($600 a night for one room) but we took it. Even though there was 6 of us we managed to make two beds and a couch work.

It was nearly a week before conditions were clear enough for us to catch a flight home. Ended up costing more than the vacation we went on.

I had so much homework to make up...

Darn volcanoes.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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