Road to Bali*

What a trip!

Since our flight left (supposedly) at 8:05 am Monday morning, Sunday evening we stayed at the Ramada Pudong Airport so that we wouldn’t have to get up at some ungodly hour to be at the airport by 6:00. We, along with about 8 others (including an elderly couple, a young couple with a very young son and a few more) caught the 6 am shuttle to the terminal, arriving at 6:05.

Pudong Airport Anecdote #1

We arrive at the terminal, and Terry gets out of the van first. The driver opens the back doors of the van, takes the yung couple’s stroller out, not so gently tosses it to the ground and steps back. Terry thinks that he thought she was alone so he asked her which her suitcase was. Since we were the first on the shuttle, hers is quite buried, so he steps aside, never to move again until he closed the rear doors. Yes, the removal of all of the luggage was left to us.  Now getting the bags down was no easy feat – I think the young couple had 16 tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford) in three suitcases themselves. it was quite funny to watch the driver, though – we all just looked at one another, mouths open and then laughed – what else could you do.

Pudong Airport Anecdote #2

At check in we asked if they had any seats available on the exit aisle – doesn’t everyone want extra leg room for a flight of 5 1/2 hours? Apparently so, since all the seats were taken. But wait, once we were airborne and after about an hour in the air I got up to take a walk. This is what I saw.

These were 2 of 4 empty seats in the exit row in our section.

These were 2 of 4 empty seats in the exit row in our section. Must be nice to be able to spread your stuff out. After standing for about 20 minutes, I asked the attendant if I could sit there – “No problem!” and he moved the newspapers for me. Aaahhhhh….

Pudong Airport Anecdote #3

After check-in we decided to get some breakfast. For those who travel to Shanghai and then fly out, be warned. Despite its size and newness (completed 1999), it must be the world’s worst serviced airports. Burger King, Ramen Noodle shop and a bar are about it in terms of food service – really. But want to buy a scarf – well there you are. We went for the ramen noodles. To say that the staff seem disinterested is an understatement. We went in, sat down and said hello about three times to the server who was all of three feet away, each time with no response. She finally walked away. After about 5 minutes someone came by and took our order and asked us to pay. I shall cut this short. We asked four different people for Terry’s iced tea, which supposedly came with her meal. Finally, when I saw a server bring out a tray of them for another table, I just got up, went over and took one, much to everyone’s amazement. Now I know why you pay first – the service was so incredibly bad you might very well have to leave to catch your plane before your order came.

Pudong Airport Anecdote #4

China is big on family uniforms. These three had the same shirts. In the yellow circle it says either “I am the Dad”, “I am the Mom” or “I am the Baby”.

The family that dresses together...

The family that dresses together…

Inflight Anecdote #1

As we are about to land, they came on twice to remind us that all cell phones were to be turned off. The passenger in the seat next to me felt this did not apply to him and kept it on. After we landed, I entered into a brief (but fairly intense) discussion about it with him. His opinion is that it is “rubbish” and I should “run to the teacher”. As we left I stopped and told the head flight attendant about it, giving him his seat number. They appeared to be most appreciative. Terry was not so pleased….

Denpassar Airport Anecdote #1

To give you some perspective on our arrival in Bali, think of the Bellingham airport. That is the size of the “Arrivals” area. Now, think of four or five 747s arriving at the same time. Now think of the fact that despite what it says on the Internet, Canadians, along with 89 other nationalities, have to line up and purchase a visa upon arrival to get into the country. Now think of those times when you go to the bank and all the tellers except two are closed. Now, think of the fact that it took us two and a half  hours to fly from Singapore. Now think of the fact that it took us another two and a half hours of standing in a hot humid line to get the visas and pass through immigration.

Welcome to Bali!

*The original Road to Bali is a 1952 American comedy film directed by Hal Walker and starring Bing CrosbyBob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. Released by Paramount Pictures on November 1, 1952, the film is the sixth of the seven Road to … movies. It was the only such movie filmed in color and was the first to feature surprise cameo appearances from other well-known stars of the day.

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