So, I just returned from an adventure that began yesterday when I accidentally arrived at the Shenzhen airport without my passport in my computer case. Trouble ensued.
I had taken my passport out a few days earlier for safe keeping and forgot to grab it for a day trip to Xiamen. When I got to the airport I decided to try to salvage the trip by testing if my Minnesota driver license plus a copy of my passport I keep on my iPad would get me a boarding pass and through security. Amazingly enough it did!!! I cruised right through and arrived in Xiamen without incident.
Unfortunately it wasn’t as smooth returning home this morning. At the Xiamen Airport no passport = no flight. I spent over 1 hour appealing my case to China Southern Airlines officials and the local version of China’s TSA. Apparently the shoddy security at the Shenzhen Airport was not enough of a precedence for them to let me get on a plane in Xiamen. I had to move to Plan B. Getting home on a train or bus. There were no direct trains to Shenzhen and the transfer process was a wild card that I didn’t want to play with, so I was going to be trading in a 1 hour flight for 8 hours on a bus. Nice.
I had visions of sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with chickens and goats on the way down to Shenzhen. When the bus pulled up it was a nice sleeper coach – with berths long enough for me to stretch-out my six foot frame. They gave me a comforter and pillow and plenty of bad kung fu movies to watch. It was more comfortable than the flight would have been – but it took 8 times longer. Not quite a win/win form of transportation. I doubt I will ever forget my passport after this experience.
Below are a few photos of the views inside the bus. The bus’s “flight attendant” wore an unusual uniform worthy of a couple photos.(Note: This is my blog and I can be a pig if I want.)