How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Homeward Bound

57 Comments


Breakfast was a disappointment again:  no fresh buns, dry, squashed croissants, and small stale Danish. I loaded up on cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple, a piece of toast, and coffee. I decided not to gorge on our last day.

After breakfast Ernesto and his wife took the elevator with two Chinese businessmen. It stopped partway and wouldn’t budge. One of the businessmen began to sweat, his face beet red. Ernesto’s wife hit the red button and someone answered at once with instructions, but nothing worked. After a moment or two—that’s all it took—the elevator stirred to everyone’s relief, especially the Chinese man.

* * *

Time to leave for the airport, Sue and I towed our luggage to the elevator at 8:25 a.m. It appeared too full, but the occupants  insisted we get on. The elevator stopped at almost every floor and with much shifting more people squeezed on. I laughed because this felt like the Volkswagen commercial where endless lines of people pile in. Nobody thought the elevator was too full to get on and no-one decided to wait for the next one. By the time we’d reached the first floor, we had enough Chinese people to start our own small village with a population of a million or two.

* * *

After we’d settled at our boarding gate at the airport, Sue and I went in search of bottled water to take on the plane. Before boarding, we passed through another security check, opened our bags and carry-ons, and lost the untouched water. Other passengers had had the same idea and were robbed of their bottles as well. A female passenger, who’d boarded our plane, argued with the stewardess.

“There should be a sign if we’re not allowed to bring water on board.”

“Madam, we are not allowed to do that in Hong Kong.”

“Well, how was I supposed to know my new water bottle will be confiscated?”

“You will know for next time.”

United_787_800_RR

The overall flight seemed better than the one into China. My eyes didn’t itch nor burn from lack of sleep. By 1:00 a.m. breakfast was served, but I wasn’t hungry. I had half the omelette, had a taste of the anemic pork sausage and two toonie-sized hash brown coins. The drinks cart came around once. I would have loved more coffee and finally, a second offer was made.

I watched a lot of movies, and read a complete book I’d borrowed from one of our group. We finally arrived in Chicago and didn’t have to wait five hours to get on a flight home.

I tried wifi without success. We waited. The plane before us had been delayed; the passengers moved to another gate after much dithering. The clock ticked past our boarding time. No information was offered. Finally another gate became available. We were 35 minutes late boarding. Thank goodness we didn’t have to run to the other end of the airport, but I worried about the arranged limo we’d paid for to pick us up in Toronto.

The aircraft was puny: two seats on either side of a narrow aisle, not unlike the one we had taken from Toronto to Chicago at the beginning of our trip. The door closed and then, nothing. We waited. The passengers shifted in their seats and looked at each other across the aisle.

1st announcement:

“We need to fuel up so we have enough gas to get you to To-ron-to”

2nd announcement:

“We’re trying to locate the guy who’s supposed to fill us up.”

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

(Is that enough fuel? Are you kidding?)  Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

3rd announcement:

“He went to the wrong…”

W-h-a-t?

My heart danced the Nitty Gritty. So close to home—yet would we even make it?  The air in the cabin grew stale and stifling. Susan’s stomach had been queasy while we were still in the airport. I now had a scratchy throat and stuffed sinuses.

Credit:  SOUL of the North : tolpuddleman’s channel

* * *

The plane arrived in one piece but we had to walk across the tarmac to the airport. I felt like a rag doll nobody cared about. Toronto airport is huge; it isn’t easy nor forgiving. There are no walkalators nor airport treadmills. We trudged for miles.

I noticed something interesting at the baggage carrousel. A female police officer and a sniffer dog checked the incoming luggage. I’d have expected a German shepherd, instead a beagle named Lucy sniffed away.

Credit: Google Images

Credit: Google Images

We waited about five minutes for the limo driver. The deal was if the plane didn’t arrive on time, the driver would only wait for an hour. Phew!

Soon we sped towards home- sweet-home, my great adventure over.

~ * ~

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

57 thoughts on “Homeward Bound

  1. And what an adventure it was! Bet the relief of sleeping in your own bed that night was one of the sweetest moments you’ve known. 🙂

    Like

  2. sorry you had go go thru O’Hare. I avoid that place like the plague. Ive had so many delayed or cancelled flights there that I pay extra now to avoid it.

    Like

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I had no idea and no choice because this was an organized tour.
      The pilot’s communique didn’t seem professional to me.

      Like

      • I understand since you have to go where the tour goes. been there, done it, got the tee shirt. I should blog about being stuck in the airport in Iceland for 8 hours. oh joy!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “Welcome home Tess!” so to speak. Cliffhangers throughout, the trip home no exception. Thanks for letting us tag along for the trip of a lifetime. Mega hugs!

    Like

  4. The last time I flew, there were sniffer dogs, too. They’re cute. No one cared. We’re home! Ah, what a relief.

    Like

  5. Welcome Home, Tess! Bet it was such a great feeling to sleep without rushing for somewhere and finally sleeping in your own bed again! It took me a week to recover from jet lag when I returned from my Orient tour—traveling was fun and exciting but home never felt so good!

    Like

  6. Wow…..but now you know why I do my Crazy routine on a plane….too many sardined people with germs….it was fun to go on this trip with you. When we started, I barely knew you and now…..♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was a unfitting end to a great trip. I love the idea of an answer on the bottles of water. You’ll know next time. Priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The elevator scenario made me giggle. “Toonie sized” hashbrowns? I don’t know that saying.

    Like

  9. What a trip! Between the elevator, water being confiscated and then the beagle!

    Like

  10. Glad you arrived home safe and sound…finally! Your post reminded me of our return trip from Italy. We boarded the plane, then were told to unboard but not given any reason. We waited and waited until we were finally told to board another plane. After that it was smooth sailing, no need to for dancing the Nitty Gritty. 🙂 I think I would have been more nervous being crammed in the elevator.

    Like

  11. my dad when ill had a beagle to walk around a golf course to find golf balls. Apparently he was very successful. I love the tune, and the filming of the day???

    Like

  12. Wow, this has been an amazing trip and I’m so glad you shared it with us, I loved every minute and have learnt so much. You’ve told it like it was, and as someone who’d had a fancy for visiting China, I’m grateful. So, are you [planning your next trip? and will it be to England? I’m sure you’d enjoy it 🙂

    Like

  13. P.s. What am I going to read on Saturday mornings now? 🙂

    Like

  14. Glad you got home safely, we didn’t get a luggage trolley when we arrived in Toronto and it was a very long walk to find car hire out in the car parks late at night, something to remember for another time.

    Like

  15. Well Tess that trip home was an adventure on itself! I loved travelling China by proxy with you. It was a really blast and I learnt a lot. No doubt you did too. Lots of fantastic memories and thank you so much for sharing. xxxxx

    Like

  16. Fabulous trip but no place like home!!!
    When are you coming our way?

    Like

  17. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A bitter sweet moment for me anyway as Tess Karlinski finally heads home from China after her mammoth tour. I have loved every minute, fact and statistic, menu and interaction with French tour guides, other travellers and of course the enigmatic Chinese who must view us all with a sense of WIDK… Well, I don’t know.. Do indulge and if you start at the beginning I suggest that you order a Chinese Takeaway, a bottle of Saki and loads of fortune cookies.. Thank you Tess for a wonderful series that should be on National Geographic.. hugs

    Like

  18. What an incredible journey! All in all, your trip home was pretty good. I’ve got some horror stories I could tell you….

    Like

  19. Now that you’ve told your story about your adventures in China, are you going to fill this spot in your blog with something else? Just wondering. 😉

    Like

  20. I can’t even imagine how tired you must have been. Would you take a long trip like this again?

    Like

  21. And I bet you’d happily do it all again for a new adventure. I’m glad you got back safely if not very well, that always spoils the ending but it often does on a long journey anyway. I’d have expected Toronto to be more accommodating to incoming passengers.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Like

  22. Wait. No. Now you need another trip. I am not ready for this to end!!!!!!

    What a fantastic experience Tess. You did an amazing job sharing it. What an experience for all of us.

    Like

  23. I’d be ready to come home with a breakfast like that, Tess. Can’t beat a good ol’ English! 😀

    Like

  24. What an epic journey. Thank you for taking us along. Hope you slept many hours after your return.

    Like

  25. What a journey, I think getting home somehow always is the best part. Sorry about getting sick though. My experience with elevators in Asia mirrors your own. I am betting you were exhausted and relieved to finally be home, despite your great adventure. ❤

    Like

  26. What an incredible trip! I’ve so enjoyed reading about it ❤

    Like

  27. Wow, Tess, sounds like an amazing trip! But I HATE it when they confiscate your water at the gate in Asia. I’ve had it happen. And that flight is GRUELING! Welcome home and hope you are feeling better soon.

    And just so you know. This summer I’m going on two-month RV trip with my nearing-ninety Godmother and her cat Pepe le Mew. I leave for the US in a week. The RV is huge, 37-feet. My Godmother will be driving and towing an SUV the entire way. She was a Flamenco dancer during her entire professional life. I’m going to try to blog about our trip and write a book about the 64 beautiful years she and my Godfather, a Venezuelan movie star (I kid you not!), were married, until Raul died last fall one month shy of his 97th birthday.

    Bet your kitty is glad you’re back! Sorry to have been away so long, myself!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    Like

    • Nice to see you, Kathryn. The flight there was more grueling than the one back home. Yes, kitty was happy to see me and hung over my shoulder the whole week I spent in bed, even walking me to the bathroom and back to bed again. ❤ ❤

      Wow. Talk about a trip you're taking. Holy Moly. Your God-mother is some spry lady to drive an RV on busy highways. I avoid driving on highways nowadays. Hope we hear about your adventure.

      Like

  28. Perhaps the security folks at the airport were just thirsty.

    For the record I loooove The Nitty Gritty. Someday I have to dance like that guy in the front.

    And now that your Chinese adventure is over, you should consider going to a far more dangerous and adventurous place. New Jersey, maybe?

    Like

    • Ha ha. I agree with you Mike. At the beginning of our trip, security took my cutup carrots, celery and apple. Guess they needed a snack.

      I DO want to go on another trip but am having a problem syncing my sister’s and my calendars and then, can’t decide where I’d like to go. If only another bargain like this past one would fall into my lap. 😮

      Like

  29. Wow, Tess! What a trip this has been. Thanks for sharing it with us. Are you planning another trip in the near future?

    Like

  30. Glad you enjoyed coming along with me, Sheri. Sigh. I can’t decide where I want to go and then there’s the problem of getting someone to sync her schedule with mine. My sister and I have been talking but nothing’s come of it yet. I’m raring to go on another trip and have been for months. 😦

    Like

  31. Sorry to see the trip finish although I’m sure you were happy to be back after that flight…When is the next?

    Like

  32. My sister and I are still trying to decide where we want to go and can’t even get our schedules in sync yet. Sigh. ❤

    Like

  33. what a great trip but don’t airlines do their best to take any sheen off it. Perhaps I shouldn’t but I loved the refuelling story – going to the wrong ****** aircraft!

    Like

    • Ha ha. After the fact the refueling story was funny, but at the time, I thought if they can’t get this right, how do we trust the pilot? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • If there’s anyone whose competence you really don’t want to question its the pilot or your urologist. We have a terrifying flight to Spain years ago when one of four engines wouldn’t fire properly and the pilot said ‘we’re going to take a little run Down the runway to see if we can get it going- sort of like a bump start!’ Fortunately it failed and they had to find another plane. The seven hour wait was worth it.

        Like

  34. Glad you are home safe and sound.:)

    Like

  35. And so it comes to a close, like an epic adventure, And what an adventure it was!

    Like

  36. Oh Tess, at last getting over here after my almost 5 week long hiatus. But I so wanted to finish reading about your China trip. Phew indeed. What a long, long journey. I feel jet lagged just reading about it 😮 You must have felt sooo good to be back in your own bed once again. It’s great to travel but always wonderful to be home again. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing trip with us, it’s been a revelation and I feel I know so much about the country and the people through you. What an adventure, bravo!! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

    • Thanks so much for reading and for your continued interest in China trip. I had one more post to do an overview but I ran out of steam and time. My cut-off date was set and I didn’t want to play around with it. Good to be off, but still too busy and too much to do. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Tess, I know that feel. Wishing you the very best during this time…I miss you already though, but really hope you’ll be able to get into your work and do all you want to during your break. Take care of yourself… ❤ ❤ ❤ ~(*-*)~ ⭐ 🐻 😎

        Like

  37. Hi Tess, I’ve finally finished reading about your trip, and it certainly sounded like you needed a long relaxing holiday once you got home. As to your water being confiscated, you have the terroism laws to thank for that, no liquids can be taken on board planes these days, maybe it’s only in hand luggage. Your carrots and fruit were taken because you cannot take plant materials (including fruit and vegetables) into another country – they might have bugs or something. I brought some beach pebbles home with me from New Zealand, and I reckon I shouldn’t have. I didn’t mention them at customs, though, nor the chesnut seed. Wouldn’t get away with it these days!

    We drive on the left side of the road, too, in Australia – it must come from the old days when we copied England driving our horse and carts that way. 😀 (I wonder why America didn’t do the same.) And, because we drive on the left, the driver’s seat must be on the other side of the car. Imported cars – ones not intended for the Australian market – must sport a sign warning if is a left-hand drive vehicle. Very unsettling when you realise the driver is on the other side! Anyway, I found it interesting that Macau was in the hands of the Portuguese for so long, yet the locals didn’t lose their identity.

    I loved reading about your trip, especially as I want to go to China one day. One thing I have learned now, is to choose my package carefully. Like you, I am not interested in an endless lineup of places to spend my money. And I’m thinking a shorter trip might be better as you sounded exhausted by the end. I reckon I’d come home after Guilin. That’s the place I want to see, as well as the Terracotta Warriors, and the Wall. I can see Pandas lazing about here in Australia. Yes, China is a very interesting place.

    Many thanks for sharing Tess. 🙂

    Like

    • I am tickled pink you enjoyed my little adventure far afield. I had a hard time getting my head around the right hand driving and driver seating. Two escalators in Macau confused me. I thought they were coming down where in fact the one on the right came down and the left one traveled up. Both opposite to our standard. 😀 😀

      I do hope you get to China. Everywhere you travel, history has happened but it is always exciting to visit a new place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, I meant to comment on that, too. Oh, penny just dropped – talking escalators when I was thinking lifts!) Umm, I’ll have to take notice – but I think it’s the same as Macau! 🙂

        Like

  38. Lucy, the bomb- and opiod-sniffing beagle? Who would have guessed!!!!

    Like

    • Ha ha. I’m not a dog person, but my daughter has a dog as as much as I tried not to like him, I have caved because of his personality.
      Your dog has handsome and interesting written all over his face. ❤ 😀

      Like