Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Zaijian Zhongguo (再見中国) - Goodbye China!

Finally, the time had come to say bye to China.
We were picked up at our hotel by Shaun at dot-6AM. We left the Bund for Pudong, from where our flight to Hong Kong is to depart. The drive took nearly 40 minutes in Shaun's smooth Roewe.
At the airport Shaun accompanied us to the checkin counter. Luckily for us, Shaun was there to translate, when it was found that our bags were 3 kilos overweight.
Then we proceeded to immigration hugging and saying bye to Shaun, who had been quite friendly and nice when he showed us around the city. Shaun handed us his business card which mentioned his name as Richard Liu! On seeing a surprised look on my face, he said "That's my English name for business", apparently he was getting into some business venture with a Canadian friend.
We finally said adieu to Shaun and got our immigration and security check done smoothly. Then we checked out some duty free shops, but with the Rupee at these levels, everything seemed unaffordable.
I was then reminded that the Priority Pass card that came complimentary with my HDFC Bank credit card could give us access to the lounge. So it was.... we headed to a lounge called the VIP Lounge. The name, it turned out, was a misnomer. It could be accessed by anyone not only VIPs! I smiled to myself at the thought of being a "VIP" for an hour or so till our flight leaves.

The lounge itself was nice and spacious, with a nice view of the security hold area below.
Pudong Airport is spacious. That is where China scores over us, it has built capacity for growth for at least the next 10-15 years. Pudong complements the other airport in the city Hongqiao, which caters to local and regional traffic. In India, lobbies and the government would baulk at the idea of having two operational airports in a city....

We had a glass of juice each alongwith some fresh fruit and a sandwich and I kept peering at aircrafts parked at the gates. More on that in a subsequent post on Plane Spotting At PVG...

The highlight of the VIP Lounge at Pudong was a visit to the loo. And there I saw this - a jazzy loo.... choose the temperature, choose the kind of bum wash you want! Can't get more graphic than that!
This was indeed interesting!!! Keep guessing whether I experimented with it or not...

And just now boarding for our flight, Cathay Pacific CX365 was announced. We have picked our hand baggage and are headed to the gate, saying Zaijian Zhongguo (再見中国) or Goodbye China!

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