Getting settled in Beijing
After a 12-hour flight from San Francisco I am finally in Beijing. I got very lucky with the flight, due to an hour delay and having to rego through security to access the international terminal I made it to the plane right when they began boarding. When I arrived there is when I received my seat assignment so I figured I would be totally screwed.
When I boarded the plane I was pleasantly surprised to have a window seat but even better is it was a bulkhead seat, meaning I had all the legroom in the world!
After takeoff I tried to plug my headphones into the jack to listen to the tv/movie but of course the headphone jack didn’t work. I am always prepared for that so I ended up watching Harold and Kumar 2. It probably wasn’t the best choice for a movie with some very adult content but I was able to maneuver my computer as to not offend the lone passanger in the row behind me.
After a few sleeping pills I was knocked out for about 7 hours giving me some very needed rest since I would be arriving in Beijing at 230am (AZ time).
Clearing customs was incredibly easy and my equipment confirmation form wasn’t even asked for so off I went to baggage claim to grab my gear as well as meet up with fellow photographer Jerry Lai who arrived a few hours prior to me. The bad news for Jerry was with his flight getting changed around his luggage never arrived!
After leaving the airport we caught a cab for the 45 minute flight to the hotel. Traffic wasn’t nearly bad as I was expecting but definitely got heavy at times.
We arrived at our hotel and checked in then met up with the rest of our crew that was in China and went out to dinner.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very picky eater and don’t like trying new things. Well when it comes to China that can be very tough. My girlfriend is always trying to get me to eat sushi with her and I tried once and hated it. Well today I tried a second time (due to lack of options) and once again hated it! But at least I provided the crew with some laughs as I attempted to use chopsticks! Ugh.
-Mark J. Rebilas is a freelance sports photographer based in Arizona. His work is seen regularly in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, USA Today and many others around the country. Visit www.markjrebilas.com to learn more about his work.