Delays happen in air travel, and our worst was in China, so it sort of doesn’t count, since China is often a

ridiculous place (details on request). Back in ‘90 we and old friend Ron Rose spent TEN AND A HALF (10.5) hours in the

Beijing airport waiting for rain to stop in Shanghai, our destination.
There were almost no chairs, so much of the time we sat leaning against the wall or wandering around, with nothing

much in their old airport to see (have heard the new one is a monster, in the Chinese manner). Had to be careful where we

sat, as little kids peed indiscriminately. Their mothers unbutton the little flaps under their rears, spread their little

legs and let’er rip. My favorite example was outside a restaurant in Kunming. First the tiny kid made doo-doo, and then Mom

whupped out her boobs and filled a bottle for the next baby meal. How earthy.
Meanwhile, back in the airport: All that saves you in these long waits is that you don’t know how long it’s going to

be. If someone had told us 10 hours, we might have asked for a refund and gone home.
But as it was we kept looking at our watches and listening for the magic word, “Shanghai.”
Time passed, as time will do. We sat as comfortably as possible and talked and napped. As I recall, we didn’t have

anything to read, so we got a lot of talking done, Ron and Sharon and I.
We watched the locals’ children cavort, observed people passing and what they looked like, as they observed us — a

rare opportunity to see a Big Nose up close. They also referred to us privately as “Lao Fan” — Old Outsider.
Interesting: We talked with another pair of Big Noses, these a college administrator from Oklahoma and his secretary

(Hmmmm). They had reported in a few minutes after the deadline for showing up and found that their tickets home had been sold

out from under them! You don’t like that? Whaddya gonna do about it?
So they were transferred to a much later plane. The Chinese are not the kind of folks to discuss things. They just

make announcements, and if you’re screwed, you’re screwed. It probably means more money for the Chinese, and less for you.
But at last the announcement came! Oh joy! No problem that we would fly through the wee hours and arrive exhausted.

We were on the way!
And Ron gave us a good laugh as we left: He was behind some slowpokes in line and had to shove to get in the door of

the plane. That left his huge backpack sticking out the doors, which closed on the pack, lifting him somewhat off his feet

and squirming like a turtle inside the plane.
Good ol’ Ron — always something funny going on, even after a paralyzing wait on the concrete floor of Beijing’s

miserable airport.
Things like this are really fun — to look back on.
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