The One True Crappy China

Today there were two stories in the local magazine that I thought I would share:

It seems scientists have discovered a new use for panda poop. Paper! They have come up with a way to take panda poop and make it into paper. This is of course to combat Thailand’s methods of taking elephant poop and turning it into paper. My only question, who has this much free time to play with panda poop? Global warming not a big enough issue for you? You know someone got a PH.D for this crap…

The next story is about a lady hanging her laundry out of the 6th floor window when she fell. Luckily they were cleaning the septic tanks in her building at the same time and she fell into a 20cm (8 in.) pile of crap. Now the strange part about this story is not that she fell or survived or it is still about crap, but the fact that WHILE CLEANING there is an 8 inch pile of crap on the street!!! They are supposed to be cleaning, why is it on the street?

This is the true China. After yet another horrid set of flights to/from Shanghai my only hope is that the people who come to China for the Olympics see it for what it is. I can deal with the pushing and shoving to get nowhere, the red tape, the idiocy, but the “close but not quite” attitude here drives me crazy. The latest is the jet bridges on the planes. If you fly Shanghai Airlines you know it is crap and thus you will arrive at the airport by taxi, wait in a very dank and undecorated waiting hall, shove to get on a bus, only to drive another 15 minutes to reach the airplane sitting in some field in Kansas. Really, it feels like that. I mean, why have an airport if you are just going to take me to another city to get on the plane? We are so far away when we board I forgot where I was going, and you couldn’t even see the control tower. If you think I am joking: we pass a gas station on the way to the plane.

Now you might be saying, “Chris, don’t fly cheap and you won’t have these problems.” Ok, maybe. So, on the return flight I fly CA (China Airlines). We are on some giant jet with 4 classes, 3 pilots, and 2 levels (one day I will know why you need an upstairs on a plane). We land and actually taxi to the gate. My heart leaps! I may not have to take a bus after all! We pull up and they attach the jet bridge. Not one, but TWO. One for super-duper and normal first class and one for business and coach. Yay! People are going out both doors… In the aisle I am making good progress, still wishing I had a taser gun, but good progess…then we stop… Oh oh, I smell a rat… With two jet bridges and everyone pushing like we are leaving Vietnam how could we possibly have a bottleneck? Enh, I dismiss it. Surely someone is just pausing to spit.

I leave the plane, I head up the bridge, I can see the doors to the airport … and … and… we turn to go down the stairs to the five waiting buses outside. “Why”, I scream. We are right there. Just let us in the airport so we can walk in peace to luggage claim. Oh, no. That would be too easy. We must make you go outside and ride a bus to who knows where to get your luggage, EVEN WHEN MOST PEOPLE CARRY ON! (NOTE: this is even true for the 85 year old Chinese woman who about has a heart attack coming down the stairs.) ARGGGHH!

So, come on people. Come to China for the Olympics. Enjoy the bus rides and I really hope you see the same China that I do.

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