Southern China Airlines sounds daunting to a first time user, but a cheerful welcome saying that the pilots and hostess will cherish us for the flight set me at ease quickly. Ive never been cherished before.
Turns out - on reflection - that the cherishing may not have been the best translation for the service received. More quick, efficient and minimalist would be terms that had a little more truth attached.
IN the next row over sat four sterotypical Chinese business men. As soon as the plane was in the air a deck of cards was produced and in the gloom of the cabin four over head lights focused into the middle seat. Fierce concentration, an occasional smirk and wads of cash being counted out gave an gambling den feeling to the flight. Other travellers peered over the seats, watching with grim satisfaction the rise and fall of the players.
As we neared the end of the flight an announcement was given - encouraging us to listen to the "relaxing music" To that music we were encouraged to knead our thumbs to "dispel wind and clear the mind" doing it as "possible as we can" We then were instructed to shrug our shoulders, rotating and stretching so we could free our "meridians" by "enabling the dis-comfortable-ness" Then with a happy Twist and Turn we could relieve waist fatigue
Both the Hegu and Zusiani were mentioned as points to activate so that our mood would get pleasanter and we could feel the health circulation in the air. (Just quietly I didn't manage to work out where the points were and so missed out on the health circulating around me)
Finally the eight hour flight came to an rowdy end. The plane bounced onto the tarmac and with that passengers lept up everywhere opening overhead lockers and turning on mobiles. The steward was sent into a frenzy - leaping up and shutting the lockers as quickly as they had opened, telling passengers off and finally got everybody seated and quiet again as the flight came rolled to a standstill. So China. here we are for 6 hours. Raining outside, flights being delayed and the most bizzare pricing system for water available free (boiling hot from an urn near the well used smoking area) to $2 to $7.