Nanning, Guangxi Province

Being the only foreigner on the plane making the decent for landing on China soil felt…well, like a dream…It would be the first time ever traveling to the Republic.

Looking out the window and down below, I noticed small irregular green hills and miniature limestone mountains also covered with patches of greenery mostly near the base. Some were left undisturbed while others had great big chunks missing created by nearby heavy mining machinery. Plots of farmland lay on portions of the lush land. A few streets were visible with a few vehicles driving. There seemed to not be much activity going on on this side road of the airport…

After snatching my hiking pack off the conveyor belt, I make my way to the arrivals section.

At most busy international airports, there is a cluster of people holding up signs to welcome certain passengers entering the arrival section from baggage claim. The signs state a persons name, a group name or the company the greeter is representing. Even though my future manager didn’t tell me to expect some one holding a sign with my name on it, I figured a company greeter would be there with a sign or even the company name I’d be working with.

Walking past the group and looking for an English written sign, I saw nothing helpful. So much for feeling important…

Standing nearby feeling dumbfounded and looking around, I noticed that I was the only foreigner here! On the plane its a bit understandable but in this entire arrival terminal?! There was no need for a greeter to be holding up a sign – I’d be easy to spot out by the person who would be picking me up. The best option was to stay put.

As I stood there waiting, a feeling of being engulfed by hundreds of people overcame me. I was in hiding, yet noticed by many passerby’s gazing at my foreign face, clothes and luggage of choice. I was a curiosity standing still among the many moving Chinese people. This feeling would become a familiarity I would soon discover. One of many discoveries and ‘learned’ familiarity’s that I would realize during my stay in China…

A hand grabbing my shoulder gently snaps me out of my daze. A phone was pressed to my ear from the groper…

‘Hello Robert. Welcome, this is Jack’.

My mind thought of scenes from the movies where adrenaline filled events would ensue after landing in a foreign country and speaking to a Mafia Bass named Jack on a mysterious old school Nokia looking phone…

‘Um…Hello, Jack…your guy found me’ – adding to my imagination of the movie scene…

‘Good, hope your flight was good. ******** will drive you from the airport to your apartment in the city’.

I didn’t catch the Chinese name, but I assumed the guy holding the phone to my ear was him…

2 Thoughts

  1. Hmmmm! Great introduction. Makes me want to know lots more. What happened next? Great to read of your internal reflections and calm as you await the “unknown”. Do you expand on all these tempting blog posts in your book?

    Like

    1. hehe glad that you want to know more! Haven’t sat down and began working on a book project about my China experience just yet…

      Like

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