It started with an early-morning flight out of Shanghai. I was headed back to Beijing after a few days of work, and while the departure time of 7:30 am was excruciatingly early, I was comforted by the fact that I had scored an economy-priced first-class seat.
Everything went smoothly at the start – more than smoothly, in fact, since I luxuriated in a huge seat while wearing slippers, sipped freshly brewed Americano from fine china, and snacked from a bowl of warm nuts, all before take-off. I settled in, ready to fully enjoy the two-hour journey.
After we had reached altitude and the flight attendants brought me my breakfast, complete with a white tray-table cloth and freshly squeezed OJ, the captain got on the mic to make an announcement.
A 13-year-old girl managed to convince everyone, for at least a few days, that she was a flight attendant at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport despite the fact that she's 13 and definitely not a flight attendant, reports Global Times.
Once again, Chinese tourists shame their countrymen:
"In the latest controversy involving Chinese tourists - a group of mainland travellers have upset Singapore Airlines staff by refusing to hand over 30 sets of stainless steel tableware during a recent flight, Chinese media reported."
If you're going to throw a hissy fit during a delay at a Chinese airport, do it like this woman: without violence, in front of an audience, with just the right dash of the dramatics. The Nanfang has a transcript of this young lady's soliloquy:
Boarding an airplane can put you through the rawest five minutes of judgement you'll ever face, especially if you're a foreigner. Like a slow, awkward fashion show, you amble down the aisle in fits and starts while everyone already seated simply stare.
On my recent Guilin-bound Chengdu plane, I was generally spared of any finger-pointing or comments before I slid into my middle seat, wedged between A and C.
But then the 20-year-old boys came.
Ji Zhongxin, a 34-year-old petitioner born in Heze, Shandong province, blew himself up on Saturday in Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport. Watch how he did it, above, in a video that's been viewed 2.6 million times on Tencent.
A man in a wheelchair detonated a homemade explosion this evening at Beijing Capital International Airport's Terminal 3. It happened in the international arrivals hall at 6:24 pm, according to Xinhua, with no one else getting injured.
CCTV identified the man as Ji Zhongxing from Shandong province. The explosive was reportedly made using gunpowder from fireworks, and probably should be hashtagged "fail."
The Wall Street Journal revealed on Friday that China's airports are the world's worst for flight delays. "According to FlightStats, which tracks airport statistics, Beijing’s airport ranks dead last among the world’s top 35, with fully 82% of flights failing to leave on time," WSJ reported. "Second worst was Shanghai, at 71%." Numbers, numbers. We could link to a string of posts from our archives with picture and video evidence, but none of it will feel as real as our memories -- after all, we've all experienced the particular nightmare of flying in China.
Flight delays are frustrating, and if you, in the midst of a four-hour delay, have never allowed yourself to think barbarous, shamefully uncivilized and cruel thoughts, it doesn't make you a better person: you're just that smug asshole everyone always wants to punch.
But no one actually does punch you, and have you ever wondered why?