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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Honor Amongst Thieves February 1, 2016

On our way to Thailand, our plane stopped in Beijing, China. Apart from Beijing eating my husband’s checked bag so he had to spend the rest of our time out of the country wearing hilariously small underpants, being stuck in a Chinese airport for five hours was a rather interesting experience.

I would never say, Oh, yes. I’ve been to China. I saw the inside of an airport. But there is a decent amount you can learn about a culture by observing how they treat travelers.

First of all, Jack Daniels is apparently the international sign for I give up. Please give me a drink. Every bar and restaurant shelf had a big bottle of Jack Daniels sitting front and center.

Apparently no smoking in the bathroom means no smoking unless the restroom attendant offers to slip you a lighter for a tip. Good thing neither my husband nor I smoke, or we might be in Chinese jail right now.

Massages are not some exclusive rich people benefit to flying. There are pretty little kiosks you can just slip into for a real quick foot rub without having to choose between foot comfort and eating a real meal in the airport.

But the most fascinating thing to me was the level or trust they had for the flyers. And not just the bathroom attendant assuming my husband wouldn’t turn him in for encouraging illegal smoking in the bathroom. (more…)