Our plane stayed aloft for 14-hours. During the flight, I learned that a 2-3 year old child can scream from Newark, New Jersey, over the North Pole, and on to Shanghai, China without taking a break. Time-after-time I tried to catch a few winks only to find I was merely rehearsing. Every last passenger on the big, Boeing, bird continually tucked their nerves back under their skin and I am quite sure battled scary, dark thoughts about how to silence the dear little boy!
Mercifully, we finally touched down, disembarked, and climbed into a dinged and dented subcompact auto for a one-hour taxi ride to our hotel. Arriving, we pulled up to a glass entrance that opened to an impressive lobby. Inside, the light colored, polished, granite floors sparkled. The ceilings soared for a couple of stories with a giant, crystal chandelier as the centerpiece. Brass rails separated the bar and lounge from the restaurant, and the black surfaced check-in counters from one another. Subtle artistic Asian décor clung to the walls.
Once in our hotel room, I set down my luggage, and flopped down on the bed. It was then that I was rudely reminded of something I had learned on my previous trip to China. What had I learned? As a rule, most beds in China are a hard wooden surface covered with a thin layer of foam—not a Posturepedic pillow top mattress. Mine was no exception to that rule. There was no soothing ahhh, as my back, backside, and the back of my head met up with the deceitfully enticing surface. Instead, there was a thud and my audible groans!