83. Tianjin

83. Tianjin

Our Sunrider convention was in Tianjin, three hours by bus from Beijing.  We passed miles and miles of rice paddies, and other crops growing.  Vendors by the road sold watermelons and bottles of water, and Pepsi.  We saw Kentucky Fried Chicken, and brick and stone huts where farmers lived in little villages.  The roads were good, and there were many trucks, all owned by the government.

The huge gymnasium at Tianjin held 6000 excited Sunders from all over the world!  Lion dancers and acrobats entertained us, and hundreds of Sunriders received awards.  An inspiring time!

We received a note from the tour packager apologizing for separating the Hawaii group from the rest.  We would have to stay in Tianjin overnight instead of going by bus back to Beijing.  “Tough break!”  We would miss the tiring three hour bus ride back to Beijing, and have to stay overnight in a really nice hotel, the Crystal Palace, and then fly to Hong Kong well ahead of the main group.

The Crystal Palace Hotel apparently catered to International visitors.  They had a fantastic American style buffet breakfast.  I had oatmeal, an omelet, and pancakes!

Next day, at the gate of Dragon Air for check in, I told the clerk we had requested wheelchair assistance.  She made a face, and said, “We don’t have a wheelchair.  Let me see what I can do.”  It was wobbly, but it had wheels, so I was wheeled to ground level by an attendant, and told to wait.  I keep insisting that I could climb the stairs, but the attendant said, “wait,” and disappeared.

We waited — and watched the other passengers climbing the stairs to the plane parked some distance away.  Finally, a wheelchair transport van arrived, and took me to the cargo entrance of the plane, where the van telescoped up and I was loaded on the plane with the cargo!

Hong Kong again! This time to sit out a typhoon, and enjoy other unique experiences.

Join us next week for more…