Well, I have been back in the United States for almost a month, and still am having trouble readjusting to the Pacific Time Zone....It seemed like I had less trouble adjusting to Japan time than I have had readjusting here.
Anyway, my youngest son David (18 years old) and I took a 38 day long trip to Japan with a side trip to Beijing this year. I am planning on writing a book about our trip once my head clears and I am able to wrap my mind about the things that really mattered on this trip...mainly David's and my experiences and the things that we got to see.
Beijing is almost a four hour plane trip from Tokyo, and we waited to board ANA airlines for our trip. Since I have Multiple Sclerosis and walk with a cane, and David has Down Syndrome, they told us that we would load first. They called for the disabled folks, so we went forward. They sheepishly apologized...that they had called us in error. We sat back down. They called us again. We went forward. They seemed embarrassed and apologized again. This time the Gate attendant said that she would come and get us...a while later, I see the Gate attendant looking at us and I just looked back, not wanting to make a nuisance of ourselves. She finally came over and escorted us up, checking our passports and visas. Then she had us enter the plane directly behind the pilot.
They took us to our assigned seats, but then had us change to the seats ahead of us that were directly behind the partition that seperates business class from our economy seating (which apparently is where the crew sits to nap during their breaks).
It was a nice uneventful trip on the Airbus A321-200, and took almost four hours to arrive at the Beijing International Airport. The airport is large and beautiful. It definately took me by surprise. ANA arranged for a wheelchair for me and an attendant to wheel me around. The attendant was a pleasant and plump young woman who seemed to have difficulty wheeling me around. I encouraged her to take a break frequently as I didn't want her collapsing or dying while tending to me...she seemed to be having that much trouble. Finally we collected our luggage and after immigration and such we reached the main terminal. On our way, there stood a nice Chinese man with a sign that read "Welcome to Beijing Ronal". It was funny that in my email correspodence in planning this trip, I apparently had failed to type the "d" on my name, so it said "Ronal"...so that is what he wrote. This fellow was our private guide Anson. I had gone ahead and okayed a private guide, because I knew that I would never be able to keep up with a tour group. Anson would be with us every day while we were in China.