Sunday 25th September, 2011
Daniel briefly mentioned when I first arrived in TEDA, that we may have to go to Penglai for a week, so he can cover another inspector. I thought, it'd be good to see something else. I know I had only been in TEDA for a week, but the city is very industrial and has no traditional features to it. No temples, no mountains. Maybe there is, but I hadn't been able to find them, so going to Penglai would be interesting, as it is a small fishing village and although the town has many tourist attractions, the tourism industry still hasn't grown in the area. Foreigners are still a new concept to the people of Penglai, so this would definately guarantee being stared at alot more.
So Saturday morning, Daniel emailed me telling me to start packing, as we were going to Penglai the next day- Sunday. I didn't have much to pack, as I hadn't yet unpacked completely, so that helped!!! He came home later in the afternoon and got his luggage organised, with his tools and other work equipment. After that, we just went to Jacky's for dinner and back home for an early night.
It's now Sunday, just after lunch time, and our driver has arrived right on time to pick us up and to take us to the airport in Tianjin, which is only 30 minutes away. After checking in, we made our way through customs and found a cafe that offered WiFi to have a snack before we boarded our 4pm flight to Yanti. The flight would only take an hour and once we land, we would be met by Gao Lin, the company interpreter, who, together with the driver, would then take us to Penglai, which is another 60 minute drive and to our Hotel.
From the airport terminal, we had to be transported by a bus, which would take us to our awaiting aircraft. There were plenty of people on board to bus, so it looked to be a full flight. When we bus approached the planes, we stepped off the bus and walked towards our tiny, 40 seater carrier. It didn't look good. There was just something about this plane that made me feel uneasy. I squeezed Daniels hand alittle tighter.
The arline staff were frinedly and offered us drinks once we were seated. They also gave us a copy of the Chinese Daily newspaper. Once, all the passengers boarded, the plane started up and moved towards the runway. As it lined up to take it's turn to take off, I prayed we'd have a safe flight. As it lifted off, it made all the unsual plane sounds and jittery movements. This was normal, I told myself. Maybe it was because the plane was tiny, that it make me feel nervous. I don't know what it was, but I just wanted this flight to be quick.
Sure enough, an 1 hour later, we made it safely to Yanti. We collected our luggage and were greeted by a small, chinese girl called Gao Lin. She was very friendly and talkative and told us Barrie was here too. Barrie is Tiger's wife, who I met in Korea and he will be in Penglai for the next week or so to oversee the project. Tiger and Emma would be joining him in Penglai in December, so it'll be great to hopefully catch up with them again.
It was good to see Barrie, he looked well and enthusiastic as always. We soon boarded our mini van that would take us to our Hotel in Penglai- The Hau Xi Hotel. The sun glowed an amazing red as is started setting behind the mountains. The trip was a good hour, but it was great catching up and also getting to know Gao Lin.
We arrived at the hotel and did all the usual check in procedures. Since we hadn't eaten anything since lunch time, we told Barrie to meet us in the lobby in 15 minutes. Bernie, another manager, who we'd met in Korea was also in Penglai, so he rang Barrie and told him he'd come round in the cab and pick us up. Sure enough, there he was and suggested we go eat at a local Steak House. One that he's eaten at afew times and highly recommended.
It's been a busy few days, so it'll be nice to get into the sights of Penglai in the coming days.