I flew to Shanghai from Chengdu. When checking in, which was not the easiest thing to do since I somehow had no clue what airline I was flying on (I is smart), next to me was a group of Western kids that appeared to be on a class trip. They had 49 pieces of luggage combined. My thought was “that poor woman who has to help them”
Well wouldn’t ya know it, they are on my flight. All eleventy billion of them.
We board, two of them fill my row. I close my eyes and soon after, smell something. I open my eyes and the bimbo next to me is barefoot. Sure she is like either pre-teen or early teen and maybe calling her a bimbo is harsh, but being barefoot on a plane is grounds for being tried as an adult, so bimbo it is.
She kept putting her bare feet everywhere. At one point, the poor unsuspecting dude in front of her, had her gross toes maybe 1/10 of an inch from touching his elbow on HIS arm rest. I don’t know why I didn’t say anything. Someone needs to teach her manners. I just sat there and glared at her every chance I got. I am sure this did nothing because anyone who thinks it is okay to put their bare feet all over things would never have any idea that is why she is being glared at.
We land and get off the plane. I have never landed further from the baggage claim than I did on this flight. All I want to do is exit this airport and take a breath of fresh air. Yes, in China I want to do this. A country where the skies are grey during the day and glow pink at night due to the air pollution.
I get my bag and my next plan is to go to an ATM. Whoa! I am instantly bombarded by people bumrushing me, showing me their airport employee badges, trying to force me into an “airport taxi” while we are still inside the terminal. I am trying to get OUT of the middle of these people but they are relentless. I tell one to “leave me the fuck alone” and she will not stop. Where am I going, do I need a taxi. Get OFF me.
I tell her I am going to the ATM. I don’t know why I tell her this, I certainly do not need to report to her. She tells me I can pay for the taxi with a credit card. I am not going to the ATM for taxi fare, I am going to withdraw the cost of my hotel. I do not tell her this either. But it just sucks to realize how someone arriving right off the plane could easily fall for this and follow her blindly and arrive at their hotel with zero cash on them.
I get rid of her and another one latches onto me. He keeps showing me his official “airline employee” badge, which means shit to me. He will not get off me.
If you ever find yourself in the Shanghai airport – or any airport – and this happens, take one second to consider what is going on. It was so overwhelming to me and I live in NYC. You may think you do not want to be rude just in case he is legitimate. But think about it: if he is truly an employee and his job really is to get you in the best form of transport, then he will not refuse you if it turns out you were wrong and you do need him. Not if he is this intensely stalking you to get you to go with him.
He follows me to the ATM, never letting up about where am I going. Truth is, I am not sure where I am going. I want to take the Maglev train to the Metro but I am not sure what time it stops running and it is now past midnight. I try and ask him and he keeps shoving “AIRPORT TAXI” in my face. I could not have seen one inch of the airport without his face in my vision.
Once I am done with the ATM and I need to take ONE FREAKING SECOND to get my bearings, he is still aggressively in my face. I do not know how much a taxi is to my hostel. I never looked into it because I never planned to take one. I don’t know what time the Maglev train stops running. I need a freaking second to consider my own options without this man in my face. He will not allow me this luxury.
For a split second, I cave and ask him how much the airport taxi is. He takes my hotel confirmation tells me to follow him. I snap back to my senses. The entire time I have been in China, every time I get off a train or bus or plane, I am instantly bombarded with people yelling “TAXI” at me. They are all rip offs. All of them. Every time I have taken one, on the way back, the fare was half of what I paid. Sure it is only $5 or $10 but it is now the principle here. Stop scamming me. I start yelling at the air in front of me “I AM SO SICK OF CHINA TRYING TO SCAM ME WITH TAXIS, I HATE CHINA”
He brings me to a counter and the cost of a taxi is 450 yuan. Oh no way in hell. I say “Get the fuck out of here” and he tells me that it is the only way to get to my hostel. I keep saying “NO” and he keeps pushing. This is China. You find yourself yelling “NO” over and over and over to people to whom “no” translates to “please keep pushing your crap in my face until I pull out my wallet.” He will not give up, “no” isn’t working. I am trying to maneuver around him to find the signs for the Maglev train and he keeps jumping back into my face, going on and on about “this is the only way to get to your hotel” No. But this is the only way to go. NO. But this is the only way to go. NO. I turn right, he jumps back into my face. I veer left, he jumps right back into my face. I cannot get around this guy. “But Miss, this is the only way to get to your hotel.” Finally I scream at him “No YOU suck my dick” and those are the magic combination of words to get him to leave me alone.
I go outside to the taxi stand he was trying to cock block me from. I get in a metered cab. Even with the driver getting lost (and having to pull over to pull out a magnifying glass to read the address) it cost me 200 Yuan.
Then I get to my hostel and check into my room. It is a cute little duplex with a loft bed up top and my own private balcony. Now I am happy.