Guang Zhou – The Layover from Hell

India was great it really was. Amritsar, Abohar and Faridkot were great experiences in culture, people, faith and patience. However, my pool of patience is at the very best, limited.

On our flight back from from New Delhi to Vancouver, with China Southern (for more about choosing an airline for your next trip click here!), we had a 5-6 hours layover in Guang Zhou airport. The newly renovated New Delhi airport is beautiful and I could spend a few hours here. We board our flight and land early in the morning and we’re all itching for something to eat. Adam and I get some congee at one of the Chinese places that offer wifi to customers. I paid a hefty price for my boil of very basic congee. For those who travel often, you know that airport food is really hit and miss but what you can always count on is for it to be overpriced.

OK I know, go all the way to India and get MacDonald’s?! Well I’m tired and this looked like a tasty meal so I couldn’t resist! This was at the New Delhi airport.

Since we’re going to be here for 5 or so hours, we make camp, so to speak, at an empty gate close to a charging station so everyone can hook up their phones, laptops, tablets etc. There are only so many movies you can really watch. I try walking around to just get away from the monotony of sitting. The shops are pretty ridiculous. Among the fair is the usual collection of nick nacks and liquor stores (small!). Unimpressive. But who cares, we’re a mere hour from boarding so that’s OK!

I hunker back down to home base in time to hear an announcement that our flight will be delayed for 2 hours due to maintenance issues. Damn. Another movie then? I’m getting seriously bored and running out of things to do. At least they’re passing out snacks to compensate?

Another hour or so later, another announcement that there will be another 2 hour delay. Also the gate has been changed to one downstairs. Defeated, I try napping, which proves hard in the airport despite being absolutely exhausted. You see, when we started flying, I started timing my sleep patterns to Canadian time so I forced myself to stay up for the whole flight to GZ. I have been up for God knows how many hours. At least 24.

30 minutes before the schedule boarding, the group makes its way downstairs and its an absolute mess. They were still boarding for the previous flight so 2 planes worth of people were cramped into one gate. It was like a refugee camp. 30 minutes after our scheduled departure, we start boarding. I wonder why its moving so slow. Oh, its because they’re doing it manually without a computer. Great.

Let me introduce you to my tiny friend, the $4CAD coffee. F me

The cherry on top was one particular Chinese lady who was holding up the staff and forcing 2 lines worth of people to funnel into the remaining free staff member. He was yelling very loudly about missing her flight and demanding that she be put on a nonexistant earlier flight. Efforts to calm her down were futile, but the whole situation was quite entertaining.

All huffy and puffy because she missed her flight. Listen lady, we’re all on the same boat (plane). Get over it.

11 hours after landing in GZ, we finally take off. I’m absolutely exhausted and not thinking straight. I pass out for most of the flight back. A good thing because these planes have a very modest 31 inch seat pitch (pitch is the amount of space between your seat and the seat in front of you). Incredibly cramped and short on patience, I pass out and hope to not wake up until I arrive in Vancouver.

Travel Notes

  • We didn’t have much of a choice as far as layovers go but when purchasing flights, be mindful of the layover time.
  • Bring entertainment. Anything to keep your mind off the mind numbingly dull wait
  • If you have a really, really long layover (6+ hours), consider leaving and treating the layover as a short stopover. Maybe you can grab lunch at a local eatery or something if its time feasible. Keep in mind though this isn’t possible in all countries since the airport might be very far from town or you might need a Visa, which you really couldn’t justify for 6 hours.

Just a few quick shoutouts again,

Thread of Hope is THIS SATURDAY so if you haven’t RSVP’d, do so and support a great cause to build a vocational training center for women in Abohar

This is also the last day that DFN will match your gift of $150 to make $300, enough to send a child to school for a year. Please give generously

Finally, please support my attempt at a travel/school scholarship through S-Trip. This will cover most of my tuition for first year at Queen’s.

As always, if you like what you read, share and follow. Until next time, Happy travels!

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