Purple Fringe and Shameless Gluttony in the Beijing Airport

Stiff-legged and swollen-toed, the guests of Air China flight 992 plod, stretch, and waddle out of the pressurized metal tube. Eleven hours of breathing the same recycled air, and it’s lovely to walk out to Bethoven’s sixth symphony playing over the intercom. It’s calm here, in this international terminal, and it smells like cleaner, or something similarly offensive. The marble floors are so immaculate I can see the grey skies of Beijing reflected in their sheen. And it’s quiet, almost creepily-so (not a word, I know, don’t care). The retail attendants are wearing terrible, horrible, no good, very unattractive uniforms. I need to talk about this for a minute.

I think this must be the "summer version" of the outfit, which is substantially better! (photo taken in June; post written in Sept)

The top is purple. Not a nice mauve, not a deep violet. I’m talking about a pungent, kitschy, so hideously yucky-purple that it’s bordering-on-green-purple. It’s long-sleeved, and it’s got this, I don’t knowfringe around the edges? Now, this vomit of Purple Yuck is surrounding  a similarly yucky deeper-shade-of-purple-puke, a vest-type monstrosity that absolutely murders the front of this sweater. There are yellow, green, and turquoise rainbow stripes on the elbows (of course there are). Framing the scoop neckline is something that looks like a string of swollen Skittles. I wouldn’t even force my own brother to eat these Skittles – they look like the garbage-flavoured variety – you know, the ones that have been cultivating mould for years in your grandmother’s candy jar? Anyway, this horror is perched on top of a stringy, tiered (my god, it’s got to have at least 20 tiers), ankle-sweeping, faded black skirt. Four fringes of this skirt match the rainbow embarassment of the elbows – green, yellow, turquoise, and purple – in succession. And the shoes – oh, help us – the shoes. Like meat cleavers. The shoes alone have got to weigh at least twice as much as the miniscule Chinese girls in whose feet they house. How do they even walk in those things?

The sign beside the neon-blazing Duty-free shop boldly touts: “Unparalelled priveleges awaits you in Hong Kong.” I make a mental note to go there.

I followed the signs to “Western Restaurant” out of curiosity. They led me to a Pizza Hut.

To use the wireless internet here, you have to scan the barcode on your passport. That’s a lot of work. So I’m using the stand-up terminal, because I’m too lazy to do anything that requires any amount of brain.

Facebook doesn’t work here.

Neither does twitter.

I have 7 hours and fifteen long minutes to wait in this airport. I’d have left to explore a bit of the city, but to do that you need a visa, which I have, but can’t validate just yet. I’ll be back in a month to spend some actual time here before that transsiberian railway thing that I somehow (somehow surprisingly) managed to arrange for myself. I’ll be back for you later, Beijing.

I’m going to sleep for a bit. The chairs here only have arm-rests after every third seat, so assuming a crying baby isn’t planted directly in my ear canal, I should be able to get some rest. And after that, I’m going to go be shamelessly glutoneous at the Western Restaurant, and probably have an entire thick-crust, extra cheesy meat-lovers pizza all to myself.

Do be quiet. I’m on holidays? ;)