Justins World

Chinese and Russian carry on luggage

Sorry to anyone who missed me or thought I’d gone missing. I’ve been internetless with plenty of other mishaps and adventures in between!
I left Guangzhou for the long flight to Ashgabat via Urumqi in Western China. I ended up sitting in the plane for 2 hours as they attempted to repair it, not a good start. Finally it was decided to change planes. The reason for the delay became evident because after Urumqi this plane is due to fly onwards to Moscow and changing planes though was no easy feat. Just about every Chinese passenger had these boxes of fruit. Most of them were not strong enough to carry them, let alone load the lockers above their heads. To speed up the process I think I helped unload 12 boxes of fruit and at least 3 bags. Naturally my 4 hour layover in Urumqi was now under threat with a 4 hour delay!
After a 5 hour flight, I arrived in Urumqi to be greeted by a China Southern staff member to expedite me through Chinese immigration and customs. This was dearly appreciated, as Urumqi airport is vastly over specced in size if you ask me. I also had to endure a pat down, a few metal detectors, and explain to Chinese immigration there was no chance my visa in Turkmenistan would be denied as I didn’t have a stamp or visa yet as that was to be issued on arrival according to the electronic notification I had.
Eventually I made it through the airport with time for a coffee and a wander. In this part of the world the Chinese speak a fair bit of Russian, Mandarin and native languages. I was mistaken for a Russian a few times.
The next flight replaced the Chinese with excess carry on, with Russian/Turkmen with excess carry on. I didn’t help them, as being in Premium economy meant a quick exit. I was surprised by the speed I got through the Turkmen immigration and customs. No problems at all. I Landed at 11:20pm, through and found my driver and out by 12pm. In bed at the hotel less than 30 minutes later!

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