Go There & Back Dave & LeeAnne Travel the World in 2007

Things to Do in Beijing

I have to admit – we probably shouldn’t even do an entry on Beijing until we go back there next month. Our three nights and two days there on this leg were mainly occupied with chores: picking up tickets from the travel agency, finding a camera shop to repair our busted equipment, trying to make a few changes to our airline tickets and doing laundry. Not exactly blog-worth material, I wouldn’t blame you if you stopped reading right here.

Beijing is – surprise – a huge city. And everything happening there right now revolves around making sure that the facilities for the Olympics next year are done way ahead of time. The Chinese don’t want another “Athens” happening on their watch. There are billboards around making sure no one forgets it either – one counts down the days until the games begin. There are reports on the news promoting how many stadiums are done, how many days ahead of schedule they are and so forth.

But still, most of this is material for a future blog entry when we actually do something in Beijing beyond our laundry. The only real drama this time around was what has become known between LeeAnne and I as “The Qantas Affair”.

We’re at a point in our trip where we are over half way done, and we’re ready to make a few tweaks to our itinerary. A few date changes and a few destination changes. After looking long and hard at Mauritius, we just can’t find a place to stay for a reasonable amount of money, so we’re going to ditch it and trade those flights for flights from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. Also, we’re hoping to change our flight from Nairobi to London to a flight from Johannesburg to London, it’s just going to be a lot easier. That is, if we can get ‘er done.

QANTAS we are quickly learning stands for “Queer And Nasty Try Another Service”. Actually, that’s too harsh, we’ve used them to make ticket changes on this trip already and everything went fine, but the Beijing office is a cause for alarm.

The people behind the desk in Beijing have no experience with the One World ticket, didn’t know how to make any changes and apparently don’t know where Victoria Falls, Zambia, or Namibia are, much less what their airport codes are. By the time we left the office, I was actually glad to have nothing done and our paper tickets to Mauritius safely in our hands. First, do no harm.

So nothing may come from our visit to QANTAS in Beijing, but we still have opportunities to make changes in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Jo’Berg. We have to draw a high card in one of those cities. Wish us luck.