Well, after an excellent flight with Air China, they did not do quite so well with the baggage as mine has not arrived. I have a feeling that this might not be as unusual as one would like to think judging by the number of people (probably around 100) in the Air China baggage reclaim office when we went to register its non appearance.
Trying to maintain the ‘sang droid’ of the seasoned traveller I said things like ‘never mind these things happen’ and ‘no-one has died’ ……. And then I thought of all the stuff in my bag and the need to replace it if the said item does not materialise before we are due to leave Beijing. Eeeeek! The bedding equipment is one of the main issues. Where do we find a camping shop with a four seasons sleeping bag in Beijing?!
A quick (10 minutes while the insurance claims department checked the policy) call to the insurance company did little to reassure me as they said I could spend up to £100 if it was still lost after 24 hours but nothing more until the airline declared the bag permanently lost – an unspecified period.
Hopefully it will turn up shortly. I am not holding my breath but am deferring panic.
Nothing to be done about the bag, we set out to find some underwear (I carried one spare outfit in my rucksack but omitted knickers!) .
We are staying in an ‘Air BnB’ establishment in the Hutong area of Beijing. This is the district comprising the series of alleyways that criss cross the city centre and provide the homes to many locals, as I understand it. Our accommodation is in a quiet side street and works something like a ‘rhiad’
In Marrakesh. Access is gained through a gateway off a narrow lane which opens into a courtyard with a sizeable house and garden. It is very near the Houhai Lakes.
Ours is called Gladys Garden and is the home of a very nice lady who is Chinese (to date not named) and Dave, a Canadian.
However, to return to the knicker hunt. We were directed back over the bridge across the lake and along a number of streets to find a department store known as the ‘Christmas Shop’ due to a figure of Father Christmas stationed permanently on display outside! It sounded rather unlikely but proved very helpful for identification purposes!
We had dinner seated outside in a quite busy thoroughfare just off Crooked Pipe Road. Hutong has a hectic nightlife where cafe and bar owners vie with each other for your business and their singers vie with each other for airtime – which makes for an interesting mixture of sights, sounds and odours as you take in the ‘local colour’ or in my case look for anything that might replace my travel wardrobe if all else fails!