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Back in Shanghai

This morning I arrived back in Shanghai after a long and tiring flight. Traveling with young kids is always a hassle, but this was worse than expected. It started in the afternoon when Scott was so excited that he did not want to sleep. So he was very tired before the flight already. In the KLM business lounge at Schiphol airport he did not want to listen (typical when he is tired) and kept on running around. Elaine copies a lot of his behavior these days, so she also started running. Luckily we arrived at the airport quite late, so we only had about 30 minutes in the lounge before the flight started boarding.

Boarding, and especially the security check, is also trouble with two young kids. Scott for example refused to go through the scanner and I eventually had to push him through. Then he ran away when he was on the other side, but I still had to go through the scanner myself. Anyway, long story short, we eventually managed to board and I was happy to sit down in the plane. I didn’t feel completely well (bit of a cold), so took a Tylenol, but that didn’t really help. Scott was telling me ‘ik ben een beetje moe’ several times (‘I am a bit tired’), so I told him to go to sleep. But he didn’t want to do that before we were in the air, so he was getting more and more tired and more and more bored. Try to explain to a boy who just turned 3 why he can’t use his iPad before departure, or why the TV screen in the seat only starts working after take-off. Impossible.

We left the gate with a 15 minute delay and taxied to the runway. Just when we arrived there the captain came onto the intercom and told us that they found a problem with an engine and had to go back to the gate. Scott was very disappointed because he was ready for take-off, but I had to explain him that the plane needed to be repaired first. Back at the gate technical people came on board and after 15 minutes they found the problem and the solution. It would take about 1.5 hours to repair, but at least we would not have to get off the plane. By that time Scott was so tired that he fell asleep in his seat.

After less than an hour the repairs were finished already, so we left the gate again. Scott woke up and was very excited, telling me many times that the plane had been fixed – in 3 languages! I was happy we would finally depart and luckily there were no other problems. But now Scott was awake and he refused to go to sleep again. For the next 3 hours he kept on trying to climb out to walk around the plane, and he managed to get away a few times. I was pretty tired and wanted to sleep, but he prevented that. Finally after the dinner had been served and the cabin lights went off he decided to go back to sleep. And then it was Elaine’s turn to keep us awake, she refused to sleep and only wanted to watch TV or walk around…

It was a long night and I didn’t get more than a few 5-minute intervals of sleep. So when we arrived around lunch time in Shanghai I was exhausted and I had a head ache. The driver picked us up and when we got home the only thing I wanted to do was to take a hot shower and go to bed. But that’s the worst thing you can do (the sleeping part, not the shower), because then you really get a jet lag. So I put myself behind my laptop and spent several hours on emails and RSS feeds. I dozed off a few times, but now I am finally feeling a bit more awake (it’s past 6 PM). I plan to go to bed early tonight (10 PM or so), and hopefully I will not have a real jet lag anymore tomorrow. Happy to be back in Shanghai, but the traveling makes you forget about the holiday very quickly.

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