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Beijing Takeoff

It was definitely a case of be careful what you wish for. After rhapsodising about Beijing's new airport I was destined to get delayed there. After slurping down a last supper of dumplings to hop a cab out to the airport in time, it was disappointing to hear that my 10pm flight wouldn't leave until sometime after midnight.

Still I did get a chance to check out some of the closed duty free shops. Staff still haven't got the hang of browsing. As I went around the store at least one staff member would follow me around and give me commentary on everything I picked up. "Peanuts," they would tell me and I'd nod politely. Then I'd pick up another tin of peanuts just to see if they had any new information. One particularly well-trained staff member was able to tell me the prices.

There were whole separate stores dedicated to the Olympics. Mostly they consisted fuwas - t-shirts, rulers, keyrings, mobile accessories, stuffed toys and pencils. The fuwas had similarly taken over Beijing with several stores often within a couple of doors of each other. They even have their own cartoon. After an hour of waiting it's amazing how many people you can think of to buy a fuwa for.