Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Dear China Eastern Airlines

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, November 16, 2009

Dear China Eastern Airlines,

I owe you an apology, and I can see from the expression on your face that you need an explanation, too. That seems fair.

I took one of your flights recently, and that’s where the trouble starts. You see, I didn’t actually make the booking, and by the time I realised on which airline I was scheduled to ‘fly’, it was too late to make any changes. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I may be slightly prejudiced when it comes to flying Plummet Airways.

I was so organised, so very well prepared, so efficient, that before I had even boarded the aircraft, I had composed an entire post in which I would describe the awfulness of the experience.

China Eastern Airlines, I was hasty, and I am sorry.

Things were much better than I had anticipated. To begin with, we were only an hour late in taking off, and that wasn’t really even your fault. After all, one can hardly hold you responsible for the manner in which your passengers behave, can one? By the time most of them had found their seats (by looking at every seat number, one at a time), sat down, got up again, stowed their sacks of vegetables by the emergency exit, sat down, got up, discussed where to sit, sat down, got up, etcetera etcetera, we were so far behind schedule that we were in danger of missing Christmas, never mind your runway slot. Oh, and I’m sorry for scratching the window in an attempt to get it open for some fresh air – the breath of my fellow passengers is no responsibility of yours.

When we did finally make it to the runway, I give full credit to your pilots for being able to get us into the air on the second attempt, despite the rattling of loose rivets around every window frame and the drag caused by not having closed the cargo hold doors properly. In a way, the reduced weight of the aircraft after we had shed most of the luggage actually made for a faster flight. I guess thanks are in order.

Unlike my previous experiences with your flights, I was not pointedly ignored by your entire cabin staff, and I was eventually able to gain the attention of one brave Air Doris, who lowered herself in the eyes of her colleagues and the other passengers by allowing me some food and coffee. I’m sorry that I can’t tell you her name, but for her actions I feel she has already been made to suffer enough public ridicule. And yes, for the sharp-eyed amongst you, I did say food and coffee. The food was far better than the inedible and very possibly near-lethal garbage bin leftovers that I have come to expect from your airline, as it was in fact a sandwich. The bread, at less than fourteen days of age, was very fresh for a Chinese culinary creation, and there was a filling that was relatively inoffensive and gave me only a slight case of botulism. And the coffee, too, was wonderful. I’m not going to go so far as to say that I could taste that it was coffee, but it’s a fact that I could taste that it wasn’t recycled green tea. I could also taste the water you used, but this is not automatically a bad thing – as the Chinese saying goes, “If it’s black, send it back. If it’s brown, drink it down”.

The flight itself was uneventful, once the pilots realised their mistake and turned us around to the correct heading. They even kindly warned us of the turbulent conditions ahead, a mere four minutes after the turbulent conditions were behind us. And they botched the landing far less badly than is often the case. We didn’t even hit a single runway light, despite having one wheel on the grass verge.

So there you have it, China Eastern Airlines. I am forced to admit that my earlier article, in which I was critical of you, was premature. I apologise unreservedly, and have taken steps to ensure that it will never be published. Thank you for showing me that you have improved, and just between you and I, it’s delightful to witness the change.

China Eastern Airlines, you are now as good as all the other Chinese Airlines. Well done you.

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17 Responses to “Dear China Eastern Airlines”

  1. LoveChinaLongTime said

    See? There is redemption…

  2. Neddy said

    Reminds me of a certain flight from Shanghai to Shenyang. Stacks of wegetables, alleged coffee, and rattling rivets included. Hilarious it is now, but it wasn’t way back when…

  3. My Arse said

    Of course there is the farmers’ first flight in which they refuse to put a seat belt on because they would like to be the first out of their seat when the wheels touch down at 200 mph. They have been queuing [queue jumping] at the gate for 7 hours to make sure they are first in line for seat 23b. They cant possibly turn their fucking phone off because they want people to think they are important. If someone happens to return to their seat with food they didn’t possess before, there is a crazy rush to the kitchen area before it runs out. Of course the child in what can only be called slightly better than cargo class is allowed to bang away on the cockpit door because “I know the police commissioner in my village”
    And finally my favourite……”please keep your seat belt fastened until the plane comes to a complete standstill and your phone must only be switched on once you have exited the plane”
    Does this sound like a fucking joke to you? its in your language, its not a science, do you need a diagram?
    The passengers have been strapped in their seat for more than an hour and therefore unable to push, shove and jostle the other passengers, this requires an industrial bout of rudeness when they are finally allowed into the isle to collect their chicken heads, free blankets/earphones/safety card/ dinner tray that [fell off] and/or anything else that wasn’t padlocked to the fuselage.

  4. Slap2tickle said

    Dear My Arse, I must strongly disagree with you because with my own personal experience I have noticed that they do actually like to leave something behind, and it’s nice little blobs of phlegm on the carpet all down the isle and up the airbridge, you can’t criticise them for taking everything.

  5. Neddy said

    An off-topic news flash: Wo Shi Laowai listed in “50 Best Blogs to Learn about China”
    http://onlineschool.net/2009/11/17/50-best-blogs-to-learn-all-about-china/
    In the Expat category it says “This humorous blog will give you a take on many issues related to life in China.”
    Very decent folks, these. Not a word about shit-stirring…
    H/t to Shanghaiist’s
    http://shanghaiist.com/2009/11/18/a_list_of_50_blogs_about_china.php

  6. China Law said

    Your expectations are way too high. Since I expect to be treated like dirt on every single airline everywhere all that can happen to me are pleasant surprises. It’s better that way.

  7. MyLaowai said

    I learned long ago that, in China, if one lowers one’s expectation to zero, one can only be pleasantly surprised, never disappointed.

  8. RecoveredSinoholic said

    Ah yes, the fond memories of flying on China Eastern. On one domestic flight, we were each given as snacks a two week (month?) old roll (I remember one angry passenger banging his inedible roll against his lowered food tray. It sounded like what it was, a rock). And then there are the flight attendants, racing through the aisles with eyes lowered, terrified that a passenger or two might bother them by being bold enough to actually request something…”Excuuuuse me, hello! HELLO! Can I have a glass of water, PLEASE”?!

  9. RecoveredSinoholic said

    I realize that this is totally off-topic, but I hope it is of interest to you. We can expect to see more of such things as the rat bastards who run the CCP become more insolent and contemptuous of the West (that is, of civilization) in the future:

    CHINA HOLDS, MISTREATS US GEOLOGIST
    By CHARLES HUTZLER

    BEIJING – Sometime into his long detention by China’s feared state security agents, American geologist Xue Feng had something to show U.S. consular officials on their monthly visit. He rolled up his sleeve, revealing the burns where his interrogators pressed lit cigarettes into his arm.

    Xue also had something to say: He wanted his previously unpublicized detention made public in hopes that the outcry would win his release.

    But Xue did not get his wish. His wife balked, as did the U.S.-based consultancy that employed him until months before he was detained, both saying that going public might hurt rather than help his case. The U.S. Embassy, caught between his desire to go public and his wife’s wish for privacy, worked behind-the-scenes for his release.

    So two years after disappearing into custody, the University of Chicago-trained Xue (pronounced shway) remains held at an unknown location in Beijing, charged with stealing state secrets over the purchase of a commercial database on the oil industry. His case has been batted inconclusively between prosecutors and the courts, which twice asked for more evidence, according to a summary of the case prepared by Xue’s wife and seen by The Associated Press.

    You can read the rest of the article at the link below:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091120/ap_on_re_as/as_china_detained_american

  10. LoveChinaLongTime said

    @#9: so what? The pinko cocksuckers in BJG will ALWAYS fuck with and intimidate “overseas” Chinese (esp recent emigrants).

    It’s one of their only indirect ways of trying to prod and show they’re not afraid of such nations as the U.S., Auz, Canada, etc. and it’s always easier to intimidate one of “the family”.

    One Dream

  11. Tai De said

    Turkish Airlines is nicer. The staff is completely helpless when their passengers choose their seats as they please, rather than going by the seat numbers on their boarding cards, but at least they don’t try to act like if they were in control.

  12. MyLaowai said

    Yeah, but Turkish Airlines aircraft have hair under the wings. A bit like Turkish women.

    It could be worse though: Irish Air just taxi from one airport to another.

  13. Ned Kelly said

    From another third world country: Yorkshire Airlines

  14. justrecently said

    Why, the stewardesses’ uniforms in the working class were perfect. Unfortunately, Yorkshire Airlines are no longer with us.

  15. Sojourner said

    You pathetic fuckin’ village prick. You should feel lucky to be able to afford a ride on an airline. Many of your countrymen from the United Villages of America are starving to death now from the recession.

    Typical, cheap, American “villag-ism”.

  16. […] hardly hold you responsible for the manner in which your passengers behave, can one? Continue here https://mylaowai.com/2009/11/16/dear-china-eastern-airlines/ Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  17. […] from here “Dear China Eastern Airlines, I owe you an apology, and I can see from the expression on your face that you need an explanation, too. That seems fair. I took one of your flights recently, and that’s where the trouble starts. You see, I didn’t actually make the booking, and by the time I realised on which airline I was scheduled to ‘fly’, it was too late to make any changes. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I may be slightly prejudiced when it comes to flying Plummet Airways. I was so organised, so very well prepared, so efficient, that before I had even boarded the aircraft, I had composed an entire post in which I would describe the awfulness of the experience. China Eastern Airlines, I was hasty, and I am sorry. Things were much better than I had anticipated. To begin with, we were only an hour late in taking off, and that wasn’t really even your fault. After all, one can hardly hold you responsible for the manner in which your passengers behave, can one? Continue here https://mylaowai.com/2009/11/16/dear-china-eastern-airlines/ […]

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