Up in the air

While playing with (and by that, I mean being bullied by) a screaming bunch of pint-sized kids in the longtang one day, a ruddy-faced boy suddenly asked me, “Have you been on an airplane? What is it like?”

Domestic air travel in China reached 215 million passengers in 2009 and with the newly opened Hongqiao Terminal 2, Shanghai now has 2 airports housing 4 terminals. Each day, tens of thousands are touching down and/or taking to the skies to and from our fair city.

But we forget the majority of China travel domestically by bus or train. Not everyone has had, or will have, the luxury of sitting in a flying tin can, eating bad airplane food.

Hence today’s photos. Hardly street level, but yesterday’s foggy and dreadfully wet weather reminded me of the many possible air travellers abandoned in lounges or trapped on tarmacs in Shanghai’s airports.

This is for ruddy-faced A-da (阿怛).

Here’s to you, kid. I forgive you for sneezing all over my camera. May you one day share the same view.

December 2009, en route Shanghai-Beijing


4 Responses to “Up in the air”

  1. April 2, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I work in a flight school in China, surrounded by pilots, listening to airplanes all day long from my office. My experience with China is completely wrapped up with airplanes, and so I really appreciate these beautiful photographs of China from the air. And every time I fly, I always keep my eyes glued out the window. When the smog and clouds clear off, the views are spectacular.

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