[By Teo Cheng Huat, Beijing, China]
Have been travelling almost every week to and from Beijing to Shanghai by train due to the bad weather since June. Check out the weather this morning and finally it said sunny day with good PSI level so I decide to book a plane back to Beijing. Arrived at the Shanghai Pudong International airport at 4 pm , 2 hours before my 6.18pm flight. After check in and custom inspection , I arrive at Gate no. 77 , grab a coffee and food at Starbuck, it was already 5 pm.Approaching the boarding time at 5.45pm, the first announcement said “we regret to inform that CA1638 will be delay until further notice due to the weather condition in Beijing….thank you for your understanding and cooperation”
I decide to sketch while waiting. It was almost 8.00pm and still no announcement, 1 or 2 passengers approach the counter to ask about the flight details but no news. Continue my sketch and then the sky on my right suddenly turn grey and soon strong winds start blowing. Within minutes, another announcement came and this time it said “we regret to inform that flight CA1638 shall be further delay until further notice due to weather condition in Shanghai……thank you for your understanding and cooperation” ……please approach the counter with your boarding pass to exchange for your dinner and drink” Soon, I can see the ground staffs from where I sat for the last 4 hours, rushing for cover under the boarding bay and aircraft. The sky was so dark and then came the heavy downpour however on my left I can still see the clear blue sunny sky near my boarding gate. I continue to sketch both the left and right side. Finally , I finish a panorama view of the departure hall and gate with a dark grey sky on the right and a clear sunny sky on the left.
Soon, the skies clear up and it was already 9.30 pm. Another announcement came and said “we wish to inform that CA1638 will be further delay …. new boarding time shall be announce soon….thank you for your understanding and cooperation”
Some locals started to approach the counter while many others remain in their seats browsing through their phones, ipad and lap tops.
I continue to sketch some parked vehicles and stranded planes and passengers sleeping and playing with their cell phones. I realised there is a lot of very weird looking vehicles such as the dolly tractors and pallet loader which can be seen everywhere fleet of luggages and goods.
Finally a new announcement came “ladies and gentlemen, we are glad to inform you that the departure time for CA1638 shall be at 23.00 hours……..however ,we would like to inform you that the boarding gate has been change to Gate no. 24……..Gate 24 !....please proceed to Gate 24!”
OMG….thats the other side of the departure hall. Quickly I pack up my stuffs and start making my way to the new boarding gate. So glad I do not need to stay in Shanghai for the night. I still need to come again next week! but for now looking forward to the weekends.