Thankfully we made it through immigration at Beijing with no problems. You see, we weren’t exactly sure how everything would go since we don’t have a valid China visa anymore, but there is a 24 hour stay allowed if you have a connecting flight. But still, just in case, Matt and I checked our bags as carry-ons and crossed our fingers and prayed there wouldn’t be any complications…you just never know. Being too tired and too lazy to brave the muggy heat and smog for a quick trip into the city, Matt and I spent our entire layover (over 17 hours) at the Beijing airport. Most of this time was spent sleeping.
Surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones sleeping in the terminal. By midnight I think every single row of benches had a person sprawled across, fast asleep. Those not lucky enough to score a bench had to resort to other places, such as these guys who slept in and on the x-ray conveyor belt.
Despite being woken up a couple times when the cleaning crew had to move our section of benches to wax the floor, we had an ok night’s rest. While we weren’t busy sleeping, Matt and I passed the time spotting Olympic participants. Many wore team jackets, and all had id passes hung around their necks, almost as a badge of honor (those affiliated with the Olympics do receive special treatment at the airport). They weren’t all athletes, but it was interesting nonetheless. We even spotted many of them eating at Burger King and Starbucks, the food of champions. I guess we’re kind of like champions too then.