We made it to Nanjing! The trip wasn’t without complications: namely, we ended up being delayed in South Korea for about 24 hours, and all of our checked luggage is missing.
The first complication wasn’t all bad. While it did cause Diana to miss some work related activities, we got to explore Yeongjong Island in South Korea. It was cold, as in they just hosted the Winter Olympics here cold. The airline put us up in a hotel, fed us lunch (which Diana and I ate with the hotel manager in a local popular resto), and China Eastern Airlines paid us each 1,700 RMB (~$267) when we landed in Nanjing for our troubles.
The second complication is the far more annoying one. We’ve submitted a missing baggage report to the airline, and we’re hoping they find our bags promptly. Virtually all of our shoes and clothing is distributed among those checked bags, and losing them would sting. We each have a couple changes of clothes with us, but if by Monday we haven’t gotten those bags, it’s time to go shopping.
Customs was an experience upon landing, as we were required to obtain a form declaring that we have unaccompanied luggage coming after us, i.e. our entire apartment. Both the customs staff and the form itself where clearly unprepared for such a situation, but luckily the agents all spoke reasonably good english and we eventually got things sorted. An aside: the youngest customs agent inquired as to my mandarin ability, and upon learning it was extremely limited, exclaimed, “how will you live here”?! I said, “you learned English, and I will learn Chinese”. This seemed to surprise her, as if she hadn’t thought of that.
We’re scheduled to go apartment hunting tomorrow and Sunday, which we’re excited about. We’ll ensure the spare bedrooms in our new home are appropriately appointed for future guests from America.