Lisa McClure's China Diary

Jetlagged in Jinzhou
Jetlagged in Jinzhou

March 1, 1999

Well, Lara and I have safely arrived in China!

We flew from Los Angeles to Beijing last Wednesday/Thursday, and I have got to say that it was an experience that I truly hope I will never have to repeat again. (maybe we'll come home via tramp steamer!)

Lara started in with "I want to go home." and "I miss my Grandma and Grandpoppy" about the time we settled into our seats at the departure gate, and it steadily went downhill from there. We flew China Eastern and the flight was almost empty. I had 3 seats to lie down on, and Lara had another two for herself right across the aisle, so we both should have been able to get plenty of rest. But Lara's cold flared up, and she couldn't manage five minutes without a complaint or a request throughout the entire 12 1/2 hour flight.

I tried to distract her with some M&M's, which worked for a bit, but then she started coughing so badly that she upchucked on herself twice. As this was the first time Lara has ever thrown up since I've known her, I wasn't prepared with a change of clothes (bad Mama!) and had to do a quick wash of her pants in the lavatory. So, she spent the second half of the flight in her T-shirt and pullup (She's potty trained, but I wasn't going to take any chances) Luckily, her pants dried by the time we arrived in China.

Lara is the child of my heart and I adore her completely, yet I felt frazzled enough to want to throttle her a couple of times on that airplane ride. And of course, she was the center of interest among all of the passengers around us, all of whom were Chinese. However, they were all very kind, and avoided trying to give me too much good advice until we got close to Beijing and I was warned to put more warm clothes on Lara and asked whether I had medicine for her cold. (which I did, but getting her to take it was another matter!)

We were met at the airport and spent the night in Beijing before flying on to Jinzhou on Friday. Lara and I had terrible jetlag, and were definitely among the walking wounded with respiratory colds as well. But with each passing day, we're feeling better and settling in a bit.

I am very glad to have the chance to live this adventure. But up till now, it has been very difficult, because Lara has been and still is, pretty miserable and homesick. Only time will tell whether this will turn out to have been a good decision for her or not. I remain optimistic, but either way, will keep you all posted.

As for lessons learned about traveling with small children, I really think that the ideal solution would be to dope them up and send them through with the baggage, but if that's not allowed, then I definitely would suggest bringing lots of little crackers and easy to digest snack foods, (which you can easily purchase in China) and a change of clothes!! and pullup(s) for the flight, and lots of little toys or activities to amuse them. What the parents need is a staggering amount of stamina. Maybe I can be doped up and checked through with the baggage when we return!!!

Jinzhou nap
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