Airport Driver

I’ve had my first experience picking up visitors at the Tianjin International
Airport. I am happy to say that they were both very pleasant experiences. We
had two separate visitors come within a week of one another. One from Atlanta,
the other from Kansas. The first adventure happened on Sept. 18th. I had my
paper with the address to the airport written in Chinese characters, my purse
with money, snack bag for Megan, and new cell phone (just in case I needed a
translator). We hailed a taxi and were on our way. It’s about a 40 minute ride
from our apartment to the airport. A friend here had called one of her favorite
taxi drivers for me to use, but we had a mix up in communications and I didn’t
want to be late, so I got my own. After we had been on the road about 15
minutes I tried to call my friend, just to verify that I was doing everything
right, but got a message saying “dui bu qi” which means “I’m sorry” and more
Chinese speaking…in the end I found out my cell phone was out of minutes!
Now I got a little nervous, because I couldn’t communicate with the taxi
driver. So we drove on, and I just had to trust that he was indeed taking me to
the airport. We arrived about 20 minutes later and then he began pulling into
the parking lot. I realized that he was planning to park, and wait for me then
take us back home. So I hesitated a little, just because I wasn’t sure how much
money I was going to rack up on the taxi meter, while waiting for our friend’s
arrival. But what could I do? So he parked in the lot and then motioned that
he would walk in with me. Although I had never met the man, I felt somehow safe
knowing that he was with me. He directed me to the correct arrival location and
we waited. Soon our friend from Atlanta came and we made our way back to the
taxi and home. I will say that although I was a little nervous traveling alone
with Megan, across the city to the airport, in the end it was a big confidence
builder for me. We made it without any problems. So the next Wednesday when I
went to pick up our friend coming in from Kansas, I was very at ease about the
trip. This time I did get the favorite taxi driver of my friend, so that made
it even easier. Here’s a picture of Megan with him while were were waiting.