It had been a quick trip, probably a 3/3 trip: 2 days going there, 2 days working, 2 days return trip. While travelling, I am marking student’s essays and still preparing a tomorrows 8 hours lecturing – don’t say “hard working”, it is not least about gaining time to have the day of return free from work, just doing something nice. Returning early, it means there will be a long day of pleasure-leisure-time ahead.
Approximately 5 a.m. the aircraft is touching Chinese ground, Beijing – the state aircraft returning to the state. Admittedly I am a bit tired, after the usual long-haul flight sleep deprivation. There is not much time to catch the connection flight due to some delay, and due to the fact that I do not have a boarding pass yet. Waiting in the endless “one queue for all”, expecting the visa control is not my favourite activity anyway; under these conditions and standing next to a Yank who is permanently mocking does not lift my mood. Being through, I have to run: trough customs, leaving into departures … – thinking about the good old times when on such occasions the European then state-airlines offered some special support, bringing me occasionally the fast-track to the aircraft. Yes, it sill happens today on some occasions – on some …
I asked the board assistant and she said there is sufficient time, and I also asked at the boarder control, admittedly keen to jump the queue: “No no, there is plenty of time.” But while running, while leaving through the departure gate, looking helplessly around I am not entirely convinced. A small light of hope, I remember the words of the board assistant who said that, if there would be a problem, the ground staff would help …, and so there is a kind of natural relief when next to the gate a friendly person asks me if I have to transfer … – all goes so fast, he pushes the staff only sign aside, helps me with the suitcase and I feel safe … until he says “It is hundred dollars.” We pass a security/help desk, next to the exit to the parking desk, I grab the suitcase, turn to the uniformed security girl. Her kind help … does not really help due to the language barrier. But at least she points into the direction, where to go fro transfer, just he opposite direction … – and I GO, I RUSH, the guy is still behind me for a while. So I am eingekesselt xyz now: in the back the service robber, in front of me the time pressure. “No wait, wait …”, sorry, my dear, I won’t – just forget your 100 dollar. Another desk to ask, for the right desk to check in. “No, here is still the wrong terminal …” – well, a bit of exercise is good in the morning – so … I arrive at the terminal, and … yes, help is at hand. Unerring I am brought to the check-in desk, jumping with his help the queue, I hold the boarding pass in my hand, off to the security check …, it seems to be hopeless, but … my helper goes to the staff only sign, just while he is reaching out asking for money, “service charge” … I am wondering about free decisions on free markets and the agreement between two parties, the voluntary agreement based on in advance complete information … – The good thing: I really get the flight, without the last service robber I surely would not have managed. It is “privatisation the cold way” I suppose, through the backdoor: reduce service, make “state service” competitive – externalise the cost by allowing a windfall profit, now called service charge.
Today’s China Daily, Page 3 – one headline reads
Modern life presents new security challenges.
And the article says
While changes brought by the internet and the free flow of people have made life more convenient, they also pose new challenges in maintaining public security, according to the 2017 Blue Book of China’s Society, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Wednesday.
It is Thursday, December 22nd – Merry Christmas ….
Of course, also here in China and everywhere
It is reflecting that
Rationality (is) essential for new startups
The recipe of which we know since two days
It is something others know – and they get well away with it, maintaining their power.