Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tianjin Port

After over 2 full days at sea, we arrived in China around 2 pm of the third day. You could sense the proximity to China when, even upon waking and going outside on the morning of the third day, the air and water quality seemed a bit worse. I don't think it was an illusion.

The massive Tianjin Port was so crowded that our ship had to wait in a queue, it seemed. We stalled for a bit, then finally pulled in.

Immigration was a drag. I always get really nervous entering new countries, and this time they took me (and another guy) aside for further questioning. They took my passport to a backroom, which, oddly, we could kind of see from where we were standing, and we could tell that they were scrutinizing our passports, with magnifiers, I guess to authenticate them. But the process lasted for 45 minutes. We were just waiting. Actually, they were very friendly to us, but it was a bit unnerving, what with the beefed up security for the Olympics. I hadn't shaved in a few days and so I realized I must have looked potentially other than innocent. I will definitely shave when possible before entering strange countries from now on.

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