Shortly after walking into Beijing’s airport, I was struck by the sheer size of the building. It is enormous. I took a picture, more for me, then anything else. However, yesterday I was reminded of a cute story from when my wife and I were walking through the airport earlier in the week.
Having just flown from Xi’an to Beijing, we were exiting the airport and heading towards the tram into the city. As we approached the ramp to the ticket booth, we found ourselves walking with a group of about twenty older Chinese travelers who, clearly, were new to the hustle and bustle of the big city. On the ramp, the left side was open walkway, and the right side was a moving walkway.
My wife and I chose to walk up the ramp and the group of Chinese headed towards the moving walkway. Clearly, they had never seen something like this before in their lifetime, and it probably isn’t something they’ve heard about either (when was the last time you brought up “moving walkway” in conversation?). Their young (maybe mid-20’s) guide easily walked onto the moving walkway and turned around to make sure everyone was behind her.
She then proceeded to encourage them to join her on the moving walkway, like she was trying to coax a ball away from a puppy, and meanwhile, the older Chinese tourists were all piling up because no one wanted to be the first to get on the uncertain moving sidewalk. It looked like that scene out of the movie Elf where Will Farrell was tepid about getting on the escalator — except multiply it by twenty.
It was one of the cutest things my wife and I have ever witnessed, and that’s one of the reasons why we love to travel and experience new cultures.