Third in my series on being a courier for “Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Forbidden City.” Part of my assignment was to fly from Honolulu to Beijing Capital International Airport on Japan Airlines via Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The reason for flying Japan Airlines was due to their generous sponsorship of all courier tickets and air freight charges. I left Honolulu around 1:00 pm and arrived in Beijing in the evening of the next day around 9:30 pm following a stopover in Haneda. Beijing’s ultramodern airport immediately impressed me with its sheer size and sleek design. It was very easy to change dollars into Chinese currency and get a taxi for the half-hour ride to town. Finding your way by yourself to foreign cities you’ve never been to is one of the exciting challenges of being a courier.
You encounter the new and unexpected everywhere you go, such as this scene taken at the Lama Temple (Yonghegong) in Beijing.