According to the Chinese Government only 53% of the population speak Mandarin Chinese. The remainder speaking various dialects.
This morning we got up and headed to the airport. It was a lovely morning and the drive to the airport went smoothly. After the hideously cramped journey we had on the way down, I asked if we could have an exit row.
Seemed like a simple request and there was a list, in English and Chinese, of the qualifications to sit in the Exit row - usual stuff about being physically capable, able to hear, able to unsterdand (sic) instructions. We were told 'no'. When I asked (in Chinese) why not, the answer was 'Foreigners are not allowed to'. When I said this was ridiculous she said it was company policy.
Now, given that almost half of the population of China don't speak standard Chinese, and they print the instructions in English and don't mention a requirement to speak Chinese what other conclusion should I draw other than the fact that either the woman on check-in or China Southern Airlines or both are, actually, racist.
So as to avoid causing a fuss and risk embarassing E I let it lie. Clearly I'm no Rosa Parks.
Food bad. Flight bumpy including constant rolling from side-to-side during both take-off and landing. After all that the legroom was better on this plane (A320) than the way down (757).
The landing typified landings on internal flights in China. I don't know what it is but the second the plane touched the ground you could hear the rattle of seatbelts being unclicked all round the plane whilst the plane is still under reverse thrust.
Still - it's good to be home.