Tovina and I fly into the Hongqiao airport in Shanghai. It is a pretty good airport other than their taxi line. That thing is just atrocious. It is often more than a 45 min wait for a taxi. Sometimes more than an hour. And usually there is a huge backlog of taxis just waiting to pick up people but they are unable to get to passengers because the setup is so bad. When we arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday the line snaked out of the queue area and around the corner.
I tried to settle down for the long wait, started fanning the cigarette smoke away from Tovina, and hoped that she wouldn't need to eat or sleep before we arrived at the hotel.
And that was the moment when Chinese baby love kicked in! One of the airport guards in his green uniform noticed Tovina sitting on my hip watching the cigarette smoke float by. The nice young man came over, waved me out of line, and ushered me all the way around to the queue gate, had another guard unlock and open the gate, and then directed me all the way up to the front of line. When the next taxi pulled up - it was all ours!
Now this also happened the first time Tovina and I came to Shanghai but not the second which makes it hard for me to rely on the grace of the guards. I also find that as we wait in line wondering if they are going to notice this adorable baby shriveling away in the vicious outdoor weather (it was about 70F/20C Wednesday) I have bouts of hesitancy about accepting such preferential treatment. I sincerely doubt there is anyone who wants to wait and Tovina can probably stick it out and if I was the person waiting in line I would get really annoyed if I saw someone skip ahead....
Then the guard comes over and I follow him right to the front.
(I tried to not make eye contact with the people still in line as we stole their taxi. )