on a slow boat to China

on a slow boat to China

On a course or trajectory that will take a very long amount of time, especially with the conclusion or destination being uncertain. Sometimes used humorously or facetiously. It's been three weeks since I ordered those clothes online—is the package on a slow boat to China or something? Unfortunately, our investments seem to be on a slow boat to China at the moment due to the volatility of the market.
See also: boat, china, on, slow

slow boat to China

A very long time. A poker players' expression for a player who constantly lost was “I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China,” meaning that the others would have all the time in the world to win the guy's money. Composer Frank Loesser used the phrase as the title and the first line of a 1948 romantic ballad, and the expression started being used as a compliment.
See also: boat, china, slow