im taking a moment with a cup of coffee and some swiss chocolate before i become a whirlwind and spin for the next few days. i was supposed to leave yesterday. didnt happen--louie's paperwork wasnt processed like it should have been. in theory, i should have had it over a week ago. but i didnt. and due to cultural nuances. for example, kat, the woman who was helping me with the cat was supposed to pick up the papers for me when the gov't people called. they didnt call. and she didnt try and contact them. i called her when we got back from shanghai and asked if the papers had come in. no, she replied. well, i said, what did they say when you called? oh, i didnt call them. err... i mean, ususally when one is expecting an important phone call and said party doesnt call, shouldnt one call them? she said, i will call them first thing on monday. i knew right then i would be postponed. and i was trying to think of solutions of what to do with louie just in case. i said to her, i am going to beijing on monday. she said "and when are you coming back from beijing? uuuh... im leaving the country on thursday? the whole reason why im having to do all this cat business? *forehead smack*
christian and i had already arranged his flight to arrive tuesday morning, coordinating with the arrival of my bus. so he's off to beijing already this morning. me, well, i'm leaving this late afternoon and will arrive in beijing tmorrow morning. he is staying with my friend oliver and i'll catch up with them in about 24 hours. im thankful we left a time cushion. things went smoothly for christian at the airport. we didnt have to pay for the extra bag! however, we did have to pay for excess weight for one of the bags. oops. it wasnt too bad. 500Y. could be worse.
yesterday was a hellava day which is why im so tired. i crashed hard last night, and pretty early too, but all this added stress has made for anxiety dreams which means i dont get the rest i need.
the morning went fine. i cleaned the apt. and made sure things here were in order. i have some misc. stuff to deliver to christian's apartment, like my linens and towels and things, but am otherwise pretty well squared away. we met with chris and john for lunch, stopped by homeclub for some last minute items (treats for the cat, spices for me, a tupperware box to serve as a mock litter box during the journey). kat called and said the paperwork was finished but, because this is china, we had to wait until 2 to take care of it. she texted me the address of the place and we got a taxi and set out. but the taxi didnt take us to the front of the place so i didnt recognize area. i thought we were in the wrong spot and was quite confused. we got anotehr taxi, called a friend, and got driven around the block. pathetic. when i expressed to the first taxi guy, hey, is this it? why didnt he say, sure thing lady, just walk down past this building and you'll see your destination. bah. then we had to find the cat-lady. no problem. they gave us the papers and a smile and i relaxed a little. next stop was the long-distance bus station. well, one of them. xian has three. we went to the one by the train station which we thought was The Place to Go. it took us a while to find it too. we knew it was "across" from the train station. so after some wandering around, we found it. it seemed like a small station and we didnt see a ticket kiosk. we found some men in a room so we asked them and were told there is no bus to beijing from xian. i know this is not true. in china, it's better to give some sort of excuse rather than just admit you dont know something. more wandering. i called my friend tony. he popped on-line and found the information i had desperately tried to find (in english) with ease (in chinese). while on the phone with tony, i had a lovely view of a young kid shitting into a plastic bag on the street. my thoughts? well, at least he was using a plastic bag. tony was able to tell me when the bus left and everything. so i was confident.
it was taxi shift change time. why do all the taxi's have to run on the same shift cycle? so frustrating. it was a struggle and we finally got a cab. we had just settled ito the seat and relaxed, thinking, yes, finally, all is good... when the driver pointed. the other bus station was just across the freeway. again, why dindt someone just tell us that?! we could have walked.
we found the ticket kiosk, and got my ticket. no problems. i said, i'll have a cat with me, and the lady smiled and laughed. i hope that means, sure! ok! no problem!
we went to find a taxi home and, because it was shift change time, had a hard time. sometimes they dont put up the shift change sign so you pop into a taxi only to be chased out. we flopped into a car and the driver shooed us out. i stepped out of the cab and was hit by another. he got me on the hip. not bad though. but now i can say i was hit by a taxi. im not hurt. it was just scary. it was more like a gentle nudge. but the sound scared christian. it did make a lovely THWUAMP sound.
we got home and met with andrew to move my washer into his place. then we had dinner. and then collapsed.
the day before, it rained. but yesterday was hot. the rain was a bit bothersome, although it felt wonderful, because that was the day i took my boxes to the post office. i had planned on going the day before but also encountered a bit of a problem. they had sold me the wrong boxes. only certain boxes can go abroad--the white boxes--and they had sold me a brown domestic box. so new boxes had to be purchased and everything had to be repacked. woke up ready to march down to the post and it was raining. blargh. it took a while, but all was taken care of. 2000Y to send 5 boxes on the slow boat. not bad.
and now i should continue to clean and make sure everything is organized. i also need to give my little immigrant some hugs. he's wondering what the hell is happening to the world around him. im wondering if he's remembering what happened last time his human started moving things....
but this time, he wont be abandoned.
oh, xi'an, i'll miss you.