While HongKong was like a sauna, Jinan was like an oven. 37 degrees (Celsius) of dry heat. We had a power outage at school, and Katrina and I were hoping our afternoon classes would be canceled. No such luck, but it was probably for the better. I had a test to write for tutoring, and somehow questions scribbled in my notebook just didn’t look as professional as typed forms. Nate was somehow able to recognize most of my sketches in the word match section though!
Our classes, canceled because of the Dragon Boat festival, had been replaced with weird activity classes. I had “Story Sisters” in the library, and later in the afternoon a “Music Class”. There were only three students in the music class, and it was too hot to move, so all of the songs and dances I had planned were a bust. We had to take water breaks just to get through “head and shoulders knees and toes”!
Nate and I had been craving pizza. Since there really wasn’t much else on I decided to bus out to a pizza place and pick some up. “What’s the bus route?” I asked Nate.
“Just take 64.”
64, 64, 64 I repeated in my head as I grabbed my wallet. 64 was just pulling up when I left the building. I hopped on and was on my way. The bus turned right, Wow my sense of direction is even worse then I thought. Is what went through my head as I settled into a seat. I was the only one on the bus, and it was a couple of “slow downs” before I realized that the bus driver wasn’t actually stopping where he was supposed to so my count was off. I had been watching for the pizza place, however, and was positive I hadn’t missed it.
The bus driver kept yelling Chinese at me, “ting bu dong” (I don’t understand) he just kept yelling. We turned a turn that shouldn’t have been there. This wasn’t right. “Wo pizza hut” (I pizza hut) I tried to reply. He didn’t understand. I got off at the next stop.
Somehow I must of missed it (the pizza place). No biggy. I crossed the road intending on taking the bus back in the other direction. The bus didn’t go back in the other direction. The wall of 37 degree heat hit me hard as I began to retrace the route the bus had taking in hopes of finding another way home, or walking across the pizza hut. I hadn’t brought water.
Nate was still in class. I was angry at myself for missing the stop, or not going far enough, and at this point I was close to tears. I called Nate anyways. Nate said when class was done he’d come and find me. I told him that was ridiculous. I knew where I was. I just didn’t know where Pizza Hut was. I asked him how far pizza hut was from the overpass. No reply. He texted me the school address for a cab. I didn’t need the address, I knew where I was, what I didn’t know was where Pizza Hut was.
I resolved to walk back. I was going to find Pizza Hut if it was anywhere to be found. It was hot and I was thirsty, but the thought of talking to anyone, especially struggling through in Chinese at that moment, didn’t seem appealing. This was just a little bonus work out, I told myself.
I made it back by the time Nate finished class, and he met me at Red House. Apparently I was supposed to take the 46 and turn right. He apologized, adding, “well I always wondered where 64 went”.
“Now you know.”
It was late before we got around to sorting out money to Suzhou, and my brain was not functioning well. Both of us went to bed grumpy.