The only thing keeping me alive from my deathly head cold plague that I work up with this morning was the fact that we didn’t have to work until 12:30 pm. For some reason I don’t quite understand our days have been switched around so Sunday is Thursday, and Thursday is Tuesday, or something like that. It is very confusing, and I don’t really understand why it needs to be so complicated, but either way, with snot pouring out of my noise, a house to clean, and cloths to pack, it was certainly working in my favour that morning.
The real challenge started that evening after work: getting everyone across the city in time to catch our train to Beijing! We were all short on time to make it once work let out, but for some reason Katrina was the slowest, and almost missed the train entirely. We had a couple hours to relax on the trip to Beijing before we’d have to cross that city to go to another train station in order to get on our overnighter to Hohehaote in Inner Mongolia.
“Now I stay at the train station,” I got in text form from Sonya, when we were still on our cab ride to the station.
“Just got here” I texted back as we climbed out of the cab, “Where are you?”
“I am by the McDonlads.”
I scanned the crowd. Usually Sonya spots Nate and I before we spot here, I guess we stand out or something, so I was only half heartedly looking, but there she was. She was dressed head to toe in a royal blue track suit made of felt. The blue felt took me by surprise for a moment, but I struggled not to show it. Fashion was not the same thing here as it was at home… In her hand was a wheely suitcase, and she had a big grin on her face. As Nate and I trundled up with our backpacks on, it became obvious that we weren’t accustomed to the same type of travel as Sonya.
I was nervous about crossing Beijing in time. We had to get from Beijing South station, to Beijing West. The trip across the city was not as bad as anticipated, and it seemed that my worry had been for nothing, except that Katrina’s parents were flying into Beijing and supposed to meet us at the train station. As the time ticked away before our departure with still no word from them Katrina became more and more distressed. Finally they arrived, and, our whole crew together at last, we descended the steps to the platform.
The train was already waiting for us, and it turned out that our car was at the far end of the train! I was not about to go through all of that stress to get left standing on the platform. Katrina and I ran along the train until we were safely on board. Everyone else moseyed along at their own pace, which made me very concerned. I didn’t relax until we were all safely on board and settling into our sleeper bunks for the night.