We would be flying out of Beijing the next day. We had our hostel sorted out for the night, but not knowing how much time we needed to pack up, we hadn’t booked train tickets to Beijing. Seeing as trains to the Beijing were frequent there was no rush to get out of our apartment and to the train station. With our stuff packed up in bags we were not very tempted to hang around. We met my old CT Shirley by the river for tea (which for some reason she thought was very strange) and then met up with Casey and passed on a few more of our things that would otherwise have been left behind in our apartment.
Finally we made our way back to our apartment, pulled our bulging backpacks onto our backs, and our day packs onto our fronts. Each of us had a big suitcase stuffed full to the brim. We’d sent most of our stuff home in boxes, but then had received so many gifts over the weekend from our students, that our bags were full to capacity once again. We were already aching and panting just from the walk to Katrina’s house, our last stop before waving down a cab.
We said goodbye to Andy and Katrina, and I texted Sonya to let us know to meet us there. Sonya had insisted on seeing us off, so she helped carry one of my bags as we walked out of the building complex and hailed down a cab. once all of our bags were packed tightly into the trunk of the car Sonya gave me a tight hug, said goodbye, and I climbed into the car and closed the door. I waved to her out of the back window, and just as we were about to turn the corner I saw her fold over on her self and start to cry. I watched out the back window long after she disappeared from view. I felt like I was having a panicky dream that there was no way to wake up from. Nate just kept looking at me as I watched Jinan go by one last time. “We never climbed the lonly mountain.” I said.