The first thing I did in Cili was invade my former school. The one guard barely looked up when I walked in. I made a short stroll to the basketball courts, but they were empty. Next, to the foreign teachers’ apartment. Richard wasn’t there, but the two new teachers, Linda and Chelsea, were upstairs with their doors opened. I marched in. Hello.
We made some brief introductions and talked for a couple minutes when Richard, my former liaison, returned. He gave me a Chinese shirt. It’s awesome. And then Mr. Huang, the head of the foreign affairs department, showed up. He told me that the school would pay for my hotel. Gotta love Chinese hospitality.
Richard then took the girls to get cell phones and open their bank accounts. I remained behind for a few minutes before heading out on the town. It felt great to be walking through my old town, the place I knew so well. I walked to the people’s square, and saw some of my past students. They were oddly shy and disinterested.
I returned to the people’s square about an hour later, and one of my students ran across the court and jumped into my arms. That was shocking considering the other student’s reactions to seeing me. I also saw Yeti, the most terrifying man in China. Seriously. Terrifying.
After spending a short time at the people’s square, I went over to Huang Xing Guo’s school and caught up. He was supposed to go to Jiangya, a different town in Cili County, for a music contest, but he blew it off because I was in town.
It was almost as if I had never left. HXG kidnapped me and started carting me around the town. I was to eat dinner with the new teachers and some of the old teachers, but that wouldn’t happen before HXG took me to Qing Ya Ju for a first dinner. Even devil child was at the meal. He may appear cute, but believe me…he is not.
At this dinner and the next, there were many of my old friends showing up. It was a blur of hellos and rounds of drinks. Having to one-by-one entire tables gets exhausting.
Then, I took the two girls to the newish club. Some guy came up to me and said he knew me, and dear lord, he looked so familiar but I couldn’t pin down where I knew him from for the life of me. It is still killing me. Then, we left because for the first time ever in Cili, a guy started hardcore creeping on the foreign girls. I’d had many American girls visit me in Cili, and never once did some dude act this way.
Unfortunately, the night ended on a rather sketchy note, and we went home. My hotel was near the school, but somehow I had misplaced the key. So…they gave me a new one. When I woke up the next morning, I found the key in .1 seconds in my pocket. It was the key for a completely different room. So, in the end, I had checked out two different rooms. Sorry about that…
The lady at the desk could have cared less. She just smiled and said, “I know.”
When I went back to the foreign teachers’ apartment, Mr. Huang appeared, per usual. He said that the school driver was going to Changsha and he could take me. He was leaving at one. It was nice to be hooked up again, but I wanted to relax and not be rushed at lunch so I declined the offer.
Lunch was at Qing Ya Ju again…of course. Kevin Table, the owner, treated. And, as usual, there were people there that I knew. Tank was there and he was upset by the fact that I hadn’t drank to drunkenness. I apologized and drank with them for some time to make up for it.
I caught the 3:40PM bus to Cili and was back home by about 8. I really will miss Cili, but I know I’ll be heading back there pretty regularly. I still have some things to get there.