Chelsea woke me up a little earlier than I anticipated waking. It was about 7:45 possibly. Actually, I have no clue, it was a while ago (October 1st). So, I got up, showered, ripped the zipper on my new bag (made in China..), and headed to the bus station. Little did I know, I would spend the next 2+ hours at the bus station.
Chelsea, her parents, Linda, and Stenn (worldteacher in Changde) probably an hour late. Li Hong, also, showed up. Next, would be Huang Xing Guo and some drivers. Since we had too many people for one SUV, we spent the next hour waiting for another driver to come…taking a bus was an absurd idea, apparently.
While waiting, Chelsea’s dad decided we should have the “breakfast of champions” and bought some beer. So yes, we stood at the bus station at 10 AM drinking beer while our dear little students were catching buses to their hometowns (okay, didn’t actually see any students as we were drinking…but beforehand, I did. Two of them to be precise)
By the time we had a second driver (who would vanish and never return), it was nearly 11. But we were ready to go.
The ride to Richard’s hometown in the countryside of Shimen was as bumpy a ride as I remembered. Fortunately, the trip was broken up and we were able to take a break 20 minutes in. Unfortunately, it was because the other car’s fuse blew and well, it died. Luckily, Chelsea’s dad MacGyverred it back to functioning correctly. And we were back on the dirt road (or should I say, 1/2 the dirt road since there seemed to be hundreds of miles of roadwork underway. I think they decided to just take half of the road, and work their way up it for as far as it goes. I’m not completely convinced they are even really trying to accomplish anything. Pave it, perhaps…but, doubtful.
Our guy pedal to the medal-ed our truck, and we persevered! We arrived just in time (noon) to have missed the wedding! There wasn’t a single person there that I knew. The teachers that I did know had left already to prepare for their other friends wedding in the coming week (talk about trying to steal someone’s thunder).
We drank some sweet sugar tea stuff and chilled on the balcony for a while. I especially enjoyed watching some fat, not-too-cute, chubby boy shove all kinds of food into Chelsea’s mom’s mouth, something my mom would not have approved of.
Around 12:30-1:00, we had lunch. And most importantly, we got Richard drunk. One by one-ing is a fun thing when you aren’t on the receiving end… Also, it was during the meal, that I presented him with his red envelope containing none other than 782 RMB from Jon and I. For those of you who don’t know (pretty much everyone), 782 means “eat d*ck” in the local dialect. Richard begged for someone to add an extra Yuan to make it 783, but no one obliged. Sorry, Richie.
After getting Richard sufficiently drunk and finishing out meal, we got back in our trucks and peaced out. Where had our driver gone? No one knew. But we had a new driver to replace him. So, no worries! And this guy was somehow able to take the dirt roads filled with massive potholes at 60 MPH. We arrived back in Cili about 30 minutes earlier than the other car.
I would spend the next 2 nights in Cili doing what? Foot massages, lunches, dinners, 2nd dinners, KTV, club, 3rd dinners, and sleep. Same ol’ Cili. Same ol’ fun.
Here are some pics to recap a few of the events:
I headed back to Changsha on Sunday to continue the vacation.