Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No tickets and no rest

I had a most disheartening afternoon but it ended with a sense of relief.

 I went to downtown Wuxi, at about one o'click, to buy a bus ticket to go to Beixing where my wife and son are staying.  I found out that the earliest available ticket to go there was on the fourth of October.  I had been hoping to get a ticket for second.  Unavailable to get tickets, I decided I would phone my wife and see if there were other arrangements we could make, like I would get a ticket to a town near Beixing and get someone to pick me up.  But I couldn't get the wife to answer my calls.  I spent four hours in downtown Wuxi hoping she would call back but she never did.  I then returned to the ticket booth and found out that then even tickets for the fourth were sold out.  I was facing the prospect of not being able to spend any time with my wife and child over the holiday.  And not being able to get a hold of my wife was irksome as I was wondering what the hell was going on. 

I returned home and found my wife's Xiao Ling Tong phone  -- a cheap mobile phone that uses the ground line number of our apartment.  On the Xial Ling Tong, the number for my in-laws was sure to be found I reasoned.  The only problem was trying to find their number because I couldn't navigate the phone's menus which were all in Chinese.  I phoned the last made calls and got a neighbor at the apartment complex who can speak some English.  With her help, I was able to find my in-laws' number and finally get a hold of Jenny.

It turned out that her phone had been shut off the entire afternoon.  The plan now is for me to try to get a bus ticket to Taixing where someone will pick me up and drive me to Beixing.  If I can't get tickets for the first or second, Jenny and Tony will come back to Wuxi.  I hope that I can't buy those tickets.  But I do have to do some scrambling tonight on the off chance I can get a ticket for the first.  I will have to clean the apartment and pack  -- activities I meant to do tomorrow, the first.

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