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.