On Turning 29

On Turning 29
Just my age.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hangover Sunday: Bugs, Bats and Cats

*Please note that even though in the title it says “Hangover Sunday” that does not really mean that I had gotten drunk the night before. “Hangover Sunday” is just a title. It is a title I use so I could tell you all a story. Sometimes, it will be about me and my past, or a story I heard about. The point being, is it’s Sunday, so just relax and enjoy.

I guess I should start off this first entry of Hangover Sunday with a tale of waiting. You see waiting was a subject that I covered earlier this week and I think that a short tale about me waiting. It is an interesting story, I hope you all enjoy.

The following is true and it took place almost a year ago.

I said my goodbyes to my girlfriend(we have broken up since then), she looked said, sexy and beautiful at the same time. She had this cute yellow dress on and I remember she smelled of watermelon. We had split this little watermelon and kissed and we said our tearful goodbyes. I watched her as she left the terminal at Changsha International Airport and entered the “domestic” flights terminal. I got through security and made my way to the departure gate.

Since I was in the middle of China, very few flights from international destinations actually arrive to Changsha. There was only one that was going in my direction. I had to fly to South Korea, and then connect with a flight to come back to San Francisco. However, due to financial reasons, I had to buy a ticket that that when I arrived to China it was a direct flight from South Korea, but to get back to South Korea, I had to take a red eye to Qingdao International. It was something like 400 dollars cheaper to go this route.

The flight was delayed for about an hour and I didn’t board until around 12:15am rather then my scheduled departure time of 11:15pm. I arrived at Qingdao International around two in the morning. I was sad, and tired but felt okay. I had to keep my wits, since I was about 1,000 miles from my girl and 10,000 miles from my home. I got my bag and had my backpack and was sheep herded towards the exit.

I had about an 8 hour layover in Qingdao, and so I was prepared for a long wait. I was hoping to just sit inside the waiting area near the entrance for the Airport, but their was Chinese Police there and they were telling people to exit. I had no choice but to carry my case, and my backpack and go outside.

I was nervous, I hardly speak Mandarin, had hardly any paper cash and had all my stuff with me. The weather outside was warm, which was good but, that also meant a lot of bugs. I saw all kinds of people getting picked up and so I just thought to be cool and pretend that I knew what I was doing. As I walked away from the exit that I just came out of, I was accosted by many taxi drivers. My girlfriend has warned me not to trust airport taxi drivers, so I was even more on edge.

Ignoring the taxi drivers I walked about a block or so, still within the front entrance of the airport to a couple of benches that was next to a gazebo, that had some neon lights and some “official” looking people. I was going to ask them if their was anywhere I could wait that was safe, but they closed down as soon as I got up to the window.

I then just walked and sat down on the bench. I saw that the taxi drivers left and I had been waiting for about hour. I was just sitting there when I saw that some other people were sleeping a little ways away from me. I heard them snoring and that made me smile. I then pulled out my laptop, and I tried to connect to the internet via wifi and I could not.

I then decided to make my way to the international terminal. I put my laptop away and I grabbed my case and made the long walk to the international terminal. The way Qingdao International is set up is that there are 9 different terminals. Since I arrived from south eastern China( Changsha, Hunan) My terminal was 2. I had walked towards terminal 1. To get to the international terminal I had to walk to number 9. There were 5 terminal on the bottom level and the final 4 large terminals were on the second floor of the roadway.

I had to walk across a large parking lot, carrying my things and on my way there I saw a lot of feral cats and heard them meowing and hissing. I also saw a rat and what looked like a rather large mongoose run across my path. The mongoose seemed to be chasing the rat and got it. As soon as it did it turned and looked at me and its eyes shined in the light. It was quite spooky, so I hurriedly made my way across that mini Serengeti  to the car ramp that went up to the other 4 terminals.

I walked up that car ramp and I started to hear a strange and familiar sound. It sounded like birds chirping, but the only other times I had heard it was when I would come home from night class in San Mateo. There were bats. I was getting dive bombed by bats. They were not doing it intentionally, but since it was a warm humid night a lot of bugs were flying around. I finally made it to the second floor and made the long walk to terminal 9.

I was feeling awake, but tired, and I felt nervous since I had my computer and clothes and I was a stranger in a strange land. Once at Terminal 9 I leaned against a railing that was there and I looked around and as soon as I did all the lights on the lower level, went off. That freaked me out. It was 3:35am and I was here waiting, alone with bats and cats. There were no benches, so I sat on the floor, leaning against my suitcase, hugging my backpack, missing my girl and just waiting for the dawn to come.

Time went by fast and soon the dawn came. The international terminal opened and I walked in and boarded a plane to complete the first leg of my journey home.

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