Today is my departure day for Beijing and the summer camp. It is only 1:00 PM and the day has not started well. I hope that the troubles is just for today and not a sign of what the summer will hold for me. To begin the problem day, I was told that I will spend two days at the offices in Beijing, instead of at the camp. That is not really a problem. Just an inconvenience. At least I can see some friends while I am there. And, there is a McDonald’s across from the office.
I spent the morning making sure I had everything. I turned off the water in case of a leak. I unplugged everything, except for the fridge. And, I made sure the house would be ok for the two months I will be gone. I go downstairs 15 minutes early to meet the driver at 11 am. 11:05….no driver. She had forgotten about me today. But, ten minutes later I was on my way. As we are driving, she seems confused as to where we are going. I had to show her the way to the airport an hour away. I hope she can find her way home. The only way I knew the way is that I have been to the airport several times and I was reading the road signs. Apparently she was not.
So, I get to the airport and check-in. Thankfully, no problems with that. I am an hour early. I mill around the airport. Everything is twice as expensive at the airport. I should have eaten before I left the house. I did bring a drink with me. But, I forgot that you can not bring outside liquids past security. An unopened bottle is taken from me. And the same drink in the airport is three times what I paid for it at home.
It turns out that my flight is delayed for an hour. On top of that, there are many, many kids running around with nothing to do. So, they do what bored kids do. They yell and scream and run and trip and find anything that can amuse them. I look at it as pre-training for the summer camp.
So, here I sit in the airport, waiting for my flight to Beijing. Although they say the flight is one hour delay. One never knows. TIC. Oh, by the way, it is raining outside and dreary looking. Fitting for the day I am having so far. Let’s see what the other half of the day has in store for me. At least I am still in pretty good spirits. I am a little aggitated. But, I will just sit here and tell myself TIC, TIC, TIC.
It has been two days since I wrote the item above….
I made it to Beijing without any further delay. It was kind of funny during take-off. Remember all those kids in the airport I mentioned. They were on my flight. During take-off, the kids treated it as an amusement ride and giggled, screamed (in an amusement park roller coaster way), and commented on the effects of the plane leaving the ground. Thankfully, most of them fell asleep right away. The rest of the trip was uneventful.
I got to the office in Beijing and checked into my hotel. I have been here several times before, so I am familiar with the place. Tracy, the HR person met me and got me checked into the room. I spent the rest of the day just relaxing and talking with some old friends from the office.
The following day, I had a meeting with the camp boss to discuss some of the changes they had made and the overall program. It was a good meeting. We then went to lunch. I am not a huge fan of Peking Duck, but it is quite tasty. It seems like every time you visit Beijing, you have to have a serving of Peking Duck. It is thinly sliced roast duck that you roll in a paper thin doughy tortilla type shell. I am not sure what the two crispy vegetables are that you add to the shell. They are not very flavorful, whatever they are. And, there is a dark, rich, blackish brown sauce that is lightly added for flavoring. As I said, it is not the best food in China. But, it is kind of a tradition. After lunch I spent most of the day working on the company website adding some more information and pictures to the site.
Today, I will be in the office working on some minor things. I am basically waiting for Shawn, the other foreign teacher for the camp, to arrive. He should be here around noon. It will then be off to the camp to begin the summer fun. Woo Who!!!! Or, as I got the kids to say last year…Heepwah! Stay tuned for more information about Summer Camp 2014 and beyond.