A Day of Tears and Laughter

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Have you ever had a day where everything seemed to go wrong? Of course, you have. Everyone has. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I’m not someone who cries often, but by the end of the day yesterday I broke down into tears.

Sometimes, you realize that getting close to certain people isn’t a good idea. I didn’t listen to my gut and allowed myself to be led astray by others. My original plan, upon returning to China, was to head back to Guiyang. Instead, I spent two weeks in Shanghai, six weeks in Chengdu, and one week in Ningbo. With each place, things continued to decline.

For some reason, I can never sleep the night before I’ve got a flight. I was so excited about finally returning to Guiyang and getting the hell out of boring-ass Ningbo. After staying up all night, I lugged my heavy bags down the stairs and used Didi (Chinese Uber) to get to the airport. When the driver arrived, she told me the ride would be 350 RMB. I was pissed. I’d never paid so much to get to an airport in China, not even in Shanghai: the most expensive city in China. I called her a cheat and headed to the check-in counter.

From there, things continued to get worse. Ningbo is stringent about overweight baggage fees, also unlike other cities in China. I tried to avoid the fee by carrying my small luggage by hand but security forced me to check it in. I got stuck paying another 350 RMB in baggage fees. Then I had to go through security for a second time, with only 10 minutes remaining until I needed to board my flight. They took their time checking everything at least three times. Finally, they let me through. I went downstairs to gate 12, only to find at the last minute that the airport had changed the gate. I ran back upstairs to gate 6 and boarded my flight with only seconds left before they closed it. The KTV in Ningbo only gave me 600RMB per room in tips, bringing the taxi and baggage fees to about 100 RMB over a day’s pay.

We had a 20-minute layover in Wuhan. After we reboarded the plane, I tried to fall asleep but my nerves were shot to hell and the small child loudly counting to one thousand in Chinese behind me didn’t help matters at all. About two hours later, the plane finally touched down in Guiyang.

As usual, the airport taxi driver didn’t run his meter. The fee from the airport to Guiyang’s city center was 150 RMB, an average price, at least. However, that stupid driver dropped me off three blocks away from my hostel and I had to ask several people on the street for directions. After a half hour, the hotel clerk finally arrived to help me carry my luggage and find the damn hostel. We had to carry more than 30 kg of luggage up and down two flights of stairs then through an unpaved alleyway.

I immediately showered, then noticed one of my braids had fallen out due to my hair being too short for a proper full head of braids. I don’t cry often, but that had proven the final straw. For whatever reason, I pushed myself to get ready for work. The KTV manager had forwarded me the wrong address so I had to call her suburdinate to give the taxi driver proper directions.

The KTV had changed a lot in ten months. No longer were the rooms brimming with potential customers eager to hang out with a foreign girl. During the course of the entire night, only four guests arrived, all of them purposefully ignoring me. I returned to the waiting room and passed out. My manager shook me awake and told me to go home because I looked exhausted.

I’ve been having a lot of shitty lucky these past two weeks and I hope to God it’s coming to an end. Next week, I’m going back to Chengdu. It took this short travel to open my eyes to just how good I had it there. I have a beautiful apartment and two jobs waiting for me. Tonight, I’m trying another KTV in Guiyang. If business proves to be OK, I will come back here in the fall, when my teaching contract expires.

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