Monday, July 4, 2011

Ready to go home

Phew, it's been a long nine days. Finally, this is my last night in Wulumuqi, we fly home tomorrow. After I got food poisoning, it was hard to re-muster enthusiasm. I've been ready to go home for several days now. It also didn't help that they put us on a crazy schedule. Our days were packed with long bus rides between factories, railway stations and wholesale malls (we're in some of the most beautiful country China has to offer - and that's where we spent most our time). Once we got to these brilliant locations some Han Chinese guy (almost without fail it was a Chinese man) would introduce the place, in the foyer or whatever, we usually didn't even get to look around much - something that could've made it interesting - and then we'd hop back on the bus. It was essentially a heap of driving to obtain info that could've been relayed in press releases.

On Saturday the PR guy for one county squeezed in an extra business park and so our drive was delayed to the next county and we didn't sit down to dinner until 11pm.

All day Sunday was boring business visits, then we had an overnight train, then breakfast in Wulumuqi and then a meeting where we went around the table and told the provincial PR folks how much we liked the trip. And I was all, "Meeting?! I haven't showered or changed my clothes in 24 hours!"

So I peaced-out of the afternoon activities with a couple others. Our team leader tried to bar us from leaving the hotel as a small group because it's around the anniversary of the Xinjiang riots, which was totally over-the-top, so he eventually changed his mind.

In my first free afternoon in more than a week I had KFC for lunch, the most delicious KFC of my life after all that Kazakh/Chinese hotel food. Then we went shopping and walking around (did see a few SWAT teams posted about).

At dinner they were going around doing bai jiu shots. They only had three glasses, so they were making people take turns. Gross alcohol on top of gross hygiene. I only finished half of mine and poured the rest out into my empty soup bowl because it practically made me dry heave. The guy serving told me I was being rude.

We got back to the hotel (after 11) and our team leader says "Everyone come to my room so I can download all your pictures and upload them in one place!" And honestly my pictures are not that awesome (there were a bunch of pros on this trip), my camera was acting up and my throat hurts. So I didn't go. I can see where some people will think I'm being standoffish. Maybe I am, but after 9 days of non-stop, forced togetherness, I'm going to give myself a pass.

If I had it to do over again, I still would. We drove through some great countryside and I got to take a picture of the Kazakh border. However, I think I've filled my state-run tour and Chinese grain alcohol quotas for a good long while.

1 comment:

Ezra said...

Dude, yeah-- sometimes you realize that American fast food is the best slice of home ever. Like I can totally imagine Indiana Jones eating a damn good burger after last night's monkey brains and steamed snake babies or something.

Taco Bell!