On my last day in Beijing, I started by meeting with my friends in a nearby Starbucks for coffee and a croissant, followed by a nice chat and picture exchange until one of them, Gi, had to leave.
Having enjoyed our last meal together before parting ways again, we said our farewells and I found my way to the bus heading back to my hotel. Once there, I got some work done because despite being on vacation, there were some things that I couldn’t actually finish before leaving Dalian. For example, there are some students that got to take “resit exams” that DJTU offers that are not acknowledged by Valpo, but I still have to grade them. In addition to that, I’m in the midst of an uphill battle trying to get my new visa for the coming year. The good news is that it will be abetted visa that will allow me to stay in China for longer than 60-day periods. The bad news is that the application has many diverse and time-consuming elements to it.
Anyway, after getting some work done, I decided to relocate to the bar across the street.
It was a cool spot with a nice atmosphere and decent drinks! I stayed there for a bit and got to practice my Mandarin with the owner and his friends. But once 10:00 rolled around, I decided I’d best go back and get a good night’s sleep for tomorrow’s traveling. That was, until, I ran into a nice-looking family of foreigners outside my hotel who were looking to have some fun. I told them of the establishment across the street and decided to accompany them for another drink.
But, as these things tend to do, one thing led to another and before I knew it it was 2:30 in the morning and I knew tomorrow was going to be hard enough without me pushing it any later. It was already too late… I slept through my alarm for an hour! It was set for 7:00am, but I didn’t wake until 8:10. With my flight leaving at 10:10, I was going to be hard-pressed to get there on time, so I hurriedly packed the rest of my things and let the race against the clock begin. With my pack strapped, I began sprinting the not-insignificant distance to the subway station through the pouring rain without stopping (thank you ultimate frisbee for getting me back into shape). I had 6 or 7 stops on the subway to get to the Airport Express line, from which it takes another 25 minutes or so to get to terminal 2 of the Peking Airport. I got there around 9:25 and ran through the airport as well; was expidited through customs and security and got to my gate with 10 mintues to spare! The fact that the flight was delayed made me feel a bit better.