Thursday, June 07, 2007

Where I Left You

I wandered off and left you. I am not sure how that could have happened. There was simply so much commotion. I was confused by the cacophony of Mandarin that I simply did not understand. There were so many people. And the heat…the heat and the humidity. It must have left me dazed and confused. In this midst of this confusion, your hand must have slipped from mine and before I realized it, I must have drifted into the crowd and been carried away by the current going down stream. But I have found my way back. Take my hand and we will continue on from where I last left you.

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I was stranded in front of the Sheraton. Well, it’s perhaps not nice to say, but when you are blonde haired and blue eyed in China, you are an oddity and there is no shortage of people who want to help you out. Or at least have their picture taken with you. They are curious about you. The fact is, I could have joined a traveling freak show and drawn huge crowds. But this was not one of those moments. There were no crowds here. This was an upscale establishment away from the dense neighbourhoods of the common man. But there was a doorman who promptly felt the need to help me in the midst of my distress.

“Is there a problem here?” he inquired.

I explained what had just happened and discovered that the Sheraton does have a bus that goes to Mutiyanu at 8:30 every morning. Well, it was now 9:30 so that was out of the question.

The doorman was outraged that the taxi driver would leave me stranded and wanted to report him immediately. I hesitated. I had been warned of the punishments that some poor Chinese souls have had to endure as the result of some disgruntled Caucasian complaint. I had only been in Beijing but a couple of days, there was still much to see. The Great Wall, I was sure, would still be there tomorrow.

I made quick inquiries as to what would be appropriate to visit in the amount of time that remained in the day. The doorman called me another cab and as he opened the door for me to get in, he handed me a card and explained that on the back he had written the taxi number of this cab as well as the phone number of where to make complaints if the driver should happen to give me any difficulties. I thanked him as he closed my door and waved the taxi on. And for the second time that morning I found myself thrust into the throng of vehicles aimlessly encircling the city.

14 comments:

PortraitofPeter said...

It is pleasing to see that out of distress, came a samaritan who offered assistance.

You are far braver than I for such a journey of discovery.

Debbie said...

Thank you for writing the conclusion. :-) And the introduction was most intriguing.

What an adventure you had!

Carla said...

Peter, Every moment was more than an adventure, but each one has left me with beautiful memories.

Debbie, The adventure doesn't end there. When I have time, perhaps I will elaborate more in another post. I do eventually make it to the Great Wall.

jillie said...

You got to see the city as a traveler and not a tourist. Nice to see there are still good people around. I too would have been afraid to complain because they are pretty obscene to say the least.

I would have freaked out!

Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

How wonderful, I'm so glad you came back for us. Show me more!

What a journey we are on with you

Best wishes,

Annie

Carla said...

Jillie, My experience has been that there are good people everywhere, just as there are bad. I've been fortunate in that I usually meet more good than bad.

Annie, The journey will continue, fear not.

Fede said...

My mother recently told me that my dad revealed her a confidence. He told her that he can still remember when he used to tell us stories at night, just before falling asleep. He also added that there was a peculiar difference between my sister and I. He said that I could listen in complete awe.
I haven't changed. So, you can hold my hand and take me with you; but please, let's do one step at a time, so that the journey is longer.
Good night and good luck.

The Fool said...

H'lo Nomad. This is a very enjoyable post...and the pictures are way cool. Your lead in works quite well. The dragon photo reminds me of those sliding tile number or picture puzzles (the one's where they are laid out in a square w/one piece missing...and you scramble them, and then try to slide them back in order). Nice composition on the roofing too...and you're right...the ornamentation is striking compared to the typical Japanese motif. Thank you for sharing...I look forward to the next installment. Enjoy your weekend!

Sirdar said...

Again you tell the story with feelings that can be felt.

It is the old saying that we take things for granted. I would feel terrible if someone was severely punished because I complained about something. You did the right thing in my mind.

Pink said...

phew. i was wondering if I'd find you in the crowd again.

I think the same thing happens in India...all the girls used to giggle to see me in my salwar kameez, me with my blonde hair and all.

Do tell more...
xx
pinks

Carla said...

Fede, Then come along. Let's continue down the path and see where the journey takes us.

Fool, The dragon photo reminds me of those picture puzzles as well. It is actually a whole wall of dragons. I believe there are 9 of them.

Sirdar, I think I did the right thing as well. In the grand scheme of things I would have gained nothing by taking the other path.

Carla said...

Pinks, There I go off responding to my comments, and then come back and find that I have another one. Don't you worry, the tale will continue.

Cheryl said...

I really enjoyed the way you wrote these posts, it makes me feel like I'm there with you. Thanks for taking us along on your travels!

Carla said...

Hi Cheryl, How is that move coming along? Come with me anytime.