January 29th, 2009

Back a couple of days before the end of the holiday, and walking from the taxi to our apartment I thought, wow, it’s hot. Of course, I was dressed for Yanqing, and rural Yanqing at that. I mean, I had the same problem at Laogu’s apartment in the county town yesterday.

Now we’re just waiting for the water to heat up so we can finally have a shower.

And the trip back was surprisingly painless. I say surprisingly, because getting into the county town to visit Laogu and Laogufu yesterday meant standing by the side of the highway for at least half an hour before we could get a ride. When the public bus finally came, it was too crowded to get on- you know a bus is way overcrowded when Chinese people refuse to even attempt boarding it. Then about 15 minutes after that a miandi with space finally arrived. There were two problems here: The sheer number of people trying to get to relatives’ houses in other parts of the county to pay their New Year visits (a compulsory part of the celebrations is visiting all your relatives) and the lack of buses and miandi. One bus every half hour is simply not enough on Yanqing’s rural bus routes, and the advent of public transport IC cards has killed off a lot of the demand for miandi.

Anyway, today we managed to get a miandi pretty quickly, and I was too tired to object to lzh jumping the queue. And then the other advantage of coming back early: There weren’t many people waiting for the 919 back into Beijing. Instead of a massive queue winding its way out of the bus station and down the road, there were maybe 100 people at the most, allowing us to get on a bus super-fast with minimum hassle.

And that water should be just about hot enough…

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