In the beginning of April, I flew to Guangzhou to see my Chinese girlfriend, 桂兰。We had been skyping for several months, but this would be the first time for us to see each other face to face. I’m not sure how she was feeling, but I was progressively feeling more nervous the closer it came for me to fly to see her.
As I boarded the plane in Chicago, I had prepared myself as best as I could to meet her. But there’s always the unexpected. And for me, it was a multitude of delays. Before leaving Chicago, we had a 3-hour delay. So naturally, once I arrived in Shanghai, I had missed my connecting flight to Guangzhou. I had the privilege of staying overnight in Shanghai and leaving for Guangzhou the next day. But the saga wasn’t over.
The next day I hoped to be in Guangzhou by the evening. Once again, another delay due to air traffic control. Not sure what that meant, but it was quite frustrating. Finally, about 2 hours later, we boarded the plane and headed to Guangzhou. When the plane landed in the city, I was just glad I had finally arrived where I was supposed to.
I hadn’t been too nervous about seeing 桂兰 earlier, but now I was reaching a high level of nervousness (increased heartbeat, racing mind, etc…). I decided to not purposely look outside the baggage claim so she wouldn’t run away if she didn’t like what she saw.
After I got my luggage, I walked out of the baggage claim and looked for her. She wasn’t where I thought she would be. She was sitting crosslegged on a chair with two of her friends standing near her. Something didn’t seem right. I found out she had sprained her ankle on the way to the metro to come to the airport. Delays and now a sprained ankle. This was not how I envisioned the trip. But what can you do.
I offered to get here crutches or carry her on my back. She just decided to limp along as we walked to the metro. At least I offered. I did also suggest she get a wheelchair, but she seemed very opposed to that idea. After her friends left, we went to the metro and got out near my hostel.
Apparently, they had switched rooms on us. It was a co-ed hostel (about 8 guys and 8 girls). I shared a room with another guy. There was a communal living room and kitchen, two small bathrooms, and four bedrooms. Honestly, I was too tired to care what the living conditions were like. I just wanted to sleep. I said goodbye to 桂兰 and crashed hard.