You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Nothing like a flood to mark a departure. I woke up this morning to a rather disturbing water-leaking-in-the-wall noise coming from behind the shower, and knowing full well that there was going to be a knock any moment to turn our apartment’s water off I did what any man would have … I jumped in that shower and scrubbed as fast as I could.

Sure enough I had barely dried when the knock came. We explained that we had no idea how to turn the water off. We added we had called the landlord and he was on the way. We then promptly called the landlord. True to my guess, we’re now waterless and I’m aware of the fact that I might not be making any friends on my flights home tomorrow.
So this is it, the last blog entry Chinaside for at least a month. I’ve stuffed my suitcase with as much contraband as it will fit, padded it with clothing (an after thought to bring clothes really) and am about to get some rest before my 9 a.m. Dalian-Beijing flight tomorrow morning.

I’ve got a crapload of baijiu, DVDs, and a couple Chinese medical devices… customs are going to LOVE me.

Them: Anything to declare, other than being a complete feckin’ idiot for thinking you can bring this stuff in here.
Me: Ah… can I offer you a shot of baijiu? DVD?

I know that it’s been proven by some of the greatest scientific minds that time travel is a myth developed to support Planet of the Apes movies (and re-imaginings), but I get such a kick out of the fact that I fly out of Beijing at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon and land at JFK in New York at 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

This trip is, of course, a mixed bag of emotions. Though I am tickled to finally see my family and friends after two years of not, being away from Maggie for a month is going to be rough. I know, I know… 28 years without her, what the hell’s a month really. But having her around every day for the last 10-11 months is not making this goodbye simple.

We tried to spend as much of today together as possible. We went out for my last in-China meal at a Sichuan restaurant, and then managed to put off packing long enough to squeeze in a trip to the cinema to see Superman. Not giving anything away, the opening action scene involves some rather horrific shots of a plane falling from the sky that I could have done without. All in all, not a bad watch though. I was never into Superman comics as a kid (pretty much the only ones I didn’t buy), and I never saw the original movies … but I thought this was pretty decent. Singer seems to have a hand at making comics come to life.

Now home, with bags packed (mostly), money exchanged (involving a rather dodgy woman with a leather manbag full of cash), and all flights organized… the only thing I need to do is get some rest and say goodbye to Maggie and China for a month. Oh, and pray that the customs agent will accept a bit of 二锅头 … wait, problems aren’t solved with a few RMB and some baijiu outside of China, are they. Perhaps the lack of shower will usher things along.

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