It’s a miserable day in Southend today, which makes it a perfect time to immerse myself in Beijing adventures where it was sunny (sometimes) and the five of us were together.
On our last day in Yichang we woke up with about 12 hours to kill, which flew by, and ironically almost made us late.
Rise, Adam and I had gone for some lunch with Felicity, Maggie, Liliana and Carey whilst Angelo and Antonello had spent their lunch time by the dormitories. It was only then that we were told that our Yichang SIM cards wouldn’t work in Beijing, I think they only work within the boundaries of their provinces – I’m not sure. Something else we weren’t told when we bought them, but we were also gutted because we all had so many GB of data left over on them,
We had to rush down to the phone shop where we met the Italian boys along with Emma and Queen. It took a bit of time to sort out, but by the time it had been organised, a huge storm had hit Yichang.
We spent so long trying to hail a cab, however, we had to walk most of the way and were all completely soaked through.
I was starting to panic as well, because I knew I wasn’t totally packed up yet and my room still needed to be cleared of rubbish. We had a car collecting us from the dormitories at six o’clock and our last check in was at 7.
The goodbyes to the girls was quite emotional for them. A couple of them cried a lot and held our hands, randomly bursting out in fits of tears and hugging us over and over. It was sad, we had all grown very close to each other and the loyalty and friendliness of the Chinese volunteers was very clear since day one.
By this point it was around twenty five to seven. In the end the driver drove away with the sliding door open because it took roughly half an hour to get to Yichang Airport. The rain had stopped but because of it everyone had taken to their cars, meaning there would be much more traffic that usual.
We’d decided to try and check us all on to the flight on our phones so that at least the airline knew that we have every intention of getting on the plane.
We checked in our luggage – even mine, which was over the weight limit – and we had an hour delay until we took off around half nine.
We landed and we had to wait for our travel agent to come and get us, who took half an hour to find. Once we’d found her and got packed up in the car she was really energetic and talkative, however, it was nearly one in the morning by this time so we weren’t great conversation.
Just by our hotel we had spotted a McDonald’s, that’s how you know you’re in the capital. After getting our room keys and putting our stuff down we went on a hunt for this McDonald’s because by this point we were really hungry and the little shop in our hotel was shut.
To be honest, I think a bit of junk food was exactly what we needed :’D
Our rooms or hotel, Jinhui International Business & Conference Grand Hotel, wasn’t anything particularly impressive, despite its sheer size.
‘I think they meant Grand as in big’ – Rise Moe 2015
But for the time being we had to just sleep, we were going to The Forbidden City the next day.