Well, all the places I want to go would take three days, and I only have three day weekends twice a month. I really needed to get away this weekend, so I messaged a bunch of people in Henan on couchsurfing, to see if anyone was free to host. The first person that answered was a woman with no references and a blurry picture. I went with it anyway, even though the messages she sent me were nonsensical.
"I am wondering you are you Ms. Louise?"
When I wrote back that I didn't understand, she answered: "DO YOU NEED ME TO PICK YOU UP AT LY RAIL WAY STATION, that's it."
What the... I wasn't leaving for a few days still... I decided she accidentally hit caps lock and told her I didn't need a ride, and asked her for directions. She sent them, but didn't know how much a taxi would be. Really?
When I got to Luoyang on Friday night, I hopped in a taxi to the place she told me to go to. Then, when I got there, it was a dark suburban street with not much around. I called my host, Jessica and it seemed she was making excuses and trying to get me to go away.
"I have a dog and my dad is embarrassed."
"OK, but where do I go now? How do I get to your house?"
"I don't know where you are."
"!!! The place you told me to go, you can't just leave me out here!!!"
And then she finally came to get me. I said I felt like she didn't want me to stay over this weekend, but she said that I was wrong, so I believed her.
I fell asleep quickly on the soft couch, as we watched Planet of the Apes. A few hours later, I was woken up by harsh lights and the sounds of cooking. Jessica shook me and asked if I wanted to eat something. What?! I'm sleeping right now! No! She didn't sleep the rest of the night and I had random snatches of naps in between the various rackets she made doing whatever she was doing.
In the morning, I was rushed out the door and we walked to a shopping mall. For some reason, Jessica thought I wanted to eat at Burger King, but none of this was discussed until we got there. Eventually, I found a restaurant with swings for seats.
Jessica promptly started crying over some boy trouble, but I really couldn't understand exactly what had happened. She was an English major but I couldn't understand any of her phrases. She frequently would say very vague things and it seemed she was taking the Chinese "reading between the lines" thing way too far, all the freaking time. I was slowly going insane. I hope she isn't like this when she speaks Chinese. My job is making sense of nonsense all day long. I just couldn't make sense of her at all.
After that, we sat around bored in Starbucks. I bought a huge brownie to share, but she just looked at it like it was from space.
Me: "So, what are we doing for dinner?" Jessica: "I dunno." Me: "OK, so we could go to "old town", eat at home, or just go out near your house, what do you think?" Jessica: "We can watch TV" Me: "So do you want to eat at home?" Jessica: "I don't know." Me: "OK, that does not help."
Whatever... Some foreigners came in and I asked them what was going on tonight. Unfortunately, they were having a work dinner, so that was a no go also. When we left the Starbucks, she got really frustrated that the door wouldn't push open the way she pushed it. She turned and looked at me frantically, so I pushed it with a normal push and it opened. We walked back home and I had no idea what was going on still. It turned out Jessica had to charge her phone and she had no intention of eating at home, with her parents. She almost cried again when I mentioned joining them. She told me I needed to take a shower. After an awkward, shocked silence on my part, I went and took my mandated shower. I knew then, that this whole couchsurf was over. I went to bed, but she woke me up to go out.
Me: "So, are we eating out now?" Jessica: "I need some carrots." Me: "I really don't get it."
I just followed her to get carrots. When she picked them up, I asked what they were for.
"OK I won't get carrots."
What the actual hell? I had had enough of this nonsense, so I begged her to take me back to her house so I could sleep. She didn't want to. Then, she finally said she didn't want to eat at home or go home at all, because she hates her parents. My god. What are you doing inviting me into this personal shit storm of crazy? FFffFFFFffffFfFfffFFfff
I left really early in the morning, before the crazy started again. It was 6 a.m. and the bus I needed wasn't running yet. I was just glad not to deal with Jessica anymore. At the same time, I also felt bad for her. She obviously has bigger problems than I could ever begin to comprehend. However, that doesn't mean I have to stick around to hear about it though, in broken English.
Anyway, I walked all the way into town, where I was still early for the museum. There was a Carrefour on my map, so I went there for coffee, peanut butter and yogurt, which cost about $40. On the way back, I realized I didn't even look for butter and cheese. Oopsie.
When I got back, the museum was open. It's just a small one that I could've lived without, because I've seen a bigger one that was almost identical, in Jingzhou before. Even though it was underwhelming, to my surprise, an American/Canadian bus tour group was there, for what purpose, I don't know.
Once again, I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief. Did you guys really find this ancient horse carriage conveniently beside the main square in town? Or did the city grow up around it? Both those possibilities seem far fetched to me. Did you move all of these artifacts from the actual burial site to the centre of town so everyone could admire it? This seems more plausible, but isn't that really lame and weird? The signs at the museum didn't answer my questions and they weren't burning me enough to ask the bilingual bus tour guide either.
My next mission was to change my train ticket. I was tired of Luoyang and just wanted to go home. I saw a sign that said train ticket agency, so I went in there with hopeful feelings. Nope, have to go to the train station to change my ticket. So I hopped the bus, ready to leave. But it was not that easy, the next train left at 1 p.m. and it was a four hour trip. Twice as long as the first trip to Luoyang. Oh well. A bonus though, I got 10 yuan back, so I spent it on a lunch at the unusually peaceful train station cafeteria, where the food was cold and too salty, but almost vegetarian. So that was a nice change for once.
Emperor&#39;s tomb museum
Me on the train
Old and slow but clean
This is $40 of groceries ha!