Shenyang Doesn’t Want Us; Beijing Doesn’t Want Us To Leave

bya Gabrielle at 2:20 PM

Remember that snow storm?

We woke up bright and early(5:00am)to a blanket of beautiful snow on the ground. It was a complete surprise for me as I had only expected it to snow in Shenyang. It was a bit of crazy situation trying to roll our suitcases that we are having shipped through the sludge all over the streets and sidewalks. China, for some reason, doesn’t believe in the art of throwing salt where snow has fallen. They prefer to wait and let it melt and have the sweepers get what they can. It’s amazing that I didn’t bust my butt trying to carry 30 KG down the snow covered stairs. That would have just been hysterical.

I took some pictures of it, but as you know, I have no ability to post them. The snow was pretty though. It was the first I’ve seen in a good long while and the first since I came to China. At 6:00am the WECL van pulled up out front, completely covered in snow. The driver was driving even though he couldn’t see out the windshield. He hadn’t bothered to clear off the snow yet. We piled all our stuff in and off we went. All in all in what a pretty scary ride. The driver drove faster than I would have in those conditions. For some reason he liked to drive in the drifts instead of the tracks already made. And he took the back roads that didn’t have a lot of traffic, so it took twice as long to get to the airport. At one point, I was pretty sure we weren’t going to make it, but Richard(the guy in charge of us) called and told the driver to get on the interstate – where we probably should have been the entire time.

We made it to the airport with enough time to spare, got our boarding passes, went through the ever simple Chinese security, and got our comfy seats on the plane. As we were sitting there, I was happy to know that we were only one hour and ten minutes away from final destination after all this time. I was happily eating my strange Chinese biscuit and sipping on my orange juice when an announcement came on over the speakers. First in Chinese and then English. It went something like this . . .

“I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen, but the snow storm has made it unfavorable for landing at the Shenyang Airport. We don’t know how long the delay may be, so we are going to ask that all passengers exit the plane at this time. Please take all of your bags with you. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

I said a lot of cuss words, but did as I was told. I don’t think I’ve ever stood on the tarmac and had snow flying in my face. It was all rather interesting.

We sat at our terminal awhile to find out that the airport was going to be closed until at least 6 :00 pm. We decided that there was no reason to sit at the airport for 8 hours and left the airport. The bad part was that the van that had taken us there was gone. We had to somehow fit all of our luggage in Richard’s car – who had met us there. I don’t know how we did it, but we fit 3 large bags, 5 carry-ons and 4 bodies. Richard rescheduled the flight, and back to WECL we went.

Come Monday, we woke up and began to do the whole shebang again. Just as we went to open our apartment door to leave, Christine knocked on it to tell us that we had to stay in Beijing yet another day because of the bad snow storm.

It turns out that the snow storm that hit Shenyang was the worst March snow storm in 56 years and had closed the airport and 5 of the interstates as well as 900,000 schools. Some people lost power and water. In some places in Shenyang, the snow was a 1 meter high.

Hopefully, tomorrow we will be able to board our plane without a hitch. I know that it is way below zero there, so I have no idea how they expect the snow to melt, and that which does will just turn into ice. I guess we will find out when we wake up tomorrow. You know what they say though – third time’s the charm.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I just want to get to my new home, get settled, and start to be a teacher again. Ha, listen to me – I’m actually asking for work. I guess after not working for 53 days some part of your soul start missing it. How strange. How strange indeed.

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