Saturday, 2 February 2013

Harbin Part 1

In preparations for Harbin I went winter clothes shopping. Since my skills at bargaining are relatively weak, I went with my friends for support. What usually happens is I stand idly by while they cut the price down to a tenth or twentieth of the original price, and once they are about to close the deal I step in and ask for two. This tends to work out really good for me since the friend I go with has a sense of style and I don’t; I inadvertently become well dressed and at the same time pay less.

The only time there is a hitch is if the seller realizes I’m part of the group and can understand Chinese. Suddenly my sympathies are appealed to and I’m a goner. I try to act emotionless, or outraged, and neither work very well. I usually end up blushing terribly (strictly in a figurative sense) and try running away. Thankfully there weren't too many times when this happened, so I was able to buy all my winter clothes without having to run a marathon.

Once at my dorm I had the task of packing for my four day trip. I've yet to learn the art of packing lightly so this is always a tricky decision for me. I start with the necessities and then expand into What If mode. What if there is a giant accident and I've forgotten to bring my First Aid kit, with Band-Aids and alcohol rub, to save the day?  What if the hotel has s hot tub and I didn't bring my swimsuit? What if I have ten hours to kill and I left my eBook charger behind? Oh-no! These are very much life and death situations you see, so no wonder I chronically over pack.

On the day of, feeling a bit self-conscious, I invited my friend to come take a look and see if I packed too much. He then proceeded to start taking items out of my bag. For some reason the need for two pairs of winter shoes and coats went over his head. I tried to explain the Law of Layering but I hit a road bump when it came to illustrating the uses of two pairs of boots; I then very painfully had to re-pack everything.

Finally satisfied, we headed out to catch the bus that caught the train which quavered and jolted us all inside her. We caught the train instead of a plane; I don’t know why we didn't just fly!  perhaps too high? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you had your band-aids to save the day in case there was a giant accident. Band-aids always save the day.