Maria Holland

Does Anyone Around Here Even Have A Clue?

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I saw my parents through the door today and officially washed my hands of all responsibility for them. 

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Everyone has to leave the nest at some point . . .

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I never would have expected, but I felt some separation anxiety after we said goodbye.  They’d been with me every freaking minute for three weeks (just kidding, parents, it was great!) and then they were gone all of a sudden.  And I was all alone – and in Beijing, no less.  I guess it wasn’t really anxiety, but I did feel very alone.  At least, until I put in my iPod in; some days that’s the only way I can handle China. 

I had dinner with Aleid and her boyfriend (who came to Beijing on the Trans-Siberian Railway!) but other than that, the evening was really unpleasant. 

Since arriving in Beijing, I had noticed that people were larger – almost as big as me even.  Observing this, I was inspired to do something that I’ve considered unthinkable in Xiamen: shopping for pants.  I decided to head for Meters/Bonwe because they’re everywhere, their clothes might pass for fashionable in the West, and they stock relatively large sizes even in the south.

I first went to the shopping street near our hotel, asked around, and was led straight to a Meters/Bonwe outlet.  But of course, nothing could be that easy (at least not in China) – it was “having a decoration” and thus closed. 

I asked around a little bit more and found out there was another branch near QianMen.  I took a taxi there and, when the taxi driver pointed me right inside, I got prematurely excited.  The clerks on the first floor told me it was in the basement.  The first people I asked in the basement said there was no Meters/Bonwe around; the others directed me to the second floor.  The staff of the second floor predictably told me to go to the third floor, but those people surprisingly directed me to a whole different building.  Stupid me, I actually went to the other building and got directed to the basement, second, and third floor respectively before giving up. 

I was so frustrated by this point, I was actually fuming around the mall sporadically shouting profanity.  I hate this about China.  It’s like there is no such thing as “truth” or “reality”, or at least no way for people to know it.  Information such as addresses, phone numbers, times – everything is subjective, constantly changing faster than anyone can track. 

I just can’t handle it.  There’s no way to find stuff except for asking people, but they’re worthless.  They’re actually worse than worthless, because instead of admitting that they haven’t the foggiest idea, they pull something out of their ass and say it with a completely straight face.  I mean, I’m about as valuable as the next rock for directions, but I admit this fault when asked and am perfectly capable of finding a more capable person to direct the questioner toward. 

It drives me crazy.  Sometimes I seriously don’t know how this country runs.  This may seem ungenerous, and surely it is at least a little bit, but I would like to add that this is not the first or only time I’ve felt this way.  See pretty much any entry under the tag 麻烦.

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