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My days are usually full of emails and trying to respond to the threads of interest here on the forum, trying to keep my databases current with the latest costs for the many SD items, worrying over the inventory levels of the distributors and what we will eat for lunch and why fish is so expensive...
But sometimes life throws a twist and Mother Nature has her own ideas how to best screw with me.
We have had very heavy fog for the last 3 days and most airplane flights have been cancelled; just at the time when I need to go to Hong Kong to refresh my Chinese visa. From my city, Yangzhou, I usually take a bus to the provincial capitol of Nanjing (westerners may know it as NanKing) to get a plane to Shenzhen to exit into Hong Kong. I pass through, get the entry and exit stamps in the passport and its done. Sounds simple, right? It is and its not because it involves queueing in 4 separate long lines after getting a taxi (a separate long queue) to take you long-haul from either the train station or airport terminal to the border. Each queue can be 10 minutes (if lucky) or more than an hour (if unlucky) depending on the hour and the day you arrive and that is dictated by your plane or train arrangements. Earlier is better if it can be arranged but early train arrival is not possible and early flight arrival is always delayed until the afternoon so welcome to my world of nothing-goes-according-to-plan-ever. (Then Harley gets pissed at me right in the big middle of all the chaos and some guy in Batswannaland suddenly needs a single alcoholmeter to stay alive while the kitchen light goes out and that particular florescent bulb is very difficult to find).
While wanting to upload the latest videos to the forum but I feel self-conscience about because I'm not so good at public speaking and the videos do suck. And my pet bird, a talking Myna and a very real pet in all regards, has some rare form of epilepsy that causes him to lose consciousness and trash about uncontrollably causing us great concern and sorrow.
And all flights from Nanjing airport were cancelled yesterday and of the hundred or so scheduled today only one made it out. Many, many thousands of souls have been left stranded in the airports across China in the last few days. The bus from Yangzhou to Nanjing could not safely travel the highways and even that was cancelled.
So now I'm forced to take a train to insure that I get my visa stamps in time so no violation is incurred. Overstaying the visa is serious and I've already done it once and if its done again there is risk that my China visa could be revoked. That would be seriously bad for me and for SD.
Curses be upon us, 24 hours and 17 minutes by train each way! and I cannot get back to the train station in time to catch the train returning to Yangzhou the same day so I'll need to stay a night in Shenzhen. Instead of one day to get this done by air travel it is now going to be three days to do it by train.
If you don't get a reply from me for 3 or 4 days starting Wednesday it doesn't mean I don't love you, it means mother nature is pulling the strings and when I return there will be a pile of emails to wade through.
It has been a long time since I made the journey by train but a couple of years ago, and on the very same train where the slow rhythmic monotony soothes the brain, the fully modular concept was born. Not saying lightening will strike twice but it won't hurt to take along a notebook.
Thinking I'm talking myself into believing that slo-mo train travel could be a good thing.