I've decided that for myself I should record more memories. Not necessarily the ones going on right now, but memories I have of the past that maybe I won't remember as well later? Even if I do remember, it'll just be something fun to write down. So here's my memory of the day:
Shanghai, China, June 2011
|Mark took this picture after I fell asleep talking over Skype |
(it became a common occurrence)
I had been in Weihai, China since February teaching English. It was I think early in May when Mark mentioned when we was going to be in Shanghai and I learned that I would have a long weekend and some of my other fellow teachers were already planning a trip down to that same city. Next thing I knew the first weekend in June came around and I was flying down to Shanghai to see this dreamy guy again. I wouldn't be able to see him until the next morning, though, so I was going a little crazy. We were able to set up a time and meeting place, though, and I was pretty sure I could get their via the subway (or whatever you call it).
That morning I said "seeya suckas!" (probably without the suckas part) to to my fellow teachers and headed off to the main station in Shanghai--the clock tower right outside the station, to be exact. You must know, I had no phone, and almost no clue how to speak Chinese. I mean, I knew a little bit, but very little.
|Our first meal together after six months apart|
Rain. It started to rain. Not really hard, but enough to get my clothes a little damp. I wanted to cry. I almost did. I walked along that station for maybe an hour--going inside the Mcdonald's to get away from the rain occasionally.
|At the aquarium in Shanghai|
I walked down the road and luckily found it led to another road that seemed like it would lead to the other side of the station. Except, the station was sort of down this hill from the road and there was a cement wall and a small gate lining that hill. I was so excited I could actually see the clock tower down the hill, but there was no sidewalk or anything leading to it. There was only this road. Luckily I saw other people walking along this road, cars dodging them as they drove past. So, I followed. Then came the point where the hill had lowered and all that was in my way of getting to that tower was a small wall and that gate. By myself I would have at least really hesitated before climbing over, but after seeing other people do the same, my courage perked up. I had to first pull myself up onto the base of the gate/top of the cement wall which was probably as tall as my waist. Then I had to swing my legs over this gate. It was a small ordeal, but I had made it!!! How crazy that this was the only way to get to the other side! Who created this?! (Later I learned that in fact that other staircase which I thought led to more trains led to the other side...yep).
Well, it didn't matter because I had finally reached the clock tower. But no Mark. It had been about an hour and a half since the time we decided to meet, so maybe he went home? But I couldn't believe that. Was this the right clock tower? What a stupid question, of course it was. But what could I do now? The rain had cleared up on my walk down that road and climb over the gate, but it started again. I circled the tower over and over until the rain started getting harder. I spotted a McDonald's (those things are seriously EVERYwhere there) and ran inside. I heard McDonald's usually have wifi there, but I didn't have a computer or anything to check my e-mail. I stayed in there for a while until finally the rain had turned back to a slight mist.
|Shanghai--pretty excited to finally be together!|
I started off walking, then jogging over to him. The excitement filled in my chest as I saw his eyes light up after turning to see me. Right as he started to come my way the inevitable happened. I slipped and fell on my butt.
The pain in my rear and the puddles seeping through my clothes to my skin had no effect on my spirits though--this was going to be one of my favorite days, dry butt or no.
Mark of course smiled, but also looked concerned as he helped me up and asked if I was okay. I laughed and of course said I was.
What followed was a great day of sight-seeing and finally being together after six months apart. It turns out the moment I had finally gotten to the clock tower is when Mark had gone to buy an umbrella or try to e-mail me from somewhere. He had waited for me for two hours and would have waited all day.
One day later and we were engaged, but that's a different memory for another time. That first day--wandering in the rain and falling on my butt--started out miserably but ended up being one of my favorite memories.