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The Developing Country Game!

Dali, China

Let's count how many things can go wrong in one day:

Haven't eaten in 36 hours due to stomach bug. -1

Even after drinking water, I don't need to use the toilet +1

Pack bags quickly and am out of room early. +1

Bus not there at expected time -1

Comment to staff that bus is late, staff looks surprised; he checks book - my name is not on the list but I have the receipt. Best guess is he forgot and I actually missed the bus even though I was waiting well before departure. -5

Staff quickly refunds the 10rmb difference in cost for the next bus. +1

Small bottle of plum juice [a Yunnan specialty] does not upset my tummy. +1

Next bus is also late. -2

Taxi comes, takes me three blocks to bus. Bus than drives rigth past hostel. I realize that though the hostel says no 'booking fee' I probably could have crossed the road and caught the very same bus for about half the price. -3

I happen to pick the shaded side of the bus, so no sun in my eyes. +0.5

Two lanes of traffic headed North on a two lane road [the truck on the left was passing a vehicle on the right] means total traffic stoppage. People are getting out of their vehicles to look at the road block. I've got a plane to catch and I'm already twice delayed! -5 [Turns out it was a traffic accident, the passing truck forced a south-bound van to veer to its left but the veer was insufficiant and CRASH! Twas just the corner of the passenger side so hopefully no one was injured.]

Traffic delay number two - just an overturned mini-truck on the side of the road to drive around. At least it was a shorter delay. -1

Three hour bus to Lijiang takes 4 hours to get to Lijiang outskirts. -2

Dropped off at airport road. I thought I was to flag down another bus but it turned out that the airport was literally across the road. I walked up the trafficless Departure Ramp to the terminal. +3

Lugged all my travel possessions in two backpacks [one worn front, one back] the block distance to the terminal without having eaten any solid food in 40+ hours. -1

Get to the airport 30 minutes before the check in counter closes for my flight. Phew! +1

Chose the shortest line at the check-in counter but apparently the slowest agent. The line next to me moved much faster. -1

Agent tells me I don't have a ticket. I show her my passport. No. I show her my ticket number as emailed to me by Delta. Nope. "Take your luggage and go to the ticket counter across the hall." -2

Ticket counter checks my passport & ticket number. Verdict? No ticket. :-O -6

Delta's China ticket office is only open during US business hours which means that's it is closed during China's business day. Now what?? I guess that my boarding pass for my flight from Beijing will prove that I have a ticket. I actually find it and... I'm right! They send me back to the check in counter. +5

It is 2 minutes past check in counter closing time [30 minutes before flight time]. They check me in quickly and tag my bag. -/+0 [They had better check me in quickly!]

I still have security to go through and the get to get to. Final score??? I made it to Beijing. But what a day!

The ticket number Delta gave me had one extra digit on the end. But wouldn't my name have made the difference? There were only two people on the flight with non-character names. It's not like there was a Jane Fu Jonah Du on the flight. Not in English, anyway.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 16, 2012 from Dali, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Food, Bus, Beijing, Ticket, Accident and Late

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