So I picked up a new teaching client a few weeks ago… Betty is really cool, a really fascinating Taiwanese-American. I really enjoy teaching her (she’s quite inquisitive and challenging), but she lives way out in Pudong. To get to her house, I have to walk five minutes to the Chiggy (elevated rail), ride the Chiggy for five minutes, switch at Zhong Shan Park to the metro, ride that for 30 minutes, walk out to a designated metro exit (of course, it’s the exit with the farthest frickin’ walk), and hitch a ten-minute ride with her driver to her house. All this wearing my most “professional” outfits and lugging a bagful of books and my laptop. Can you hear me grunting?
Today after our lesson, Betty suggested I grab some lunch at their Jinqiao Carrefour. I hadn’t been to Carrefour in ages so I thought: what the hell; I’ll check it out. The store was nicely laid out. Spacious and clean. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even buy much because I’d have to lug it all home. Plus, Betty gave me three additional books (her daughter’s) AND a cassette player/radio to record stories for Joy. Yeah. I was carrying all this in my previously cute, little backpack.
So what did I buy? Bread and Dove chocolate. Just two things in this megastore of goods. Unfortunately, when I saw the endless lines, I wanted so badly to bail. But I couldn’t. I was screwed. You see, while I was shopping, some security officer interrupted me, advising that I place my purse into a duffle bag, which he locked shut and clamped to the cart. I did what he suggested. And as soon as I returned to my shopping, I realized my grocery list was in the sealed bag! To top that, I had no choice but to purchase the two items because only the cashiers could unlock my duffle. Sigh!
After I finally made it out of Carrefour, I searched and searched for a shuttle bus to the metro station (yeah, Carrefour’s not even near the metro!). No luck. Ultimately, I caved and got a cab… but only to the metro station. It took me over an hour to get back home. I hear that Metro line 6 will provide a direct link from Yishan station (near my house) to Pudong, near the Science and Tech Museum. I can’t wait till that routes goes online at the end of next year. It’ll be so money! Until then, I just keep reminding myself that I’m one tough cookie!