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Beijing Traffic (more)

Posted Oct 30 2008 2:12am

Today I went to a special building, only a 10-minute drive from my office, to get a physical exam needed for a special visa. The administrative assistant of the Psychology Department accompanied me. We set off about 8 am. He mentioned a vision exam so I went back to my apartment to get another contact lens. (I wear just one, so that I have good vision both near and far.) Then we tried to get a taxi. We found one but, stuck in traffic, it went nowhere. After 10 minutes or so, we got out. We decided to go in the administrative assistant’s car (he prefered to take a taxi because he didn’t know where the building was.) It’s now 9:10 am. We set off. We reach the building around 9:20. Oops — I forgot my passport. We get a taxi to take us back to campus so I can get it. The driver tries to cheat us by taking a long route. On the way back — on a reasonable route — we get stuck in traffic again. We get out of the taxi. We’d like to go back to the exam building, pick up the administrative assistant’s car, and take a different route back, but that would require crossing six lanes of busy highway to get a taxi going in the right direction. That’s too scary so eventually we get a taxi that goes back to campus via another route. Now it’s too late to do the exam. We’ll try again early tomorrow. For some reason — exhaust fumes? too much sitting in a car? — my head hurts.

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