It feels like years since I last blogged. I have been lying low, trying to catch up with myself and acquiring new skills.......finding it very hard......
Anyway, I will be off to China on Monday with a group of youth worker students. They were total strangers to me till a few weeks ago.Briefing meetings have been taking place to enable people to familiarise with places and procedures, phew....However I opted for a single room rather than sharing with the unknown. Reason being that they may snore ( that will kill me if I don't have a good night sleep ), or they may pass flatus incessantly in the privacy of the room (that I might suffocate in the ensuing pollution ); having late nights (that would show me up as a boring old whatsit ); and the worst of it is that they may see sights that may shock and upset them for the rest of their lives. So I paid a supplement for the pleasure of my space and saving the others the trauma as well. Its a real act of charity I thought
Information has come through from the high command that we will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Beijing and Shanghai. Looking up on the internet has revealed that there are 4-5 such hotels in each of the 2 cities we will be travelling to . I am still none the wiser as to which hotel we will be staying at. Suffice to say ,it will be 3* or 4* rated.That is a great relief to know.
I have a really vivid imagination about this particular trip .The fact that we will be travelling to rural areas conjures up in my mind long domitories( which could be fun I suppose ) and shared bathing and wc facilities (I think I am a little long in the tooth for that ). The worst case scenario is the possibility of having to use a rural open toilet, aargh........I experienced that when I was in China in 2001. It is an experience that Iwould not wish on any one unless it is the last resort.
I am almost packed and ready for monday.Just discovered this morning that I need a temp resident Visa to enter Canada, let alone Alaska in The States.Suddenly I am overrun with forms in my office. Talk about panic attacks, it is certainly not a good way to start a holiday.Oh well, I have only myself to blame, with all the time in the world.........I now have to travel to Belfast in June to get my US Visa - London has run out of available appointment slots for my July trip. Well such is life.
Lets see what the China trip brings