Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Great Wall

Let me start by saying that the night before we went to The Great Wall, I started feeling a bit crappy, like a cold was coming on. A tickle in the back of my throat, sinus pressure, runny nose, watery eyes etc....

I took 1/2 an Ambien so I could sleep and hopefully feel better in the morning. Well, needless to say, I woke up with a FULL BLOWN COLD! Luckily one of the ladies that was with us (a fellow spouse, there were 5 of us) is a nurse, in fact she has a PhD in nursing (that's something to be envious of!) And she had some non-drowsy cold pills! THANK YOU LAURA! If it weren't for her, my experience at The Great Wall would have been much worse.

We took the bus, that by this point we were all sick of, up to The Wall, I felt like I was back home in Utah! The mountains on the way up were gorgeous, and the mountain that the part of The Wall - that we climbed - was on were also absolutely stunning! It was amazing.

Before we started climbing it was decided that we would meet back at the bus at 12:05. I can't remember what time we started, but it gave us plenty of time to get the whole effect of the wall, so we weren't worried.

We started climbing. The stairs are very interesting, Some were about two inches high, but some were like 18 - 24 inches high, and of course there was all of those in between sizes, so it was kind of difficult to maneuver them, you had to keep looking down at your feet so you wouldn't trip. Every once in awhile there would be a little building or level area that you could stop and take pictures from, or rest. It was at one of these areas that a few people, including myself, decided to be done. Not only was I not feeling well, but I have one of those know the type...the ones that are okay going up stairs, but going back down stairs it sometimes freaks out. Aaron wanted to continue with some of the other guys, I was totally okay with that because by this point all 48 of us were friends and I didn't have a problem hangin' with anyone. Aaron said something to the effect of, "Okay, you stay here and I'll pick you up on my way back."

When Aaron continued climbing, something told me to just go with him anyway! I had done really good, and I really felt like I could continue, but I decided to stay put. After awhile the people that I was with decided to start back down, so I said bye and told them not to fall and stuff. I actually had a fun time all by myself on The Wall, it was then that I became a celebrity! I posed for pictures with about two dozen people! They really loved my blond hair and blues eyes, and apparently I am really tall (I'm only 5' 7", very average in America)! This was when I tried to get the Chinese people to do the 'rock' sign and stick their tongues out....they weren't so sure about this, but they did think I was pretty funny. I did however get a few people to do it. I called the kidlets, because of all the things we were going to do, this was the most interesting to them. We had incredible cell reception in China, quite cheap. They thought it was pretty awesome that I was talking to them while I was on The Great Wall. I hope they always remember that conversation.

At about 11:35, I realized that people from our group were coming back down the wall, so I kept my eye out for Aaron, whenever I would ask one of them if they had seen my husband, they would say yes. Then....I ask someone and he said, No!! I thought that was kind of strange since everybody else I asked had seen him. So, I decided to start asking everyone that came down, guess what!?! They all said No! Now, I'm starting to worry. My brain was going crazy with horrible thoughts like; Maybe he slipped and fell off of the wall! Maybe he was taking a picture and stumbled over! But, if any of this had happened, of course I would know....right? Then....I was told that there was actually another way down. Aaron must have taken that route. But...why didn't he relay a message to me, so I knew to go back down with someone else? So I figured he just hadn't left the area where everyone else from our group was yet. I decided that the people that hadn't seen him weren't actually 'looking' for him.

Taylor, one of the guys in our group, said that he hadn't seen Aaron, but offered to stay with me and wait (I have to point out here, that Taylor also waited with me at one of the Airports while Aaron was in the restroom and the rest of the group had already started going - he's a really good guy), he also suggested that I walk down with him, that Aaron was probably already down at the bus. But I told him that I wanted to wait a few more minutes. I was scared to leave, because I didn't want Aaron to worry about me, after all, I told him that I would stay put! While Taylor and I were talking, he said to me, "He's the type of guy that will come back up looking for you huh."


At 11:55 when I ask three people that were coming down, they told me that they were the last ones from our group up there! What the crap!?! I knew that Aaron was okay, I just knew it, but I couldn't figure out where he was. And again, if he did go down the other way, why no message? I mean there were 48 of us! So now, I was a little angry with my husband.

Let me point out here, in case you forgot....We are in CHINA, climbing THE GREAT WALL, and I am hanging with some dude that I have only known for a week, I don't feel good, I'm scared, angry, frustrated and my knee is starting to hurt. ARGH!!

Finally at 11:55 Taylor convinced me to start walking back down with him. It felt strange not having Aaron with me, and my knee didn't like it either. You know when you are about to cry and you are trying to hold the tears back you get that strange headache and sore throat? Well, that's what was happening. Taylor got ahead of me quite aways because my knee started freaking out so my leg was doing the Elvis (shaking). I was hanging onto the the railing (which, by the way, is gross) and watching my feet as I was going so I wasn't looking up too much. When I was about halfway down to where we started, I looked up...........

There was Aaron climbing up towards me, he was at the same place as Taylor. Taylor pointed up at me and Aaron looked at me and I BURST into tears. Taylor kept going (I think he sensed that Aaron and I needed to be alone).

It ended up that Aaron did take the other route, but he didn't realize he was. Any of you that know Aaron's sense of direction, know that this wasn't a surprise. This is why there was no message relayed to me. He said he kept asking the guys he was with if they were sure that they were going the right direction, they would say yes. He said that he kept asking people if they had seen me, they would say no. When he got back to the bus, he had asked people if they had seen me, they said that I was still up on the wall waiting for him. So, we were both going through the same emotions. It wasn't even a miscommunication between the two of us.....just bad luck.

We didn't get back down to the bus until about 12:30, but at least we were together.

That is my Great Wall a nutshell.


Jenny in Utah said...

What an experience, I guess if you are going somewhere as big as the Great Wall - you ought to have just as big of an experience as you can!!! Glad you found each other - it would stink to say you lost your spouse on the great wall.

Tiffany said...

Your post made me laugh, I hope by now you can laugh at it too. It reminded me of a time I lost my husband at Disneyland. I had him kidnapped, dead from a heart attack..etc etc. I was beginning to plan his funeral! I could not believe MYY HUSBAND could disappear at Disneyland. I finally found him. And I was....MAD!!!!! (It was a case of bad luck similar to yours!)
PS-Sounds like you had a great time in all your traveling. I loved your other post too.

Jennifer Miller said...

I JUST KNEW IT!!!! I knew Aaron wouldn't leave you behind! I was in suspense the entire time!!!!:o)

Leslie said...

thank you for your sweet words on my blog, karlyn.