Day three is spent snacking and playing computer games on a terrace. I do a little work for school, eat some noodles, and veg. Vega is happy to play Minecraft all morning, though I cajole him into drawing a “thank you” cartoon on the whiteboard for the owner. I made significant headway in the brutal Viking turn-based game The Banner Saga. Bill picks us up at 3, and just like that, we’re off and returning. My spirits are high – it had been my kind of mini trip, with nature and good food.
Before I left for Dujiangyan, I asked Bill to try and secure my room at the IBIS, even though I was checking out for the weekend. It was a cozy room, well suited to me I felt. I had successfully gotten the mildew smell out of the bathroom. It was not a big deal if I had to move, but I liked my room and wanted it back when I returned, since I was going to be staying an additional month past when we thought. I was not particularly insistent I don’t think, but I did ask a couple of times. When I check back in, he succeeds in getting my good ole room on the 3rd floor. I take the first of my suitcases up.
A lot can happen in forty-eight hours, apparently.
For example, you could climb two small mountains. Another example: someone can move into “your” room for the weekend. Someone who wears enough cheap perfume they could have been stuffed in the owl in Grandma Bert’s bathroom. But a room can be aired out, and though I’m disappointed I move to the window to let in some air. There I stop, abruptly.
I had assumed that truck had crashed three nights ago. There was a horrible sound of countless metal bars hitting the pavement late at night, and looking out my window I saw a pile of bars on the ground in the dim hotel lights, and a driver staring down at them. I thought it was an accident.
Again, I find myself wrong. No, he meant to dump those bars there. Why? Because they’re building scaffolding up my side of the building. And so as I go to open the window, I’m met with industrial scaffolding outside my window crawling with construction workers. Taking a deep breath, I return to the lobby to get my last suitcase. I ask Bill if he can please ask the ladies how long the construction workers are going to be there? He does so.
“They say one month, but they should finish each night around 7.” He says this cheerily, perhaps not realizing what I’m asking him. He’s just proud of himself for getting me the exact room I wanted.
Ask and you shall receive, Jean. I can almost hear the Fates cackling with glee. What Trickster’s attention have I caught? Which God did I fail to properly address at QingCheng Mountain? Or is this my own God angry that I’m visiting other Gods’ houses? I wonder…