I started to have a great Friday the 13th. Went to my school to be told that Friday afternoon classes were cancelled which made me happy since I could leave an hour early. The coup de grace was that I was OFF all of next week since the students will have exams.
It was nice leaving early because I was going back to my Chinese hometown, but the distance to get from the school to the bus station required three city busses (it wasn't too bad, the middle bus was the bulk of the distance and it was straight on). Did not have to wait for any of the busses, they rolled up as soon as I got off the other bus.
Friday the 13th went to shit when I got on the Hangzhou （浙江杭州 bus to Dongyang （浙江东阳). It is a two hour journey and it always has been a two hour journey, even though now tere is a modern highway just built the last five years that goes straight to Dongyang itself. I have done this trip literally over one hundred times, probably closer to 150.
From 2001-2003 or so it was basically city and country roads, and not a highway. Between 2004 and 2008, the bus took a highway about halfway down to a town called Pujiang which is north of Yiwu and then ride the back roads to Dongyang. Since about 2008, the highway was completed all the way. This is important, bolded below.
First of all, it was a bus with seats that the arm rest could not but pulled down. I am a big guy and more or less try to give the poor guy sitting next to me as much room as possible. With these seats, it was more squeezed in. Even though I had an aisle seat, I took the window. No problems thankfully, a skinny guy sat next to me.
The driver was slow as shit. My Chinese wife drives faster than this guy. Dude is going like 70 KM/hr down this highway when he could bump it up to at least 90 if not 100. My only guess for this slow driving is that they are supposed to be at their destination a certain time and are not allowed to exceed that, maybe for gasoline reasons.
Then the guy after driving about 45 minutes stops at a service area in Shaoxing (the ones with the stores with nothing good in them and the Sinopec gas station). They only began doing this now. Out of a full bus of 30 or so people, only three or four hop out including the driver. I want to get home to mama (my wife). Most people on the bus are veterans of this trip, use the can in Hangzhou, not drink anything and get to Dongyang. No problem.
Then Grandpa Simpson gets off the highway in an unexpected place that I have not gotten off at in years to find out where I was, in the town of Pujiang. Pujiang to Dongyang is one hour by busy back roads. Annoyed, but sort of enjoyed seeing how the area has changed in the five freaking years I was last on this road.
Made it to Yiwu, then we went on some potholed road for awhile, and then here, there and everywhere, and finally making it to Dongyang about 20 minutes late. WTF? Like I said, there is a brand new, smooth as Anne Hathaway's ass modern highway so I don't get it why we went a hinky route like we did and hope it is not permanent. I would love to take the rail, but no train to Dongyang.