Pick up Dad
Qingdao Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
Tracy and I embark to the bus station and jumped on one as it was rolling out of the service area. We leave at 9:00 and with dad's flight arriving in Qingdao at 11am it was just enough time. As usual, I doze off immediately on the bus (too excited the night previous) but Tracy is wide-eyed awake... nervous. I relay again how gregarious and affable dear ol' dad is, she doesn't believe me.
Two hours later, on the highway near the airport, we jump off and snag a taxi to Liuting, Qingdao Airport. Once there, potty breaks settled, we go to the arrivals floor and start looking at the boards. A little jump start of the heart after reading the 2nd of 3 boards and not seeing dad's flight.
Tracy beckons me to the third display and points out dad's flight. Landed, on time, no worries. 11:10am, dad should be coming out of customs... Tracy: "Matt your father's coming!" Haha, he made it!
After some hugs and (long overdue?) introductions we set out to head back to Weifang. Tracy decides rather than going all the way into downtown Qingdao just to take a bus and backtrack in the same direction to Weifang, we should hitch a ride on the side of the highway, hoping a bus on its way to Weifang can give us lift.
A funny feeling it is when a relative comes to visit and the first thing you do upon their arrival is attempt to hitch a bus ride. There we are standing on the side of the highway, the three of us waiting for busses to go by. Some time elapses, Tracy and dad and myself, chatting. First bus is too full, no empty seats. Second bus is a long distance one, not to Weifang. Suddenly feeling skeptical of this plan of action, a clean, comfortable, new minivan stops for us with room for just 3 more people. And it just happens to be going to Weifang.
An hour and a half later we are checking into the hotel nearby my apartment. I forgot my passport though and the Chinese clerks won't check us in without first seeing it.
We then take a journey out to the bank so dad can change some money. We notice the new Kite Square opened across the street and decide to take a look. An impressive site it turned out to be. Newly opened, the square had vivid, gorgeous flowers and trees, a river meandering through the back side and an enormous, elaborate fountain in the center.
Dressed in traditional silky whitish/gray garbs, others in blue and yet a few more in red. It was such a contradiction of forces coming together at one moment in time. Dad all the way from CA comes to a crowded community square in Weifang where action and activity and loud noise is abundant. Locals whooping, children scampering, dad and I getting all kinds of attention from gawks to guffaws: points, stares, smiles. And in the middle of this mad house, here are these elaborately-dressed Tai-Chi'ers going through their motions with surgeonesque precision and focus, seemingly unaware of their surroundings.
Unexpectedly, whilst basking in the spirit of the Tai-Chi folk, a sonic boom erupts from the gargantuian speakers nearby in the form of obnoxious cartoony-sounding music. The overgrown fountain flanking us starts spewing water 25 feet into the air. Some run away from the water, but a multitude more actually run toward it. The locals (mostly younger generation) play, splash, run around, push and pull, taunt and joke each other and the water. All to music Tom And Jerry would appreciate.
After the inspiriting scene of Tai-Chi players and then the goofy one starring Weifang locals, we decide to see the Kite Musuem, located (conviently) in the Kite Square. When we three arrive to the entrance it is quartered off with police and cones and rope and at that moment was being overseen to by a mob of Chinese folk. Our old buddy, Mr. Jiang, former President of China was inside... whatta guy!
With the Kite Museum closed, the three of us cruised around Weifang, had a nice lunch of local Yunnan (where Tracy is from) food and even went to 'The DVD Shop' and the McDonald's (for a sit, for the fun of it). The three of us got to talk a bunch and Tracy and dad got very aquainted as well.