My last day in Beijing there were severe thunderstorms that began in the afternoon. I managed to get a taxi over to rOobin’s apartment and he, his girlfriend Katrin and I spent the evening having great conversation and trying to get his very cute two year old son to go to sleep.
At 11 I was ready to get going. I was staying in an apartment near DMG on this leg. So rOobin and I go to the lobby of his building and ask for a taxi. We take a seat and start t0 chat. The rain has finally slowed after about 9 hours but no taxis are turning up. We sort of lose track of time and an hour passed. We decide perhaps we should walk to a busier intersection to have better luck. Another hour passes. Beijing taxis have clearly given up and gone home and when you read the articles after the fact, that was a wise move.
But what’s a girl to do when her train is leaving town in 9 hours? Walking isn’t a viable option unless rOobin goes with me and then walks himself home – which would likely take 2 hours. His scooter isn’t an option either as the roads could be too deeply flooded. As the pickle I’m in begins to set in, a chinese family of six in a Honda minivan pulls over and offers me a ride. A 24 year old girl is a student at USC and speaks english. I manage to get home via the kindness of strangers and witness that the plausible but improbable sometimes does just go ahead and happen.