Day 16: Running out of money in a foreign country… Never good.

[If you haven’t been keeping up with my travels, check them out here!]

Running out of money is never a good thing. Especially when you don’t speak the language. But I am getting ahead of myself.

This morning, our hostel had arranged for a car to the airport. Because of traffic, the car would have been late, so they called and said they would not be coming.

The staff of the hostel was very kind – helped us get to the main road, hail a taxi, and discuss with the driver whether he could fit all 6 bags and 3 people. He wouldn’t – so it was determined Olivia and I would take the subway to the airport, and Nick would go with the taxi driver and our luggage.

We had IC Cards for the subway system, so we got those from Nick and made our way to the airport. We had to change lines, but did not realize that it was 25 Yaun each for tickets to the airport. We only had 11.

We attempted to find the ATM, because I had my debit card on me. After finally finding it, there was no English in the screen, and then when we found machines with some English, the transaction would not go through.

We still had our IC cards, which we knew were possible to return and get the deposit back. We went to at least 6 different desks in many different areas. No one spoke more than a little English and we kept getting “told” to keep going.


We finally got a solid answer from someone – go toward exit G.  We had to go through multiple pay stations, but didn’t have tickets or enough on our IC cards to go through – thankfully, we attempted to explain our situation to the security  guards, and they let us through.

We FINALLY found the right desk, and he gave us more than enough money to get the tickets. Praise the Lord!!

Then, we had to get back to the airport subway station – getting through 2 different security points without tickets. I just rambled in English about needing to get to the airport. Either they understood, or they realized how desperate we were. Probably some of both :). We successfully bought our tickets and were on our way.


When we got to the airport, we somehow continuously missed Nick for about 20 minutes. He had attempted to wait where the subway let out (maneuvering the 6 suitcases). However, we must have arrived at about the same time we did, and totally walked around each other. We had no way of contacting each other, so we ended up waiting outside for the taxi for about 30 minutes. I went in a few times just to make sure we didn’t miss him standing somewhere or taking a different entrance – thank goodness I did!  He spotted me and was able to catch my eye.

Good thing we hadn’t found each other any later, as we had just enough time to board our flight.

We left China Thursday at noon and arrived in Seattle Thursday at noon. It’s almost like we time travelled or something. Except for the jet lag (no sleep)and 12 hours on a plane.

It’s so nice to be in a city where smoking is not permitted right outside doors, we can breathe fresh air, and it’s infinitely better than Beijing.  I love visiting my grandparents home in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Before heading to their house, our great uncle, who owns a tour company, gave us a personal tour of Seattle!

We stayed up to see the gorgeous sunset, and then crashed after being up for over 30 hours with no sleep!


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