2005.11.17 Urumqi, China
Urumqi High School
Students at Bus Stop
The only place where discounted airfares make less sense than the U.S. must be here in China. No matter where, it's a game I love to play, though. If lucky, I'll leave Urumqi next week on a cross-country flight to Beijing for a mere $60 U.S..
Hainan Airlines has a ridiculously cheap rate for the flexible traveler: 80% off the published fare. I've never seen another fare that has such strange rules and regulations, even refusing to guarantee that a ticket will actually be issued after payment. To be sure of making the trip, I could instead buy their second cheapest ticket: a 75% discount. That would at least guarantee a seat, though still wouldn't fix a departure date until the day before I fly.
I'm going to take a chance on the lowest fare. It will mean prepaying, then following up with a daily phone call to check whether seats are available. I figure I have the time now. A bit of uncertainty will be worth it to save a few yuan. If the air ticket doesn't come through within a week, the airline will refund my money. I'd instead take the train to Beijing. By rail it's a 45-hour journey which would actually cost more than the cut-rate airfare.
Since being booted out of my apartment I've been getting everything in order to leave Urumqi for the winter. I've been meeting up with friends over dinner, sorting through which belongings to leave behind, and shopping for gifts and other things to bring back to the U.S..
Mavluda and Shamsiya
I have to remember to visit the barbershop before leaving China, as well. The times I've had my hair cut at nicer salons in Beijing or Urumqi, the price is usually around $2.50.
It doesn't need to the earth though the bomb is indispensable for the war.
The Bomb!! is not needed to this earth.