Last week I visited Beijing with a few friends. From my current location there are a few options in traveling there: train, 24 hours; plane, 2 hours; bus or car, a few days; walking, good luck getting there by New Year’s Day – Chinese New Year or other wise. We chose a plane there and a train back. But, I bet you aren’t interested in our mode of transportation. I bet you want to know who threw up out a window and how that happened. Story spoiler, it was me …
Let’s back track to the plane for a moment. Usually, I don’t mind plane food. Usually, I eat it all even if it isn’t any good, because that is what I do. But, plane food normally resembles some form of food I would actually eat (pasta, rice, meat, etc.). This time when the announcer said they would be serving beef hamburgers, I should have known better. However, I hadn’t eaten dinner and was too hungry to care; because really, what is the worst that could happen (see title if you are confused).
When the flight attendant handed me the “hamburger” I quickly unwrapped the foil. “This doesn’t look like any burger I have ever seen.” I did mention I was too hungry to care, right? I did. Good. The “burger” consisted of bread – good start -, an unrecognizable sauce (Mayo? Maybe. Clear ketchup? Possibility. Really discolored mustard? Who knows.), heated cucumber – no, not a pickle, a cucumber that had been nuked -, and some form of “meat” with the same color and shape as spam. I’m too hungry to care, eat it anyway.
Side note: I hate canned meat, of any kind. It makes me think of cat food and also makes me gag. – oh spoiler …
I ate half, discretely wrapped it back in the foil and figured I’d eat later.
Our plane landed at 1 am (in the furthest place away from the airport as possible, the airplane repair hanger … Maybe we should have been concerned) and we made it to our resting place at 3 am. Roughly.
I woke up a few hours later feeling rather awful. My thoughts were, “Holy crap, I’m going to vomit today”. Throwing up is the worst. The absolute worst. There is nothing more terrible than retasting the disgusting canned meat burger from the night before. But, we had a bus to catch. Having no choice but to go with the group, I drank some water, brushed my teeth, and hoped to not throw up that day.
We headed to the bus stop a block away. I walked behind the group, way behind. Still hoping. Finally we were not under the shade of the buildings and we were full on exposed to the 8 am summer heat of Beijing. That was not a pleasurable 20 minute wait. We finally shoved our way onto an overly crowded bus and headed on our 30 minute journey to our next destination, another bus stop with a 2 hour drive ahead of us. So I just squatted, hoping the 4th grade science lesson would work out in my favor. You know the one, “cold air sinks, hot air rises”. With 90+ people on a bus made for 20, there is no escaping Beijing heat plus body heat plus the sickness sweat plus suckiness. Yet, I had hopes.
Minutes later I was taped on the shoulder by one of the 15 girls in our group. She was offering me her seat which she had luckily scored after the first stop the bus made once we were on. Giving up your seat on a bus is a big deal in China. At least for me. I covet the seats. Anyway, I took her seat. It was an aisle seat, this detail is important. We are 15 minutes in; halfway there. Hooray! I feel like crap but no … NO! Oh no! It was getting too hot. My stomach was knotting up and rejecting the water (THE WATER) and I started feeling really sick. The girl sitting in the window seat (also with our group) nervously opened the window as she watched this progress. Less than a minute later I was leaning over her throwing up out the window of a moving bus. The cars, buses, taxis, and everyone on the bus I was riding were looking at me. I was mortified. I just sank back in my chair and wished time travel was possible.
It too, 1 1/2 days before I could really eat anything other than plain white rice and watermelon. Separately, not together.
Leaning over another person to throw up out the bus window is now way to make new friends …