Despite, or rather perhaps because of, my hard push yesterday afternoon, I limped into Urumqi this morning a physical wreck. The blister on my left heel was giving me grief, and my legs had no strength. I was all uphill, and surprise surprise, a headwind.
It just so happened that Marija Kozin was due to arrive in Urumqi by train today, and we had arranged to meet up at the Xinjiang International Hostel. I was keen to get to the hostel as soon as possible, have a shower, change clothes, and get to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) as soon as possible to enquire about extending my visa.
I arrived at the hostel at 10am. The hostel was closed due to refurbishing. Darn it. The girl on the reception recommended the Xinjiang Hotel near the train station. A 30 minute skate away. I still had eaten no breakfast. But I was a man on a mission. I skated to the hotel, checked in in cheap dorm-style room, told them that my friend would be coming, and then headed straight for the PSB.
The PSB was closed. Until 15:30. Marija arrives at 15:45 or 14:45. Or thereabouts. If I don’t meet her at the train station, then she will go all the way to the hostel (15 minutes by taxi from the train station), only to be given my note telling her to go to the other hotel (15 minutes by taxi from the youth hostel, or 5 minutes walk from the train station).
Talk about hectic.
I am very tired. Over-tired. I am in a state of floating surreal out-of-body craziness.
I eat lunch and meet Marija at 15:45. One issue sorted. Marija’s bags dropped at the hotel, we both high-tail it to the PSB. No worries. Your passport with the extended visa will be ready to be picked up on Wednesday. Maybe. Perhaps Thursday. Perhaps Friday.
Oh well, at least I will have an extra month in the country.
The rest of the day (what was left of it) was spent wandering aimlessly around the city and sleeping.