Early this year I was Shanghaied. Due to a series of missed flight connections and weather delays, I ended up in Shanghai instead of Seoul. At the time I was being redirected, I was informed that I would only be three hours behind my original ETA. I agreed. However, I ended up stranded for 34 hours in China. The airlines housed me at a local hotel. I was glad to have a room, given money, and I envisioned being all comfortable while eating some great local cuisine.
The hotel room was not heated and it was in the dead of winter. I was bitterly cold. I was headed to a tropical country and was not properly attired. On top of that, I finally realized that all my means of communication was non existent in China. Not only was I Shanghaied, I was also incommunicado. My family was clueless as to where I was! As soon as it was daylight, I asked to be taken back to the airport.
The staff spoke no English and I spoke no Chinese. Without heat and no internet, I braved being at the airport and still hoped to be able to reach the outside world. My flight was not until midnight. I had 15 hours to do nothing. I was freezing cold the whole time. As I sat by the check-in area, I decided to go inside the pre-departure area with the thought that of having better internet reception. Yes, there’s internet but I could not connect to any. I had an extra water bottle which I had grabbed from the hotel room so instead of throwing it away, I decided to give it to the young lady sitting beside me.
She was a God Send! Olebrey, as she introduced herself, spoke English!!! Finally, I can communicate! She spent the day with me, until she had to leave, and we enjoyed some local cuisine. Olebrey lives in Inner Mongolia and I promised to send her my book! That was February! Just this morning, I got this picture from her and my book, To Love Again, arrived 4 months later! WOW! She never gave up hope and believed that it would get there! And I’m just ecstatic to know that somewhere in the plateaus of Inner Mongolia, I have met a friend who has a copy of my book. To Love Again!