On Tuesday I was welcomed back to Beijing in a most unpleasant way. I got off of my 11 hour flight and headed into the office, because, well, I am just that good of an employee, and after about 4 hours of work I headed back to my hotel to get some rest. I strode confidently past the front desk and headed up to my little corner of Beijing on the 7th floor. I swiped my magnetic key and opened the door to a mess. There was some garbage on the floor of my kitchen. As my eyes panned up I realized that there was something very, very wrong. The freezer drawers were piled on my counter and there were various plastic bags thrown about the room. Some random papers I left were on the tables but other than that, everything I owned was gone. Totally gone. Electronics, clothing, toiletries, shoes, food, everything. I was convinced my sister (who had been staying in my place while I was in California) had left the door open and a band of Beijing bandits (I kind of imagined kung-fu versions of the Hamburglar) had run off with my things. Once I pulled my head together I called the front desk to explain that everything which had been in my apartment had vaporized. They proceeded to explain to me that I had checked out. Checked out, er no. So I head down to the front desk to explain that I had not checked out and abandoned my things to the hotel staff. They proceeded to apologize (kind of, kind of laugh about the situation) and to be honest I was not in the mood. 11 hours on a plane, 4am California time arguing about whether I had checked out and whose fault the situation was was not doing it for me. So the hotel staff puts me up in a temporary room for the night which had just been abandoned by a chain smoker and tell me that my things will be returned shortly. The next morning I woke up, headed down to my old apartment to find things still in the exact same state and steaming mad I tell the hotel staff that my stuff needs to be returned, in whole, by the evening. A work day later I come back to my apartment to find things surprisingly back to normal. Things were replaced in my apartment with a frightening sense of accuracy it was as though they had either a) expected me to come back or b) gone through my things before numerous times....
So my things are back, mostly, even my food was back although I hesitate to eat the frozen/refrigerated items because lord knows what happened to them during their 48 hour journey away from my fridge. The staff even put some flowers in my room as a apology. Yeah, I'm still not in the mood. I am a little concerned that my silent protest while I walk through the lobby is being mistaken as the same general disinterest that I likely displayed the first three months of my living at the apartment.
On lighter notes, Dad and Kirsten are in Tibet right now with Liz and are headed back to Beijing in a couple days. They expressed interest in Peking duck which I am obliged to help procure.