The distance from the school to the airport.

Making a Plan#

After learning the specific vacation time, we started preparing to buy tickets to go home. Plane or train? The dilemma we faced at this time was the 48-hour nucleic acid test report. Although it was my third year in this place, due to the school closure during the epidemic, I only spent the second half of 2019 outside the school and knew nothing about this place.

Being unfamiliar with the place, I chose to follow the crowd to plan the itinerary. We planned to leave the school the day before the flight to go to the hospital for nucleic acid testing, then stay overnight at the airport and depart the next morning. At this time, we had no idea about the series of changes that would follow.

With the mentality of leaving this place early to avoid any trouble, I bought a flight at 6 am. My companions were surprised that there was such an early flight. They bought tickets around 9 am, giving them more flexibility.

Then, one mishap after another occurred.

Convenience Comes Late#

Does late humanistic care count as a betrayal of the existing plan? We should have thought about and guessed that the school would arrange for students to leave the campus. Yes, we could go to the university activity center every day to complete the nucleic acid test, and we could take the school bus to the train station and airport at 10:00 and 15:00 every day.

What a good school, what good humanistic care, but why couldn't they notify us earlier? We adjusted our schedule: leave the day before, stay overnight at the airport, and leave in the morning. This arrangement was also made for my sake by my companions. Their flights at 9 or 10 am naturally allowed them to leave the campus in the early morning of the departure day without staying overnight at the airport.

Since that was the case, we didn't do what they wanted and continued to prepare for the upcoming exams.

System Malfunction#

Suddenly, the day before departure arrived. At this time, we didn't know that they would be in a panic for delaying for so long, and I would cause more and more mishaps in this panic.

On this day, we didn't arrive at the university activity center early. At this time, the seats in the lobby were already full, with about three to four hundred people. By 4 pm, they said the doctor was on the way and asked us to wait a little longer.

By 5 pm, it finally started. After a few people were tested, they stopped letting more people in. They said that the autonomous region had temporarily announced a nationwide nucleic acid test today, causing network paralysis, and advised us to go back to the dormitory and wait for the community test at 5:30 pm. However, we were very clear about the efficiency of this place. If they said it would start at 5:30 pm, it would not begin until 7 or 8 pm, which would be a "high efficiency" that could be recorded in history when the sun rises from the west. We decided to wait a little longer.

We regretted not having a backup nucleic acid test the day before. It didn't cost anything, so why didn't we do it the day before? We didn't expect that we still underestimated the school's ability to mess things up, and we still trusted the school too much.

At 5:30 pm, there were only about a dozen people left in the lobby. We learned from the staff that it was highly likely that we couldn't get tested here. At this time, the dormitory group also started notifying us to prepare for the nucleic acid test. We pinned our hopes on the efficiency of the school's nucleic acid testing and hurriedly ran back to the dormitory. Snowflakes were falling from the sky.

There was no movement, which was reasonable. We started to get anxious and consider whether to leave the campus now and find a mobile nucleic acid testing station. We struggled, and I forgot how many times I opened and closed my suitcase. But as the sky darkened, we didn't know where to go. We gave up and waited for the nucleic acid test in the dormitory.

Finally, after 7 pm, we saw the dawn. We were grateful that it didn't delay any longer, but we were also disappointed to see the long line that had formed in the corridor. At this point, I had become indifferent to everything.

At this time, we received news that it might not be possible to stay overnight at the airport.

After completing a difficult task, we decided to have a good meal. Unfortunately, as one of the last colleges to leave, the cafeteria only had a few windows left to serve the long lines of people, and the demand exceeded supply. We chose the newly opened noodle window and took a few bites before disregarding the decision to "have a good meal" - the food was hard to swallow (of course, it was also due to a day of anxiety and uneasiness).

I bought two small bread rolls and was glad that I had the habit of bringing some dry food.

Finally Leaving the Campus#

We arranged to take a car at 9:30 pm. FXK and the driver discussed the price over the phone, which was 25 yuan per person, but they thought it was expensive and decided to ask other drivers at the school gate.

Even in Xinjiang, the night at 9 pm in winter was completely dark. How should I put it, the winter night in Urumqi was always accompanied by faint snowflakes and thin fog. At this time, the breeze felt like sharp rusty knives grinding on my hand as I pulled my suitcase. I regretted not wearing gloves, but even if I had gloves, how much could they protect me from these sharp knives?

I had many regrets.

At the gate, MYL found that he forgot to bring the printed departure application. With an anxious mood, he went into the guard room to inquire. Surprisingly, the guard there was not like the ones I had seen before. He said, "It's okay, as long as it's in the student affairs system. Show it to us." ??? Is this for real? Did I hear it correctly? We actually have such a person in our school? Shouldn't it be "No! The school requires you to go back and get it"? I was delighted that my speculation didn't come true and mentally saluted this extraordinary person.

Indeed, no matter where you are, the working people are always hardworking. Even in this remote place in the middle of the night, there were still drivers waiting for customers. As soon as we came out, five or six people surrounded us and talked about the price. I greatly admired FXK. In this remote mountain valley, he was still able to negotiate with those drivers and saved 5 yuan for each of us. At the same time, we betrayed the car we had originally booked over the phone.

Enthusiasm? Fear#

As the winner of the negotiation, we divided into two cars and headed to the airport. I sat in the car with QZ. The driver started a conversation with us, and I don't know when it started. He kept talking like a victorious rooster, but unfortunately, he was talking to two introverted guys, and QZ just agreed with him.

He suggested finding a hotel for us to stay for one night and then go to the airport the next day. He even called the airport to inquire if they allowed overnight stays. Unfortunately, he didn't put it on speakerphone and only relayed the result to us. Even more unfortunately, I am a skeptical person. In this unfamiliar place, in the middle of the night, in this dark car, I didn't want to believe him.

The winner of the negotiation lived up to his reputation. He enthusiastically analyzed and persuaded us to go to the hotel. His enthusiasm made me fearful. We couldn't resist anymore, and I verbally agreed. We made it clear that the decision was not in our hands; we were just "little brothers" to the other two. We tried to shift the pressure and opened the navigation on our phones to confirm if the route was correct. At this time, I regretted not writing down the license plate number of the car we were in for future reference.

The driver was obviously a "big brother." He called the driver of the other car and asked him to persuade our "boss." The more he did this, the more determined I became not to follow him. I had very little experience leaving the campus in Xinjiang and had very little contact with Xinjiang society. I didn't know what the "enthusiasm of the Xinjiang people" that the media advertised was like. Perhaps the actions of this "boss" were indeed just "ordinary enthusiasm," but he did make me feel resistant.

I told MYL on WeChat to stay firm in our beliefs. The result was that we decided to go to the airport. As the airport on the map got closer and closer, the driver told us his life advice, which was that a person should have their own opinions and not always think about what their friends think. He tried to persuade the two of us to go to the hotel regardless of the other two. We played a game of Tai Chi with him.

When we arrived at the airport, at a fork in the road, he didn't go towards the "Airport Road" but turned towards the "Welcome Road." I became nervous. After a few rounds of Tai Chi and in the following conversation, he asked about our destination and confirmed that we were going to the airport. I didn't understand why he took a detour. I just stared at the map and fortunately arrived at the airport safely. It seemed that we disappointed the driver's enthusiasm.

Still Need a Hotel#

To be cautious, when the other car decided to go to Tx, I didn't tell the driver to change the original destination (the other terminal), after all, I had already felt his impatience, and I just wanted to arrive at the airport safely.

The two of us waited outside the airport for a long time. The pitch-black airport was annoying. When they arrived at the other terminal, we went to meet them. On the way there, they were approached by hotel solicitors, but it didn't matter. We had already decided to go to the hotel.

After a few more rounds, a small van took us to the hotel. On the way, I still stared at the map. I didn't feel safe in this place.

Around midnight, it was truly late at night now. We finally settled down, thinking that things would finally proceed as planned. My mind was tense, and I didn't plan to use anything in the hotel. I just saw it as a place to rest. I played two rounds of Honor of Kings with MYL, went to bed after 1 am, and lay down on the bed. I took off my coat and covered myself with it. According to the time, I had to get up after 3 am to go to the airport. I had only a few hours to sleep, but as soon as I lay down, I woke up. I opened my phone to check the nucleic acid test report, but it wasn't there. I comforted myself that it had only been a few hours, how could it be so fast.

A Miserable Day#

We left after 3 am, and it was still dark outside. I kept refreshing my phone, but I also knew that it wouldn't be so fast.

I asked airport staff if there was a place nearby for nucleic acid testing (I was getting anxious). I tried all the channels for nucleic acid test results multiple times, but there was no result. The phone number in the official account was just for show, the online consultation in the mini-program was a maintenance interface, and the hospital phone number I found online wasn't working. I felt disheartened.

Seeing that the check-in time was about to end, I tried everything I could but to no avail. I changed my flight. I didn't know when the report would be available. I changed to a flight at 5 pm, which meant that I would have to stay at the airport for the whole day.

I found a quiet seat. Do you remember the two bread rolls I bought at school? I took out the drier one as breakfast because I knew I could still eat it if it was dry. If I went without water for the whole morning and ate dry food at noon, it would be extremely difficult to swallow. I had to manage my resources wisely. I slept with my head on the suitcase. Now, the only thing I could do was conserve energy.

This position was not conducive to deep sleep, and combined with my tense nerves, I woke up soon. MYL asked about my situation on WeChat, and I replied. Then he let me know where we could find our nucleic acid test reports. Yes, they hadn't been uploaded to all the platforms yet, but they could be found in that place I had overlooked. Unfortunately, it was too late, and there wasn't much fluctuation in my emotions. I was mentally and physically exhausted.

When MYL was checking in, he came to find me. What else could we do? I went back to sleep.

QZ arrived at his destination and asked about my situation on WeChat: "Is it possible? Is there still someone left in Xinjiang?" I didn't reply. I didn't have the energy to joke with him.

Of course, it wasn't over yet. I received a text message: Delayed. Fortunately, it was only delayed by half an hour, and fortunately, it wasn't canceled. Fortunately... I, a living being in a desperate situation, was filled with optimism.

Finally, things returned to normal. During this period, there were only a few minor incidents, such as baggage inspection twice during check-in, going to the wrong boarding gate, and waiting for a long time in the cold wind because the previous shuttle bus was full when we boarded the plane. But these were just small accidents and not a big deal.

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