No tickee, …

Here is another example of why I need my wife to take care if me and to protect me from myself.

A group of us planned a trip to the northern city of Harbin for the weekend. The best way to travel in China seems to be by train: the distances between cities are great, and the train system is well-organized and convenient. The ticketing system is labor-intensive, though, a little out of step with the general modernization trend in China.

You can buy your ticket ahead of time, and you can buy online, but in order to board the train, you need a paper ticket. If you buy online, you still need to physically go to the train station to pick up your ticket. The ticket has a bar code that is scanned by a reader at the gate. A lot of the train system is automated, but if you don’t have that paper ticket, you aren’t getting on the train. If you were to lose your ticket, you’re in trouble. Big trouble. You do not want to lose your ticket.

Can you guess where this story’s going?

A coworker bought my ticket for me and handed it to me a few days before our trip. Being the responsible grownup that I am, I promptly lost the ticket.

Now go back a few paragraphs and review the part about “big trouble.”

I tore apart my desk, went through every pocket in every piece of clothing, flipped through every book, and I couldn’t find the darn ticket.

I figured that I should just buy another ticket. I looked online, and of course that train was completely full; no tickets were available for that train.

And then I thought to look inside my passport, where I should have put it, because I would need my passport to get on the train (don’t ask why). Sure enough, there was the ticket, right where it should have been, and right where I should have looked for it in the first place.

Honey, if you had been here, this wouldn’t have happened. I am really stupid over here without you…

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