I have been having quite a lot of e-mail correspondence with my landlord lately (most recently in regard to whether and how long I might extend my lease for). Bringing this to a close with a bit of friendly small talk the other day, I had given him and his family my good wishes for the upcoming National Holiday Week and had enquired whether they were going away anywhere.
He replied, "Yes, we're going to Huangshan. Have fun for both of us!"
Now, I'm sure he meant, "I hope you have fun too." Well, reasonably sure... But his English is usually pretty good. And the 'Golden Week' holiday at the beginning of October brings out such enormous crowds of Chinese sightseers that any vaguely appealing tourist destination (and the scenic Yellow Mountain area is one of the top draws in this corner of the country) is going to resemble a scene from Soylent Green. I couldn't help thinking that the poor man had imagined the hell he is likely to be subjecting himself to next week, and it was a sudden upsurge of despair that had distorted the goodwill message he had intended to give me.
I'm glad I'm staying at home. Quite literally AT HOME. I might not set foot outside for the entire week.