In the summer of 2008 I went with a student Ambassador program to China. I had just turned 17 and was with about fifty other kids from Wisconsin and Ohio, it was really my first time being away from home and without any other relatives. The trip lasted two and a half weeks and the group toured Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Hong Kong. It was in all a life changing experience and fun. However there were several things that happened while I was there, some things I couldn't really explain. Here are some of them.
The first thing that happened was probably in my mind the most frightening to me. The group was in Xian, actually during our stay in Xian we stayed overnight in a smaller village (we stayed in a hotel though) for one of the days but I forgot what the smaller village was called, anyways we were at this hotel and we basically had one floor to ourselves (there were 2-3 roommates in each room.) We checked into the hotel and we were all getting set in our room. We were instructed to meet in the hotel restaurant at a certain time (which was about an hour after we were getting our things set in our room). I remember at one point leaving the hotel floor with someone for something than coming back upstairs to our floor, there were some people in the hall and others in their room. The person I was rooming with was in someone else's room at the time and I walked back into the hotel room.
I remember sitting in there by myself, listening to the others walking in the hall and sort of just organizing my bags. I also remember noticing that the room clock was not the correct time so I had to check my cell phone to get the real time (I had my phone mostly turned off the entire trip because I made a stupid move and left my charger at home in WI). After what I thought to be only several minutes the noise of people seemed to settle down and I thought maybe they were all getting ready for dinner. I continued to sit in my room and after another few minutes I thought that the halls were just maybe to quiet. I didn't think that it was that late though and that it was that close to dinner so I just sat there again. Then I heard as if someone ran down the hall (it sounded to me like it came from the direction of the elevators and went down the hall). I instantly thought that it was just someone from the group just having fun because I heard the movement in the hall again (it sounded like it was at my end of the hall). I got up because the sound went away and I took that as the person possibly left for downstairs. I basically thought "I should head down to dinner" and with that I left my room. As I walked I thought I heard what sounded to be someone about to leave their room, it was like a doorknob was turning and I heard some movement behind me. I remember sort of looking back to empty hall, but I didn't think much about it. I went to the floor where the restaurant was on and the group leaders were standing there, they caught sight of me and kind of laughed and told me I was late for dinner. I remember being confused and not thinking I was that late, but I saw that all the students in the group were already seated. I had to sit with the leaders that night for dinner and they told me that they were wondering who was missing but they couldn't really decipher who it was (they stated I was gone for about 10 minutes).
I just remember sitting there and thinking who was in the hall and in that room than? I even told them at dinner than I didn't think I was that late because I heard what sounded like people still in their rooms and in the hall when I was on my way down to the elevator. They just looked at me, somewhat amused and in wonder about what I was talking about, they didn't really press me any further on my statements and we just went on with dinner.
I'm pretty sure no employees were in the hall because the hotel was pretty vacant when we were there, I probably saw about 5 employees downstairs when coming in and throughout our first few hours there and I'm just pretty sure no one would just go into someone's room like that.
Another thing that happened was during our home stay portion of the trip. About four people were assigned to a family in a small village outside either Xian or Shanghai and at each home stay. I was assigned with three other girls in the group and we were taken to the house we would be staying at (which would only be for about 2 days) I shared a room with a girl named Milly for the duration of the home stay. The room was a good size and there were two full size beds in it.
On our first night there I was lying there, at some point I dozed off but woke up again. I just continued to lay there trying to sleep again but after a few seconds I heard what sounded like heavy silent breathing. I thought that it was Milly but I realized it sounded like it was coming from behind me, at first it didn't scare me because I thought maybe it was the A/C kicking in but it went away after I turned my head to look at the A/C. I laid there again and brought the covers closer to me and then it felt as though while during this, like someone was pressing onto the end of the bed. Milly's bed pretty much less than five feet from mine and I could see her while this was happening so it wasn't her. I just laid there and tried to just let the feeling pass but it felt like it stayed there. I didn't want to look at the end but I couldn't help myself but no one was there, nothing it was just blank. I had a hard time getting to bed that night, I think maybe it was due to the constant traveling though, but after an hour or so after the bed and breathing incident the room got really dark and I just pulled the covers over my head.
There was another incident that happened in the house and it was when I was upstairs alone (the three other girls were downstairs and I had run back upstairs for something) I should note that the four of us had the second floor to ourselves and we stayed in the two rooms upstairs. I was digging in my suitcase for whatever it was I needed and remember hearing what sounded like someone being on the second floor (there was sort of a sitting area upstairs with a table, than the two rooms and a bathroom.) The noise sounded like it was coming from the sitting area and I thought maybe the families son was upstairs (they had a 5 year old son.) I started to walk to the door since I thought maybe the son was playing with one of the toys that I saw upstairs but no one was there. I walked downstairs and the girls and the mom of the family were there, and maybe 10-15 minutes later her son came in with two friends.
Probably the final thing to happen while in China was during our last portion of the trip. We were in Hong Kong for the last 2 days of the trip and were at the Kimberly Hotel. My roommate there was a girl named Mariah. At one point in the first night I went to take a shower, Mariah had left some time beforehand and I was in the bathroom. While showering I heard someone speaking in the room and at some point the voice came to the door of the bathroom. I quickly thought that Mariah and someone else came back to the room so I didn't think much about it. I got out and while drying off and what not I heard the speaking again but it sounded quieter. I opened the door to the room and the room was empty. The first thing that came to mind was maybe they left but I would have heard the door open and close since the room door was right next to the bathroom. Than I thought it was the leaders doing their nightly room checks but it was far too early for that. I sat on my bed and soon Mariah came back and sometime later the leaders came to do their room checks. I had asked her while we were watching some TV show if she came into the room at all, she of course shook her head no and stated that she went with a few other people to walk around a part of Hong Kong with.
And no the TV was not on, we didn't really watch TV, mostly we would only watch TV to watch commercials and see how different they were from the USA's.