I've had several unpleasant dreams lately. Here are a couple (breaking them up so as not to overload the tag limit).
I was on yet another group trip, this time to Hong Kong, with a group made up largely of young and youngish Asian women. We had just arrived, and our first stop was a large park on the top of hill so high it might better be called a mountain. There was a spectacular view, and the mountain/hill itself was covered with green vegetation. The park was very touristy, with a gigantic parking lot, a bus station (we came by bus), and lots of touristy amenities.
Instead of confining ourselves to gawking at the scenery, we were supposed to doing a craft activity. It was one of those very specific, structured projects with little room for individual variation (I think some kind of paper folding was involved). I had been vigorously reproached by the tour guide for my clumsy American lack of politesse, grace, and social nicety, and I was trying desperately to prove my worthiness by perfectly executing the craft project. This backfired on me, though, since as a result of my care I took too long and was still working on it when the rest of the group had finished. Of course the guide was unhappy about my slowness.
After the craft fiasco, we all went to a restaurant to eat lunch. Because I had been so focused on my project, I hadn't changed my money at the nearby exchange kiosk like everyone else had, so I had no Chinese money. Since the whole place was so extremely touristy, I was clinging to the hope that they might accept payment in dollars. On entering the restaurant, which was cafeteria style, I realized that wouldn't be an option, but the extremely nice girl in front of me in line offered to pay and I could pay her back later.
So all seemed to be going reasonably well, until I tripped with my plate of food and spilled it all over. I was confused at this unexpected catastrophe, and went to get a refill. I was so shaken by my showy accident (food went all over) that I didn't stop to think that they would want payment for my replacement food. I guess I consumed it, because the next thing I remember was a confrontation with a cleaver-wielding chef who demanded payment (and not in dollars). He insinuated that I would be pursued by gangsters if I didn't pay up.
In another unpleasant dream, I was working as a secretary in a large and somewhat weird building. My boss was the woman who in real life is the boss for the business occupying the first two floors of my real-life office building. We all have the impression that she's much stricter than her predecessor, although that's not based on a lot of data.
I was working away, although my job (like my actual, real-life job) didn't require a whole lot. I wasn't actively loafing, so I had no reason to be on the lookout for a scolding of any kind, but the boss came looking for me, extremely angry. She started ranting and raving about how I couldn't "control the infrastructure". I finally realized that she was referring to some cars that were parked illegally downstairs, one in an actual space and a couple in a grassy area next to a sidewalk. None of these cars were in places where I could have seen them from any of the windows--I would have to have been outside, and thus not inside doing my job. I tried to tell her this, but there was no reasoning with her, and she insinuated that I might lose my job over not having called a tow truck*.
*In my real-life job we have limited parking space, and it falls to me to call the tow truck, which I must admit I sometimes do with relish if the car is expensive and parked directly in front of the very visible "no parking" sign. There has been some hinting on the part of a coworker that I'm mean for calling the tow truck (I actually have only called a very few times, and never for very battered, run-down cars that, to my mind, indicate someone operating on less than a full share of resources); other people are perhaps more strict than me regarding cars that don't belong there, so I feel like I'll be seen as not doing my job if I don't deal with it when a car is parked in one of our spots. Apparently this car-towing thing causes me angst than I might have thought.