A Travellerspoint blog

September 2015

Bifeng Temple

I had some leftover eggplant from last night but I had no spoon. When I went to get a spoon, I found out there was free breakfast. I woke Alex up and got breakfast, but I was still mad about an argument we had last night, so I just left Alex there and went to the pagoda near the train station before leaving.

Bifeng temple

Bifeng temple


Bifeng temple

Bifeng temple


Bifeng temple

Bifeng temple

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Castletime

On the way to the hotel we saw a bus station, so we thought that was the one we needed to get to the castle we had planned to visit. It wasn't and I found in the guidebook that it says to take bus 2 to the long distance bus station. OK fine, we hopped on that one but the bus driver told us to get off and take bus 8. OK fine. Someone stopped us because he thought he could help, but he just made us more confused. When he left, we took the bus the bus driver told us to take and it did indeed go to the long distance bus station.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">By that time it was already 9 a.m., I think we left at 7 a.m.! Anyway there was a huge lineup for tickets but I saw a lady with a red sash. If you've read my other entries you will know that this means "helpful person". She really was very helpful, she took my money and went to the front of the line and delivered our tickets straight to us! Best bus station service yet.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The bus left soon after and we were on our way. We had to switch to a random bus in the middle of a busy road that was driving against traffic, very strange, but we got to the castle finally anyway.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">We were starving so we stopped for noodles first. I pointed at some that other people had and they were as delicious as they looked. They were in the top three of my favourite noodles in China, that's for sure. They called them chow mein, but they were unlike any other chow mein I've ever had before.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The castle was really huge and quite typical. There were a bunch of rooms to get lost in and many gardens. I learned that Alex loves water features. Random.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The view from the castle walls was very Chinese looking so it fulfilled part of Alex's China dream.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">After the castle, we walked down the street to the town called Guoyu. It is a walled city and not much has changed in 400 years. People still live there but they are starting to charge for entry and fix the buildings up now. We climbed up the watchtower and looked inside some houses. One of the ticket takers was hammered and at the temple, Alex was tricked into buying an incense stick for 100 yuan... Almost. He got away before they started roughing him up for it.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">We were really tired so we slept all the way home on the bus.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">It was a little difficult to find our hotel when we got back, but we rode the bus until we recognized our street and did it anyway.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">We had dinner at a plain restaurant beside the supermarket. The broccoli was perfect.

Me vs. noodles

Me vs. noodles


Castle wall

Castle wall


Castle tower

Castle tower


Castle tower

Castle tower


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Deified giraffes

Deified giraffes


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


I LOVE WATER FEATURES

I LOVE WATER FEATURES


Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle

Prime Minister Chen&#38;#39;s Castle


Guoyu

Guoyu


Guoyu

Guoyu


Guoyu

Guoyu


Revolutionary painting

Revolutionary painting


Revolutionary painting

Revolutionary painting


Bridge to Guoyu

Bridge to Guoyu


Guoyu

Guoyu

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Heading on out

Alex made me lunch and then we went to the train station to catch the 3:20 p.m. train for Jincheng. It was packed, and there was even a drunken verbal argument going on. It was a short trip and I entertained myself the whole time by chatting with the lady beside me who was just coming back after a year living in St. Petersburg. Really interesting. I gave her my email so maybe I she will invite me to visit her sometime. Who knows.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal;">It was only a two hour ride, so when we got to town it was still light out. We found the hotel in the lonely planet but they said we couldn't stay there. Maybe they were full, maybe they don't accept foreigners, I dunno. They sent us down the street where there was a room that smelled like sewage just for us.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal;">After checking in I took Alex to his first hot pot dinner. It was really difficult to order because of all the little things you have to put in the pot. We tried to point at other people's tables but it was not as easy as at a place with only one or two dishes for each person.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal;">

Alex vs. hot pot

Alex vs. hot pot


Me vs. dough ball

Me vs. dough ball

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Alexander Hitzemann (Alex) attempted rape

Alexander Hitzemann attempted to rape me in my own apartment in Jiaozuo, China on September 18, 2015. If anyone finds this and had a similar experience, please get in touch with me, this will not be tolerated. &#20122;&#21382;&#23665;&#22823;Hitzemann&#20225;&#22270;&#24378;&#22904;&#25105;&#22312;&#28966;&#20316;&#65292;&#20013;&#22269;&#25105;&#33258;&#24049;&#30340;&#20844;&#23507;9&#26376;18&#26085;&#65292;2015&#24180;&#22914;&#26524;&#26377;&#20154;&#35748;&#20026;&#36825;&#21644;&#36807;&#31867;&#20284;&#30340;&#32463;&#21382;&#65292;&#35831;&#19982;&#25105;&#21462;&#24471;&#32852;&#31995;&#65292;&#36825;&#26159;&#19981;&#33021;&#23481;&#24525;&#30340;&#12290; Sorry if the Chinese grammar is wrong.

&#23545;&#19981;&#36215;&#65292;&#22914;&#26524;&#20013;&#22269;&#35821;&#27861;&#26159;&#38169;&#35823;&#30340;

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Relaxing day of temples

Since the car thing didn't work out, I didn't feel like traipsing around all day on buses for four hours again. I opted to stay all day in the city, visiting temples and doing nothing.

First breakfast, though. A Quebecois couple showed me the place "with some nice pastries". I was thinking they actually had found a European cafe, but it was only wonton soup with Chinese donuts. The woman asked for 3.5 yuan, when I pointed at the soup. She suddenly changed her mind and added a greasy donut into the deal. Now it was 4.5 yuan. Haha, OK lady. In the end, she was right, it was delicious, but look at me, do I really need more deep fried carbohydrates? Noooooo.

I went early in the morning to the oldest and largest temple first. Huayuan. It was polished and well kept. They described it as an ancient Chinese art gallery. Hmm. I had never thought of any temple that way, but it's true. It made me feel a little better about paying for all those entry tickets over the years. I was really just going to many many art galleries. As long as the relics were authentic, it made a lot more sense to me.

In the temple, there were all kinds of ancient clay carvings, as well as a pagoda with nice views of the city and the remains of a famous monk, encased in copper, in the baement.

I met a French tour group, so I talked with them for a while, before heading back to the hostel for more water and lotion for my parched skin. I laid down on the bed and couldn't get up for about two hours. Oh no.

I found a place on Trip Advisor for lunch, which seemed like a Shanxi noodle place. I followed the map, but unfortunately, it turned out to be a normal fast food chain. The people who had gone before hadn't bothered to read any of the signs, they just saw any noodle place and went in. Then, they put their pictures up on the internet and everything was wrong. It wasn't helping the indpendent businesses at all, it just funneled people to the fast food chain...When I saw the big red sign, I had to double check, and yep, that was the right place.

Figuring the "hole in the wall" noodle place had simply expanded since the review was writting, I got a bowl of soup and went in for my conveyor belt noodle experience. Unpleasant. While being yelled at in a foreign language is a daily occurrence for me, it didn't faze me. I did however, enjoy the noodles. They tasted "cleaner" and the soup was tastier and less greasy than these other places you see everywhere. Once again, I was a sideshow, people took photos with me and I left, onto the next temple.

First though, I stopped at the nine dragon screen, a huge tile wall that used to guard a palace over 500 years ago.

My last stop of the day was Shanhua temple. I wasn't very enthusiastic about this one, but there wasn't much else to do, so I went anyway. I thought that it was actually better than the first one. The clay sculptures were more lifelike and the stories that went with them were more interesting.

I found myself dozing off as I sat on the cool tiles of the main hall. Not many other people were visiting, so it was calm and serene. In addition, there was also a beautiful garden on the west side, where I snoozed away the rest of the afternoon.

Eventually, I went back to the hostel and then remembered I needed food for the train tomorrow. I ended up with 100 yuan worth of fruit and other snacks. How does that happen?!

I went to bed with yogurt and an orange for dinner, then woke up early for my 14 hour train ride home.

Breakfast

Breakfast


Won ton soup and donut

Won ton soup and donut


Huayuan temple

Huayuan temple


Huayuan temple

Huayuan temple


Huayuan temple

Huayuan temple


Huayuan temple

Huayuan temple


Huayuan temple booties

Huayuan temple booties


Huayuan temple

Huayuan temple


Huayuan temple

Huayuan temple


Drum tower

Drum tower


Nine Dragon Screen

Nine Dragon Screen


Nine Dragon Screen

Nine Dragon Screen


Nine Dragon Screen

Nine Dragon Screen


East Wheat noodles

East Wheat noodles


East wheat conveyor belt

East wheat conveyor belt


East Wheat noodle shop

East Wheat noodle shop


Shanhua temple

Shanhua temple


Shanhua temple

Shanhua temple


Shanhua temple

Shanhua temple


Shanhua temple

Shanhua temple


Shanhua temple

Shanhua temple


Shanhua temple

Shanhua temple

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Finally went to the Great Wall!

The train arrived early Saturday morning and I attempted to go to Yungang caves by following the directions in the Lonely Planet. It was a few years old and the buses were different now, though. I took the #4 like it said, even though the driver told me not to.

Someone was yelling at me in Chinese trying to get me to take his taxi. I didn't want to get off and get another bus with that harassment going on, so I stayed on the bus until it got to the terminus, just like my book said. Unfortunately, the next bus wasn't there.

Luckily, I had recently seen bus #3, so I walked back about 1 km and caught it. That's the one that went to the caves.

The caves were really fantastic and definitely worth the trip. There were 40 caves but most of them were inaccessible, due to renovations I guess. The wind has really worn the structures down a lot. It's too bad, but what has been protected is still amazing. The most beautiful caves were painted in bright, dazzling colour a long long time ago, but those were the ones where photos weren't allowed. So, you'll have to be content with the statues that are monotone. Sorry folks.

After a few hours of ogling the statues, which are really interesting because you can see the Indian influence. Some of them looked almost Hindu.

Anyway, it was only noon when I got back to town, so I decided to go and see an old chunk of the Great Wall, finally. This one is actually free, and I was the only one to climb it probably that day. There were also sheep and cows grazing peacefully inside. I had to push some sheep off of the path to get to the wall, actually. It was just a bunch of clay and rammed earth, but I knew I liked it better than the renovated one in Beijing.

I picked up a beer from the slowest shopkeeper in the world and started down the road back to Datong, where I could flag down a bus back to the city. Earlier, I'd figured I'd stay in the village, but it was very very primitive and I didn't have a chance. I think maybe I saw the brothel, but that was about the only thing close to a motel in this place.

As I was walking along and sipping my warm beer, an old man with black teeth on a scooter with a toddler on his lap rolled slowly by and laughed at me. He yelled "PIJIU" and stopped a few metres in front of me. He beckoned me to get on the back. I thought maybe he knew I would get stranded there, so I jumped on and he brought me to the road. I said thank you many times.

As I was about to sit down and enjoy my peanuts and beer, the bus arrived. Maybe it was the last one, speeding toward me. I flailed my arms around, afraid it wouldn't stop, but it did, and I rode back to town with my open beer, yep. They laughed and let me on anyway.

Some people got off the bus near part of the city walls. The hostel I wanted to stay at was inside the walls, so I got off with them. In reality, I didn't know where I was at all. I cursed myself for being too impulsive, once again.

The street signs were non-existent, but eventually, I came across a ticket booth for something or other. Someone there even spoke English and he sent me in the right direction. I was about 20 minutes from the hostel on foot. It was on a pedestrian street in the newly renovated "old town". Yep, you read that right. You also have to walk through a kids' clothing store to get to this hostel, no joke. So confusing.

No one was immediately available to check me in, though. So, I wandered around asking everyone if they worked there until someone came out to take my money. The owner of the hostel said that if I wanted to carpool with three other people, she could arrange a trip for us tomorrow, but she didn't specify where.

I quickly fell asleep and the other woman in my room woke me up.

"OK, we found four people, do you want to go to Heng Shan tomorrow?" she said.

"No, no mountains," I mumbled, in a half-asleep daze. "Thanks, though. I've had enough mountains."

"Oh, OK, where do you want to go then?"

I threw a few pages of my guidebook at her and attempted to point at places that weren't mountains. I fell asleep again, but two hours later I was woken up again by this crazy woman.

"Hey, do you want to go to the mountain and then one of your places?"

"No... no... I don't want to go to the mountain, goodnight." Good god. And I pulled the blanket over my head and passed out again.

Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Yungang grottoes

Yungang grottoes


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Great Wall in Deshengbao

Great Wall in Deshengbao


Datong Youth Hostel

Datong Youth Hostel

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Suddenly realized I have a really long weekend

I realized I had most of Friday off and all of Monday off on Friday morning. My schedule was pretty good, at least for the first few weeks of school anyway. So, I headed out to Datong, in the north of Shanxi province.

After class, I packed quickly and went to the train station, just in time for the 12:45 train to Zhengzhou. I saw my student on the bus there and he helped me buy my ticket. The ticket lady wouldn't sell me a ticket to Datong, only to Zhengzhou, my student said it was because there wasn't enough time. Whatever.

In Zhengzhou, I had about an hour to buy my ticket to Datong. It ended up taking 45 minutes, the lines were so long. Fifteen minutes before my train left, I was running to the gate. I really had a hard time finding it too. I followed the crowd to the wrong train! My car was 16, so it was really far, all the way to the end of the train. When I got there, the ticket man told me it was the wrong one, so I had switch to the other side of the track, and then run all the way to the other end of the train on the other side of the track. Phew.

I got on with just enough time, sweating like a pig, because I wore an unseasonably warm sweater. Oops. The train was full of drunk old guys slurping cup o' ramen and slobbering over chicken feet.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The long road back to Jiaozuo

In the morning, I found th bus to the railway station quite easily, but it was way too early to leave. The ticket I bought at 7 a.m. didn't leave until 11. I found a rice noodle type place for breakfast by taking a random bus somewhere until I got somewhere that was open. I picked up a ton of dim sum for my 24 hour journey home and tried to get back to the train station after I drank an entire pot of tea to myself.

I read the sign wrong and took another bus to the bus station instead. Ugh, must pay more attention to Chinese characters. Anyway, I found the right one and got back to the station with more than an hour to spare.

I arrived in Guangzhou an hour early for my next train. I was happy to find the transfer channel where I was escorted 20 feet to my next gate. I thought the connection would be tight, because I'd have to go out and come in again, but it was so much smoother than that, it was awesome.

I settled in my bed for a long night of reading and watching A Night at the Roxbury on my iPod until it died.

Oh yeah, my boss also wrote me 30 frantic emails looking for me. She said she has been looking for me since Sept. 1. Oh really? Why didn't you send an email on that day? Why did you wait five days?

She asked me why I wasn't in Jiaozuo yet. I told her I was coming back on the same day the other teachers were and she told me my start date was different.

Oh yeah? that's funny because I have proof that I emailed you back in JUNE asking when my start day was and you NEVER ANSWERED IT ALL SUMMER. Just shut up now, OK?

Me vs. rice noodles

Me vs. rice noodles


Rice noodles

Rice noodles


Rice noodles

Rice noodles


Rice cake things

Rice cake things


This is the right bus (&#38;amp;#28779;&#38;amp;#36710;&#38;amp;#31449<img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_wink.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=';)' title='' /> is train station SEE?!

This is the right bus (&#38;amp;#28779;&#38;amp;#36710;&#38;amp;#31449;) is train station SEE?!

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Got kicked out of the house

In the morning, Helen and Carlo dropped me off at a park and said we would have lunch in the mountains later. I walked around and had a nap, then met them, excited for lunch, at their office again. Suddenly, the restaurant wasn't open, and we went to this shitty sushi place. OK, fine, whatever.

At that point, I still believed everything Helen said. Even talking about "business" all night, and how everyone in her line of work is a scammer. That should have raised alarm bells, but I was just interested in their little world of furniture part sales, I guess. Fascinating.

It didn't even phase me when Helen "joked" that I should stand up and entertain them with ex-boyfriend stories. Upon further reflection, I was clearly only there to entertain them for a while, not to actually have some sort of real human experience with.

So, after lunch I went to the park and rode around on little boats, to and from different marshy islands. It was nice, but because I wasted the morning at their sushi place, I didn't have the time to really see the park like I wanted.

At closing time, I made my way back to the gate and my phone beeped, it was Helen.

"Hi, did u take the boat ride? We r going to shenzen later the Demo class for carlo is at 9 am tomorrow morning. How long will it take for u to come to my office Lo?"

Ummm what? are you kicking me out? I had no idea, so I just went back to see. I have been left in people's houses alone before, as long as I locked the door behind me, it wasn't a problem. But no, when I got there, I was in fact, kicked out.

Carlo had been asking me how to do a demo class and only half listened when I tried to explain. So, it made sense, but I was never told that this demo class was happening TOMORROW. So many times, they could have told me to leave the day before, but they didn't. Helen still hasn't said sorry at all, and I'm still thinking about how to write her a reference.

They didn't attempt to help me find another place at all either. Just pointed to the big 7 Days hotel across the street. Thanks, could've done that myself. I fell asleep watching Nim's Island, quite possibly the worst film based on travel ever.

Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park


Seven Star Crags Park

Seven Star Crags Park

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Italian cheese and Portuguese wine!

Sarah and I went to the bakery for breakfast and had a leisurely lunch at "Hong Kong Style Restaurant". The milk tea was definitely authentic, I knew that at least.

Sarah is really funny and I wished I could bring her with me, really! We both acknowledge that we talk too much and can't keep our mouths shut when we think of something that must be said. A principal of mine in Honduras calls this a lack of prudence. She dropped me off at the bus station on my way to my last host, Helen in Zhaoqing.

Helen met me at her office only a few stops from the bus station. She spoke perfect English, even with a posh accent. Her dad's from England, so it all makes sense when she explains it. Her boyfriend from Italy was there, and I gave them a bottle of wine from Macau, which we enjoyed later, along with some PARMESAN CHEESE from ITALY. Wow.

I dropped my stuff off at Carlo's house because I couldn't stay at Helen's. This was the first fishy part about her. She bought me dinner at a nice restaurant that was open late, and we talked late into the night at Carlo's house about the furniture part sales business. It's sleazier than you'd think.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

To the beach! In the rain!

I didn't manage to get out of the house until noon again. I was grateful Sarah had left me the key before she went to work. It was a long haul to the beach, so I made sure to leave at noon on the dot.

Strangely, Sarah told me there were no buses in Yangjiang. When I got outside though, I saw two go by. I got on one that seemed to go to the bus station. A nice man helped me out and confirmed I was correct.

"I don't say English for a long time," he said. Good enough for me.

I took a bus to Zhapo, and got a motorcycle taxi to Hailing and the Maritime Silk Road museum. It was going to rain heavily all day, so it was as good a plan as any.

The museum was quite expensive, but it was cool to see the old trading boat still filled with old porcelain sitting in the water in the massive hangar. This museum was purpose built, just for this boat. They had literally scooped it up, with all the surrounding sea water and plopped it down into the museum. Ah, dictatorships can do anything they put their minds to with enough public money. It was really impressive.

They had only uncovered the ship in 2007, and had only started sifting through the contents in 2013, so there were also actual archaeologists on display, hunched over boxes of sand trying to piece together the past.

The whole building looked like an alien egg sac, which had been planted on the beach to hatch. The inside appeared like the hull of a ship, of course.

This time, I actually believed the artefacts were real. One, because I saw a similar museum in Korea, and two because of course there had been boats in the past, I know that much about history.

I've seen a lot of pottery and to me, these were some of the most beautiful and intricate I've ever seen from that time period (the Song Dynasty 12th-13th centuries). I just thought it was a really great way to spend another rainy afternoon.

After the rain stopped, I went out to the beach. It was already 4:30 p.m., so I walked down the long clean strip of sand once and caught the yellow bus, which is completely unpredictable, back to Zhapo.

Sarah was frantically messaging me wondering where I was. I told her I tried to go back to her place ever since 6 p.m. drove right by me the first time I saw it, and then didn't come for another hour the second time I saw it. I really didn't get back to the city until 9 p.m.

We grabbed some more dim sum on our way to karaoke with her friends. This was the most luxurious KTV I'd ever seen. Romanesque facade in front of six floors of absolute madness. Even though her friends were paying way too much for the beer, only about three or four of them took turns singing with me. Everyone else played dice. I don't know, whatever.

At the end of the night, everyone up and left us with the bill. What? Maybe I had three beers, and some chips and fruit, I wasn't about to pay for the whole party. I offered to chip in, but Sarah said it's the rule that the drunkest person has to pay. Oh man, Chinese etiquette again, seems to cause more trouble than it's worth. Sarah tried to track this drunk fellow down, but he said he didn't know where he was when he answered the phone. Finally, he called someone equally drunk and told him to pay. This second drunk man did, vowing to get the money back from drunk guy #1. Anyway, we just went home and slept it all off, waking late in the morning the next day.

Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Maritime Silk Road Museum

Maritime Silk Road Museum


Hailing beach

Hailing beach


Hailing beach

Hailing beach


Hailing beach

Hailing beach


Hailing beach

Hailing beach


Hailing beach

Hailing beach


Hailing beach

Hailing beach

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)