Somewhere In China


You see this monkey (pictured above)? I feel like that guy looks. CRAZY! I’m stuck between Hong Kong (AMAZING!) and Beijing (??). The ship docked in Hong Kong a few days ago, and everyone had the option of sailing with the ship to Qingdao or traveling overland/whatever and meeting back up with the ship before she sails to Kobe next week.

Er, guess which one I chose? Right.

I decided that after 3 months of traveling with 900 people (who I adore), I’d strike out on my own and see if I could get from Hong Kong to Beijing to Qingdao on my own. Craving the challenge of living out of a regular sized backpack and trying to navigate almost an entire continent with a wicked language barrier.

Now I find myself in some random metropolis dead in the middle of their major bi-annual Trade Show! I tried to get a room at the Holiday Inn because well…in the U.S. its like what $70 a night right? In China, not so much. They wanted $350 for one night! Granted it is the sexiest Holiday Inn I’ve ever seen. Stupid Trade Show!

So, I’m paying $70 night for a double room in a sketchy hostel and doing e-mail/trying to book tickets in the back room of a knick knack store on one of two ancient computers. There are exposed wires and extension cords EVERYWHERE!

The good news is that the Chinese LOVE McDonalds, 7-11 stores and neon lights. So if I squint real hard and blur my vision I can pretend I’m in Times Square or somewhere else where I’m reasonably sure things are going to work out okay.

PLUS! At 5 ft 6 inches I’m exactly average height for an American female, but I’m the shortest person in my family, but in China…being tall ROCKS!

Okay, I just met two Canadian chicks who said to meet them at the 7-11 in 45 minutes for beer, wine and to meet the multinational crowd of backpackers they hung out with last night. So, I guess that’s where I’ll be…at a random 7-11 somewhere in southern China, resisting sleep and praying for some transportation magic.

Wish me luck.

 ***Live Action Update (10 minutes later)

I’m sitting in the internet place and there’s a fairly low ceiling in here (maybe I’ll try to take a photo). Anyway, I just assumed that it was for extra storage, supplies, etc but I just heard some rustling and a grown man just climbed down from HIS LOFT BED naked from the waist up (in pajama pants), grabbed a mug that held a toothbrush and toothpaste (which I had noticed a while ago but didn’t think much about) and disappeared around the corner! You see that monkey’s face? Now add a look of surprise, the swemi-naked bed loft dude just reached over my head to turn on the lights and I can hear water running in the background. Lawd Jeebus. I’m outta here!

8 thoughts on “Somewhere In China”

  1. Maybe I should come back and read this when I’m more awake. I know I just didn’t roll out of bed to read about a naked man coming down from the ceiling or whatever. Yes, I will try this again later….:)

  2. Are you sure you made a quick get-away?
    What an adventure.

    McDonalds, 7-11 and neon lights….they are in Hampton, but I don’t go to them if I can help it!

  3. i’m alive and well in beijing. 7-11 night was surreal but cool, train ride to beijing was hilariously fun but no sleep for 24 hours! more deets later, thanks for the karma everybody!

  4. Barb,
    OK, at least the man wasn’t completely naked and I am hoping your train ride wasn’t as bad as the bus ride from UVA to Raleigh to visit me 15 years ago! Wow, hasn’t your travel methods and places changed! I am so proud of you!

    I can truly hear you retelling these stories. As my twin said when I sent her your site: Why did we get married and have kids? I am so jealous! I love you so much!

  5. I’ve been checking in on you at least once a week. Sorry i’m just now commenting, but this was TOO FUNNY! And so you at the same time. i would have peed my pants if dude surprised me like that. And I guess the ceiling space was for storage (of people). But i’m guessing he’s paying less than you to stay there. Man, do you find the McDonald’s in China better/worse/same than here. When I was in Japan, I swear, the hotcakes got me through and tasted better than anything I’d had in the states.
    Anyway, glad you’re good. Alive and well, and at the very least finding places to eat, drink, and meet people.
    Oh and I’m taking the kids to an Outward Bound program on Wednesday, similar to Falls River, so I’m super-psyched. They’ll get to go down the zip line and everything. All thanks to you. I’ll take plenty of pictures!!! Much Love. Oh and you can visit the wedding site at (I know that’s alot, sorry)

  6. So now that I know I’m not teaching summer school, I’m looking for something else to do. And what do I find out, SaS has a teacher program!!!!! Are you serious. Man, do you know anyone who’d like to sponsor a poor teacher??? I’ve gotta start calling my bookie, loanshark, and rich uncles!!!

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