Sunday, March 09, 2008

China - Day 4

We got up and got ready for our flight to Beijing this morning. This was pretty exciting for me. I don't think I remember the last time I took a domestic flight outside the US. It'll be fun to see the comparisons.
We took this new speedy train that they had built from Shanghai to the airport. It works on magnetics or something. Check out the top speed. 431km/h!!

The airport was kinda the same. No self check in which was a bummer. Who needs to talk to people anyway? There were only some slight difference between this flight and others I've taken in the US. The main one being that we all got food. Even though it was relatively short flight, we still got served food. Other than that, it was all the same.

We got to the airport in Beijing and was greeted by our driver. We were staying at a hostel and they had a person that would pick us up from the airport and take us there. He said that there was one other person that was riding with us to the hostel so we had to wait, but he said her flight comes in about 15min from now. No biggy. That 15 min kept dragging on and on. Soon it was about an hour overdue.

We were getting a bit annoyed by now. We were thinking about just taking a cab to the hostel. We finally made up our minds to do this after 75min in and was going to find the driver to tell him. Just like you'd expect, he had found this other passenger and we were on our way.

This other person was quite interesting. I think we were all quite glad we waited. Let's call her Ann. Ann was on a 6 month holiday, originally from Scotland. I don't know how she got to leave for a 6 month holiday, but that's pretty sweet. She was just travelling across Asia for fun.

After quite a drive, we got to the hostel. This was kinda exciting. I've never stayed in a hostel before. I have a lot of images of what it's like. Mostly from movies like 'The Hostel', but I didn't think that was that realistic.

It wasn't bad at all. It was very clean and warm. Since it's a 3 person room for the 3 of us, it was like staying at someone's apt or something. No big deal. I've heard you can stay in rooms that had a ton of people in there, now that would probably be a completely different experience than this. This was pretty much just like any other hotel stay.

Here's our room.

Doesn't that look like there's a person on the right side of the photo laying on the table? That freaked me out a little when I first saw it in my camera. Ok, that might of just been me, but it does look like a person laying down!

We put our stuff down and got ready to go out to do some exploring. My image of China has always been one that's fill with huge propaganda posters, big red stuff everywhere, and the 'down with the western pigs' slogans. Sort of like having this everywhere.

Yea, not so much. That was the only poster like that outside of souvenir stores. I want my propaganda damn it!! Where is my propaganda?!

The hostel was in a pretty cool part of town. There were a lot of neat little stores everywhere. A lot of times I wanted to buy something, but didn't want to bother with all the negotiating, so I just didn't buy anything. See how that backfires on you people?

Fortunately, I didn't have to negotiate the price for deliciousness.

Mmmmm... stuff on sticks.

We did some sight seeing around the area. There was a temple of something drums that we walked to although it was closed. I heard you couldn't bang on the drums, so probably no big loss in not getting in.

We had dinner and of course way over ordered. We probably ordered 2x what we should have. Luckily, food is cheap there, so it was still much cheaper than 3 people going to McDonald's. And much more delicious.

This wasn't even half of it!
So we went back to the hostel after dinner and we found Ann reading up on some travel guides. It wasn't too difficult to convince everyone to visit the bars around here. This was another thing that amazed me so far. There were a lot of bars around the hostel. I don't know if it's just because there are a lot of travellers due to the hostel or what, but there are a ton of bars around the hostel. Good for me!

We went to a couple of bars and had a few drinks. Nothing too exciting to report there. We then went to this one bar that had a menu full of cocktails. There were some unusual drinks there, but then they had some funny named ones.

These were 3 that we ordered. I believe one of them is called 'young girl', 'snowball', and I can't remember what the rest was called, but they were funny. Sadly, they didn't taste as interesting as their names. Time to move on.

We went to another bar. Unfortunately, nothing too interesting here besides the waitresses dressing like they were going to clubs. Not that I'm complaining, but there were other stuff going on in my head. For one, how to kick these kid's (had to be like under 18) ass (sitting behind me) for smoking next to me.

Eventually we finished up and went back to the hostel. We had a long day planned tomorrow. Hope I get to see some overt major communism propaganda!

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