Day 27: A Travel Day From Hell
I left off the previous post with us assumedly going to bed. Well, taking a nap was more accurate. We had to be back on the bus by 2am. Phil was sick with the crud that was going around. We probably got a good hour and a half in O.o We had to drive 3 hours back to Qingdoa because there was no airport in Yantie. It was like this with Chongqing to Yichun to Chonqing. Sucks. Our flight was at 8 or something, so that why it was so early.
We start by a freezing bus ride. The driver had the pop ups in the ceiling open and it had to of been no warmer than 60 degrees on that bus, and remember it was dark and humid outside. We. Were. So. Cold.
Finally, we realized what the problem was and had the windows shut. Much better. We were at the airport by 5am or so, fully checked in and waiting to board by 6:30. It takes a long time to check in 45 people, fyi. We all just pass out wherever we can find.
And then board our couple-hour flight!
We all look so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
We were flying to the capital of Inner Mongolia – H?héhàotè, or Hohhot. We were quite excited about going to (Inner) Mongolia. It’s a part of Mongolia that’s China. That’s all I can make sense of it. The scenery as we were landing was quite different!
The airport had some funny Chinglish signs. Warning: the first one you will either be offended by, puzzled by or highly amused by. Don’t shoot the photographer (haha, I just made a pun!)
(you gotta look close for this next one)
We check into our hotel, and it’s a super nice one again. Yay!
Pretty nice lobby, huh?
We go up to our room with the primary objective of passing out. We basically have not slept in a couple of days. Exhaustion is setting in. Thankfully, we were greeted by a heavenly bed.
Yes, that is the toilet you can see through that glass window that is actually the shower. There was a curtain you could pull down if you wanted.
Here’s our view:
We took a glorious nap, and then headed down to dinner. It was buffet style, but also with a sushi chef, a hot pot chef, and a Mongolian milk tea bar. Also, desserts, ice cream, sodas, and so much more.
After dinner we were up for a little exploring, so we set out walking.
Ok, this next pic is of a little girl in a remote control car being driven by her dad. It was so hilarious.
Then we took a cab to the address someone had given us of a street market that comes out at night. It was an adventure getting there, as always. The cab drivers seem to just have a relative idea of where anything is, and just drop you off somewhere close. But we found it, and lots of fun things. (“We” = Lena too!)
A fun music store:
Street-side pool tables:
Delicious street food:
Topped off with beer I could walk around with:
A red lantern walkway, provided by the University:
Funny tags on clothes:
After we had seen enough, we were ready to go back to the hotel and hit the hay. But when we got back, Benny, June and Ellie were heading out for a massage. I was exhausted, but the knots in my neck and shoulders were screaming at me from the past few days of travel. So I went.
I ended up getting a scraping technique called “Gua Sha”. Gua sha (Chinese: ??; pinyin: gua sha), literally “to scrape away fever” in Chinese (more loosely, “to scrape away disease by allowing the disease to escape as sandy-looking objects through the skin”), is a form of folk medicine (via wikipedia). It leaves some serious marks, and looks horrible. Like I got whipped. BUT my back felt GREAT the next day, and it didn’t really hurt to get it done. Everyone has a different pain tolerance level, so that’s a subjective statement. It was a fun experience, and even more fun to see the horrified looks on peoples’ faces when I showed them my marks. You ready? I’ll show you, but you’ve gotta believe me that first of all, I gave permission for this. They didn’t just do it without asking. Two, it looks terrible, yes, but seriously all the tension and knots in my back and shoulders was gone by next day. Third, yes it was a bit tender the next day. Four, the marks were completely gone within 3 days. You ready?
You sure? Don’t look if you’re not.
See? Not so bad. Hey, it’s all part of the Adventures in China! If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m an adventurous person. What you are seeing is simply blood vessels right under the skin. That’s all.
After that it was off to bed! And I slept great.