It's Tuesday morning here and I wanted to relate about our little "adventure" yesterday. In the early afternoon, we went back to the room to nap; James was pretty worn out and I wasn't far behind. I was totally asleep when someone knocks on our door and says there's a call from "Susie" who is the other guide I hadn't met yet.
She wanted to ask me about meeting with Jaxon's foster sister's family for dinner and I wanted to go over our itinerary because some things in it had already not materialized. We finally got dinner set up with the Horn family, BUT Susie said it was up to us to get over to their hotel! Ok, fine, I 've been to China 3 times now, no big deal, right?
We started walking about 5pm armed with a map and a clear view of Tianfu Square..we'd gone about halfway (in what we thought was the right direction) and the heavens opened up on us. Do you want to know where all the rain has gone? It is here in Chengdu; so much dumped the streets were filled with huge, deep puddles. We managed to score one umbrella but the downpour got so bad, we had to duck into a store. I took the umbrella and stood on the curb trying to hail a taxi; apparently getting one to stop in this city is near to impossible; even Chinese citizens couldn't get one. After some time, I told James we would just go on; at this point I was determined to get to my destination.
After another 30 minutes of walking, we thought we were close (Susie had told us 25" from our hostel; hah!). Went into a furniture store showing my little scrap of paper with the hotel address and finally, a nice young man walked the rest of the way with us, which amounted to about another 15" of walking.
At one point, we were standing smack dab in the middle of a Chinese street with cars passing us in the front and back. It is good to know, despite what it may look like, Chinese drivers will not deliberately run over a pedestrian!
So, FINALLY, made it to the hotel and met the Horns, a really nice couple, and Ping. She is really sweet and was being super-super helpful to them, even handing them food if they slowed down! We went to KFC and discovered Chinese portions of chicken are TINY, TINY. Have also not found a Diet Pepsi to save my life. After dinner, Ping told the bellboy at their hotel to get us a taxi....we were back at the hostel in 10" and 9CNY (about $1.50) later; sigh.....wish we could have found those taxis earlier.
We asked Ping through our Jibbigo translator on the Ipod if NingNing was excited about today; she got so embarrassed and laughed, but nodded. Trish said when they got there, Ping and NingNing were helping their foster mom in the kitchen. Hmmmm, maybe NingNing can teach James a few things!
I'm reserving my opinion on the guide services thus far. I sprung for the full-service and let's just say, it's not panning out, but I will see what the rest of the week holds. Case in point: I wanted to move to our new hotel this morning to not switch hotels around NingNing. BUT I was overrulled by Susie because it's easier for HER if we check out and leave our luggage here, go get NingNing, come BACK here, get our luggage, and THEN go to the new hotel. I still don't get why, when I paid for drivers and transportation, none are available to move us to the new hotel this morning when we have lots more time. Rather frustrated, to say the least!
#1-James and Ally, the girl he met on the plane
#2-In the HongKong airport,getting ready to fly to Chengdu Sunday night.
#3- waiting to get on the bus to the plane, one hour late, turned out to be 2 hours late.
#4-our room at the hostel, real basic, but for $35/night, who's complaining?!
#5-courtyard outside the hostel
#6-apartments outside our window (sideways)