China 2006 Report

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chapter 3

We start our tour with a long a four hour drive to the next city. It is Nanjing City, we arrive around 5:00pm and we check in near a famous street and temple bridge. The strange thing was it was a hotel inside a technical school. I guess it was a dorm converted to a hotel to make some side money for the school. Anyway, it was painful 4 floors up stairs with my luggage since this cheap ass place doesn't even rank a star compared to the last place.

Ok, it was bad enough they had no elevator, but when we got into the room, they had 2 beds, a usuable desk, TV, drawers and closet. Seems pretty normal, although the room had a rather musty smell. I am now guessing probably to mold or just lack of good cleaning. We left the window open to let the air vent out. Now at least this hotel has a window that leads somewhere. It is a courtyard which I am guessing is the student dorms, since all throughout the night I hear rowdy students drunk or otherwise going through there. But for our purpose, as long as it has some fresher air, then that is good.

We went out to go get dinner on the town. We were looking for some more famous foods. It started to rain which was a drag because the longer we looked, the wetter we become. Finally, after asking many unhelpful people, we did stop in by a stand which was selling a "Shanghai" duck in a sealed bag. It is basically like the Beijing (Peking) duck, but it is has a different coating. This is a crythanthium petal seasoning rather than a barbeque flavour. It is only with this purchase, the staff at the shop were very helpful in pointing us in the right direction. I also found a booth selling Beijing 2008 Olympics gear. It is here, where I found an official pen for my co-worker Brenda who collects pens. It was only a measly 10 yuan. Again, with this purchase, the staff became very helpful in pointing to a restaurant that served the famous foods. So what is this famous food? This is what we ordered:

Cold cut Chicken : It is like the stuff we usually get in multi-course Chinese wedding dinners. The meat is good just peel off the slimy skin and that layer of fat under the skin.
Lamb Leg : This is a leg of lamb fried and mixed with an overload of hot peppers. Eat the meat, ignore the peppers.
Vegatable Bun : Ok, a pot sticker like bun filled with chopped up vegatables. I think I would rather the BBQ pork style than this veggie-bun crap.
Beef cake : Ok this is like the dessert of the same style. It is very flaky and dry. The inside is like a smoked beef jerky. This is crumbly but it is good.

Remember I said it rained? Well, it was actually a pretty bad rain so we got wetter walking back too. On our way back, we stopped by a convience store to buy some drinks for the bus ride tomorrow. On the way out, I dropped my wallet but fortunately Ami went back into buy snack food and the woman of the store also spotted it and pick it up for me. I should be more careful when giving my wallet to Ami and getting it back from her.

I also remembered when we arrived at the tech school, there was an arcade (good place for one). We went downstairs to this arcade, and it was a rather dark basement full of mostly sit down generic boxed arcade games. The only games of other interest was a EZ-2-Dance machine, which one girl out of only 5 people in the entire place excluding the police man, was playing. There was about 4 of the DJ mix games. Again, no DDR or Para Para or Pump or anything like that.

The heavy rain in Nanjing. Maybe an inch or more in some places on the sidewalk.
Here is a shot of the washroom in our hotel. Notice this is a Chinese style bathroom.
Notice the sink filled with hot water. Hot enough to steam the mirror. Also note how wet all the surfaces are.
Here is my poor wet and cold Ami sleeping peacefully after being rained on and taking a cold shower.

Ok, we got back to our hotel room and we took care of the wet clothing by laying it out to dry. We put things on top of the TV to dry things too since the heat from the picture tube will do a good job on socks. I told Ami to go take a shower first. Now you will note from the picture above, that the bathroom is the Chinese style where the shower just runs on to the floor and there is a drain in the floor for the water to go. You will also note there is no shower curtain, so the slashing from the shower will get the toilet all wet too. Well, after Ami had her shower, she said there was no hot water. I checked, she was right, this place is so cheap they only open the hot water value like 10% compared to the cold water. As a result, Ami is still cold and wet. I told her to go to bed and stay warm.

As for me, I didn't want to take a cold shower so I didn't. Later at night, I needed to wash my hands, and I noticed that the water from the sink tap, is warmer and comes out faster. Still only maybe 30% compared to how much cold comes out but still this could work. I was thinking I could fill the sink basin with water and just clean from the water in the sink. Well, as you can see by picture above, I just filled the sink with running hot (actually was only warm) water. I may note a very nice granite countertop with matching floor tiles too. Anyway, you will also note that everything in the washroom is wet. Well, that is because I stopped trying to be neat and realized, hey, the walls and floor are all tiled and made to get wet. So I just took my shower by splashing water from the sink while the faucet keeps giving me warm water (although slow it is). What a different unrestricted feeling. I mean, all this time I have always needed to be neat and tidy and clean inside a washroom. Well, for once, it was like I went ape-shit and flinged water all over the place like I didn't care (and I truly didn't), just making a total mess. I really gave the word "Water Closet" a true test to that name. Anyway, as I was leaving the WC, I just realized I soaked the toilet paper (oops) and that the wooden door wasn't as water resistant as the rest of the room was... Oh well, not my mess... stupid cheap ass hotel.

Well, the good news behind all this is that I finally have some power for my electronics. I am finally able to do this log and transfer all these pictures out of the camera, while my Ami sleeps quietly though the night.