Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Back in the P.R. of C... You Don't Know How Lucky You Be, Yeah...

So much to write about, I don't know where to start. I'll just keep it to the facts for now. Oh, also, I have two posts on my laptop that I'll put up another time.

Summarizing so far: I'm now in Beijing, staying in a flophouse half a klick from Tiananmen Square. It's in the shadow (literally, the back alley) of Beijing's classiest establishment, the Beijing Hotel (China's Park Plaza, minus the Eloise), but my hotel is in a class by itself. Shouldn't complain though, as it is cheap as hell and provides a free breakfast. And I love my rice and bean gruel with a little hard boiled egg thrown in.

Yesterday was pretty much a total bust. The airline still hasnt found my lost bag, which leaves me without boots or power for my laptop or camera. That means no pictures for a bit, or DVDs for me. (Right now I'm in an internet cafe.) I'm most concerned about the boots, as it snowed a ton yesterday, and I was stuck trekking around in my sneakers, which left my feet in sore shape what with the cold and dampness. Well, at least they are not Cons.

The first task was exchainging money. Well, my hotel couldnt do it, and the other hotels around me wouldnt as I wasnt their guest. The banks were all closed, so I hiked to the International Trade Center, since I read there was an internet cafe there and figuring it was the best place to catch a break. No cafe, no break. Out of chance I stopped into the CITIS (Ministry of Tourism, but not so Orwellian), and they directed me to a huge department store (The Beijing Friendship Store) where I finally got the help I needed.

After that I walked to Tiananmen Square, but my feet hurt so much by then I didnt want to see the Forbidden City just yet. Also, I hoped my lost luggage would show up so I could recharge my camera. So I got back to my the neighborhood of my hotel, searched a bit for an internet cafe, and then napped from 4 till 7.

At 7 I got back up and headed out to another big shopping district to look for a 24 hour internet cafe, as Lonely Planet listed one in that area. Found it, but it was closed. Everything closes much earlier in China, by 9 PM, a lot was shut down. But it was a Tuesday. It was then that I realized I hadnt eaten since breakfast, so I found a huge open market restaraunt street (the street name, literally, is "lots of tasty little foods street") where there was a row, half a klick long, of stalls flash frying meats and selling dumplings or other goods. I grabbed a stack of jiaozi (dumplings) and a pork stick, the shear mention of which probably makes Scott Weiss giggle. The guys who sold me the pork stick also offered me a whore, which I politely declined. Considering the burning sensation the pork stick gave me, this was probably the best choice.

By the way, almost every street merchant seems to have a whore to offer to a white man in China. Capitalism!

Then I went home, read, and fell asleep. Still getting used to the time change, I seem to sleep a few hours at night and a few in the afternoon, making one day seem like two. Need to stop that ASAP.

Hopefully I'll get my bag back soon. Outside of that, I just need to get a train ticket to Harbin. I'm taking an Orient Express, if you will. An overnight "soft sleeper," which is first class, only costs about 40 bucks for a 13 hour ride.


At 11:40 PM, Blogger aereoperro said...

yo flonigle - give me a phone number. i don't believe you. you totally did that whore.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Mason said...

Speaking of whores. Some of us have a pool going as to how long it will to Bill to pay for sex. I have you at 2 weeks.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger lex said...

there is so much priceless information on this entry, mostly that the airline lost Bill's bag. Bill is holding out for a pretty dog to lay his meat into.

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