I’m glad we survived the flight. Any time I felt weird I just kept popping another dramamine. Poor guy at the end of our row had to keep getting up every hour for my bathroom breaks. I got served what looked like between a small celery stock and a squid with my dinner, but other than that the food wasn’t too terrible. I actually felt well enough to watch the Timothy Green movie. It was really cute, but doubt Lucy would really get it. George didn’t sleep at all, but he must have gotten desperate at one point as I woke up to his head on my lap.
We had no trouble going through Hong Kong. We went to the signs that said “Mainland China” and a lady asked me where we’re going (Shenzan Wan) and she slapped a sticker on my shirt, took my suitcase and waved me to the counter to buy our tickets. Then took me to a row of seats and told me “sit here”. We were told to wait 10 minutes, but some guy grabbed us as we hardly sat down and took us outside where some kind of minivan like vehicle pulled up. Amazingly he got everyone’s stuff in the back. There were 2 Chinese, a Taiwanese, a German and us all shoved in. Our driver texted or used some sort of Chinese Facebook the entire drive to the mainland Chinese border. When we got there, there were about 2-3 checkpoints and the driver opened the sliding door as the check point guard called our names and we peeked our heads out. The driver had to pop the back open, but no one examined any of our stuff. When we got to the border area, we had no clue where to go and were wondering around. I guess most people actually get on a bus and not a private car to get into China. There you get sent through like cattle Kyle said and he also said we used to only company he’d ever trust coming in the way we did, which is the quickest way.
So, eventually we just stayed at one spot and we spotted Kyle before we spotted him. There were lots of men calling out for taxis everywhere, but that is for unlicensed taxis where you get charged 200% more than what you should. You line up for the legal taxis. It was about a 15 min drive or so through the city to Amy’s apartment.
Kyle studied with me in Germany at Schwaebisch Gmuend – back when I had an International Business and German double major. He and Amy teach at an International School here – they teach junior highers. Apparently no Chinese student is allowed to go to school there, only those with foreign passports, because they teach what’s censored in Chinese schools. Most of the students parents are here for various jobs and this actual area “Shekou” is a very western area where expatriates live, where it feels more like Europe than China. We did get warned that we may see skinned dogs hanging up to be sold though. *eeeek*
Surprisingly we arrive and are wide awake – probably with the time difference. I know I will pay for this later. We went out to eat last night at a Western/Thai restaurant that was quite the happening place – live music on stage. We ate outside in the nice 80 F weather (aren’t you jealous yet?) So, we get back about 12:30 AM and we’re still wide awake. We both took showers to feel human. Went to bed about 1 AM and I woke up at 4:20 AM and have been wide awake ever since. So, when it became light outside I decided to get up and take some pics of the great view. You can see the harbour with mountains in the background. The apartment is on the 26th floor. Kyle’s apartment is on the 21st floor.
So, we have yet to experience the “real China”, but this is a good transition. There’s a place down the street that do feet and upper body massages for $9 over 1 1/2 hours that George and I both insist on visiting today. Amy said she can’t get Kyle to go because the bruise him, so she seems quite pleased we want to go.