Pictures of today:
I awoke on the train at 8:30 today after sleeping soundly for almost 10 hours. It was very relaxing- I got up, talked with Tom, played the DS, stretched my legs, and generally hung out. Definitely a decent ride. Before I knew it, it was noon, and the train was pulling into the station.
We got out, and a kind Chinese man who shared the compartment with us, in addition to a Russian who boarded in the middle of the night, assisted Tom with our luggage out to the front of the station. We then got tickets back to Beijing for the 7th- they only had soft sleepers, the first class cars, so we ended up with those instead of the hard sleeper tickets.
We tried to get a cab, but the first cabbie said we had too much luggage. Blah, they are always saying that. Josh convinced another one to take him, and Tom and I demonstrated our mad awesome American packing skills. We can always make the luggage fit, even with 6 bags and 3 people!
Today was an easy day. We went to the fruit market and got some really good rice noodles, then procured cookies, a sugar baby melon, bread, and a cucumber from the stalls in the market. After that, we went to the supermarket, and bought random stuff- I got a bottle opener/peeler/knife (all in one!) and a spoon for my melon, in addition to some detergent for my shorts and underthings; Tom got a wastebasket to fit his emperor hat into, as well as some other miscellaneous stuff. Oh, and beer, let's not forget the beer.
We are staying at Home Inn, the same chain we stayed in before. It's very nice, the rooms are bigger here and there is a lovely Chinese girl who works at the desk who speaks very good English.
The original plan for tonight was for me to go to Karaoke since there's a KTV here in the building, and for Tom and Josh to go out. Well, the three of us went down to the karaoke place, and they were all like "It's 200 yuan (like $33 bucks) just for the cover because you get a private room, and another 29 yuan to sing a song.. and then you gotta pay for drinks, food, yadda yadda. Tom remarked that it was the type of place that businessmen took prostitutes, and after some googling, I found out that he was right- mostly. What happens is, there are two types of KTV in China- one for young people who want to have some good clean fun, and one for the businessmen. At the one for the businessmen, you get a private room, and hire girls to spend time with you- and yes, sometimes for a price, they will go home with you. So I was NOT about to even give a second thought to going there.
I went up to my room and drank my beer and ate some melon, and then decided to go for a walk alone. I went and walked across the street to an eyeglass place, and was able to quickly communicate the fact that I needed saline. I was so relieved to finally find it, it's very difficult to find here since they don't sell it in pharmacies or supermarkets, and the price was right on par with US cost, which is expected for something like that. I then walked down the street past the little shops to see if anyplace was open where I could get my eyebrows down, but alas, I was out of luck as they were all closed.
If Tom and I get looks and stared at here, I got even more stared at walking alone. However, there are policemen on every corner, so I feel safe walking down the streets by myself, so long as they are the major streets.
As I went back to the hotel room some of the KTV people were downstaies. They were trying to talk me into going up, and said for me, it'd only be a 30 yuan cover. But this is how I see it:
1) I get ripped off by the club in some way.
2) I don't get ripped off, and have great fun in the club with the businessmen and hookers. Yeah. Real viable.
3) I go to the club, don't get ripped off, and it's still a disaster. Either I'm the entertainment or it's uncomfortable or something else happens.. way too much that could go wrong here.
So yes, I passed on that.
Now I'm kicking back now again and finishing my beer and watermelon. Today is a welcome "down" day, but tomorrow we see the Terracotta army, so I can't wait!
BTW- It's nice to not have terribad internet too. This post, unlike the last 3, is not backlogged.