Thursday, October 2, 2014
First night in Beijing
I did the train and the subway... Feeling accomplished. The train was over 30 minutes early so I got to where I was suppose to be to meet up with the person I was couch surfing with a couple minutes before 10pm. First it wasn't the best stop off the subway but it could of been because it was dark... People leave you alone... Other than the stares so I didn't feel unsafe at all while waiting. The person I was meeting with said he would wait for me from 10pm to midnight. Well... 10 came and went. 10:20 came and went. I asked a young man if he spoke English and if he could call the number I had for the person I was staying with. He called and the line was not in use.
Then I started to get nervous. The young man asked me if I had another friend to call but of course I didn't. Then I asked him if the address the person I was staying with was real. All I got was a bunch of Chinese characters with a couple of numbers so it could of said anything. The young man told me it was really close. He was getting worried for me and told me not to worry. I told him I would just get a cab and head to a hotel if he didn't show after a bit. The young man left and I was waiting alone... Again.
Finally he showed up. He is a young guy and he was wearing a knitted beanie type of thing with a really long pigtail that he got as a souvenir that day. All I could think of was McClintock and how they always threatened the Chinese cook they were going to cut off his pigtail. (I know how horrible)
So we start to walk to the school where he works and I will be staying. He told me that he will be sleeping on top of me. Get your mind out of the gutter.... As in bunk beds. We get to the place where I will be staying meet a few people. It is a school that teaches English and the students and teachers all live in this flat. This place makes TicTac look like a 4 star hotel...maybe a step up from the shack since there is electricity and running water. It is a room with 2 sets of bunk beds and what I believe is a closet with windows and another set of bunk beds. The bathroom has a toilet which I was very relieved but it is in the shower... Well the whole bathroom seems to be the shower. The shower has a shower head but no real boundary for the shower so everything gets wet.
He first told me I could have a top bunk in the larger room (only because it has a larger than the closet but only large enough for 1 person to walk between the bunk beds). I haven't slept on a top bunk in a few years and I can't say I really belong on a top bunk so when he told me I could sleep on the bottom bunk in the closet I was all good with that. The beds are full of comforters which were washed who knows when and I am hoping I don't end up,with love or something, I guess that is a good reason to shave my head again. Just the thought of these blankets make me itch. Also no pillow, so I bunched up a comforter and put my coat over top so I am sleeping on my coat and not the comforter.
We will see if I stay the 5 nights I was planning. Can't wait til Sunday and the sidecar tour and October 1 won't come fast enough to get out of China and go to Thailand. Hoping there is a bit more sanitary. I have a hotel lined up for 2 nights in Bangkok and then heading to Chiang Mai to another couch suffering place...She has a house and is a older adult so hoping for at least cleaner.