king8egg-the long winded chinese stories
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The Long Winded China Stories

i have been to the chinese mainland two times and i will go for
a third time in may when my parents and brother come to visit
me. at a later date i will probably post my experiences from the
first time i went but for now i will relate the adventures from
the most recent trip.

i flew from taipei to macau. since the mainland government and
the taiwan government don't get along (china considers taiwan
to be a province in rebellion) you cannot fly directly to china.
you have to fly through another country such as hong kong or
macau. i was flying to macau and then to beijing where i had a
connecting flight to xuzhou in the jiang su province(not to be
confused with soochow near shanghai). i was a bit concerned
as i only had 35 minutes to make my connection. well,as luck
would have it my flight to beijing had to wait to land because
of congestion at the airport. upon landing i knew i had missed
my connection as we were over an hour late. i was whisked to
the manager of air macau. luckily he spoke excellent english.
he wanted to put me up in a hotel and have me take another
flight in a few days. but i didn't want to wait. so i opted to
take a train. he took me downstairs to talk to some of the hotel
people to see if they knew about trains. he told them macau
would reimburse me for everything. they were supposed to get a
taxi for me and help me get train tickets. well, the taxi ended up being a friends car.(i still had to pay though.)

so we take this car to the train station. the two men also spoke english and told me flat out that
when i got back to the u.s. to tell people that "young people in china don't like the government
but that they control the army...". i was rather surprised that they would tell a stranger this.

at the train station they found a friend of theirs to buy my ticket. in china EVERYTHING depends
on who you know if you have the right connections certain things become cheaper.there was no train
that night. so they took me to a 4 star hotel near the station. the next morning i was to take the
train to xuzhou.

in the hotel i tried to call my friend tiger to let him know what happened. he was going to meet
me at the airport in xuzhou. i tried calling all night but the phone just rang and rang...with my
overactive imagination i thought the worst. his house has burned down. he's been arrested. he's
dead. then i thought what if i get to xuzhou and i can't get a hold of him. what do i do then?
the only other person i know is named master li. how many li's are there going to be in xuzhou?
needless to say i didn't get much sleep in my paranoid state.

the next day i found my way to the foreigner waiting room at the train the major cities
there will be special waiting rooms for foreigners. there weren't many people there. they told me
when to get on my train and i was on my way.

on the trains in china you have several options.soft seats (sort of like airline seats), soft
sleepers (a room with two bunks on each wall. air conditioned with a small table and a large
thermos with hot water for making instant noodles or tea.) hard sleepers (a sort of cubicle
with 3 bunks on the walls, no a.c. and not the most comfortable).and then hard seats. luckily
i had been set up with a soft sleeper. different people came and went in my compartment. most of
them didn't speak to me much. i mainly laid back on my bottom bunk and watched the countryside
roll on by.

after 8 hours or longer i arrived in xuzhou. when i emerged from the station i looked for a cab.
i found one and showed them the address of where i wanted to go.(i had it written in chinese).
when we got in the cab they took the taxi sign off the roof of the car and the for hire sign
on the dash they covered up. i'm not exactly sure of the reasons behind this. maybe they can
only work certain hours or maybe it was a stolen car or who knows what.

part two
part three
part four
part five
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