The flight to Guilin from Shanghai started boarded about two hours late, which was a little disconcerting. By this time, I was feeling very tired and was having a lot of pain in my shoulders, neck, and head. But we finally got on the plane and the food was the best we had eaten in two days. It still was not the greatest, but it was at least a spicy chicken in rice. So we ate it happily. There was a lot of turbulence. We flew through a storm which, we finally realized, was the reason the flight was delayed in the first place. I didn’t get sick, though, lol. The landing was actually very smooth. The airport in Guilin is very cool. It was much more interesting than the one at Shanghai. There were lots of vendors selling interesting cultural items. But since the flight was late, we were worried about the driver abandoning us, so we rushed on to baggage. We did stop to use the bathroom which, to my shock, was all squat toilets. I thought at the airport there would still be western style toilets. But I was wrong. Fortunately, the handicapped toilet was western, so I used that one J.
It took about half an hour to get our bags, but thankfully the driver was waiting for us with a sign. But there were two more teachers who were supposed to be in at the same time we needed to wait for. After about an hour we found Cher. Cher is from a little town in England. She was actually at the airport before us, but she couldn’t find the driver at first. She had to call the agency to make sure the driver was even there for her. But we finally touched base. We then waited about half an hour more and Philip joined us. Philip is from Phoenix.
It was kind of funny because we all flew in from Shanghai and were supposed to leave and arrive in Guilin all at the same time, just on different airlines, but because of the storm we all came in late. But it all worked out and we had a great time chatting at the airport and on the way to our new temporary home.
The taxi ride was a trip in and of itself, lol. People do drive crazy in China. Thankfully this was like 10:00 at night by the time we left, so it wasn’t too crowded on the streets. But still, it is one of those just don’t look kind of things. They drive fast, and they swerve in and out of traffic, and it is like a competition to see who can pass the most cars at a time. It is like all the drivers are in a race. They will pass someone even if someone in coming at you in the other direction. They will pass a huge tour bus in not enough space. They will fit two cars to one lane. They run red lights. They turn when they feel like it. They just go. If they see a space in the direction they want to go, they fill it. There are also lots and lots of scooters and bicycles with motors on them. These will weave in and out of traffic like your bus isn’t even there. The scooters also usually have two or three people on them. We have even seen a whole family of 4 on one scooter before. It really is crazy to see and scary to ride in, but there are very few accidents. We have never seen one. It might seem extreme and scary to us, but it is just how they are used to driving. Anyway, the drive was nice. We could see the outline of the mountains in the distance because there was a full moon lighting them up, but we couldn’t really see just how beautiful they were until was actually got to Yangshuo, then they were breathtaking. I’ll talk all about Yangshuo in my next post.
Our hostel is really nice. We have a big room that is actually made for three single people. We just pushed two of the beds together and we use the third bed for storage. We have a bathroom with a western toilet and a shower. The shower, though, doesn’t have a curtain or any kind of partition from the rest of the bathroom. So when you shower, the floor of the entire room gets wet and a little slippery. They provide little shower shoes outside the bathroom for you to wear so you don’t get hurt. The room is really great except there is no internet L That is the only reason I have not been posting more often. But when we get to our assignment we will have internet in our own apartment so we will be more regular then.
Pictures of the Hostel in Yangshuo