182… ok. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY… 6 MONTHS TOMTHE DAY I STARTED TRAVELLING. Now, my 1st day as a true foreign man in a foreign country. .. alien alphabet, language barrier, the whole 9 yards. But i leave the room and explore, taking photographic bread crumbs on the way. I also reconfigure my photo settings since i discover, to my mild chagrin, China has zero Facebook, Google or most other ways I connect home. I am now truly isolated and with no way to back my photos up. So a smaller setting means I can take more and Bluetooth em over to my tablet, uploading later.
Anyhoo… the 1st thing i do is stumble upon as chinese breakfast pastry place co-run by a Russian guy! He knows little english but helps me out pointing me to the train station and and free brekky pizza. Brilliant. Now i find and train guard who can help steer me to the centre of town, then there is also stumble on 2 American ladies who live here and do in form me that 1) where i an get and do Big Bus hop on hop off tour and b) its currently a week long national holiday and the influx of peop,etc is 10-fold! Ok… so I buy a ticket and the language barrier sees me ask for a 48 hour ticket starting tomorrow, but simply getting a free 72 hr ticket. Oh well. So after after quick McLunch its on the bus… red route… to see the city. After that that and jostling thru a sea of locals, I decide if enter find out more. First stop is a tourist info joint with zero english info bar 1 map. Armed with that and nothing else it’s head back to the start of the bus tour where i find details at helpful Raddison hotel where the English speaking staff provide me with how to get to my intrepid hotel to start the tour and English info.
Off to the hotel itself at bit of at hike, note to self taxi when needed. I ask the staff there when I am due to check in at send they tell me tomorrow!!! I am stunned as it’s supposed to be the 4th, but they double check and confirm. Ok… sure. I grab a bite in hotel restaurant then triple check with a guy who speaks hardly any english and yep. Tomorrow. Maybe the tour shifted and I can’t tell with our email (and seriously, my awesome Air BnB hostess,.. who i haven’t even met yet… has been fabulous in sending a few emails for me so folks have some clue I am out of contact… like a personal message in a bottle