Had to take a time out

I was a bit sad to leave Yangshuo. Except for my motorbike incident–the place was really cool. I forgot to mention that they had not one, but TWO hip hop clubs in Yangshuo AND a reggae spot. They didn’t play exclusively reggae music, but the “DJ” there was an asian kid with dreads and the place was decked out in Bob Marley paraphernalia! I sorta forgot I was in China for a while.

I also met these African guys from Cameroon. Both were teaching English in China and went to Yangshuo for a vacation. Okay, they really hate Chinese people, LOL. At one point one of the guys said “They are just so uncivilized. I mean, Cameroon might be behind as far as technology is concerned, but at least the people have developed.” LOLOLOLOL. This, of course came after the other told me a story about how a Chinese person asked him if he was so dark because he stayed in the sun too long, LOL. Which reminds me…the Chinese have an obsession with white skin. All of the ladies walk around with umbrellas to protect them from the sunlight. And all of the drug stores sell “skin whitening” products.” I’ve found that to be really interesting…anyway…

So I boarded a sleeper bus to Shenzen, which is in China, but much cheaper than taking an “international” bus to Hong Kong. Let me just begin by saying that that was the longest 10 hours of my life.

The bus had little beds–bunk beds. Three long rows of bunk beds.
Let’s first talk about the smelly Europeans. Unlike the other methods of travel I’ve experienced, this sleeper bus was almost exclusively filled with travelers. Smelly travelers. I would have been one of them, but the lady at the place I was staying let me shower there even though I had to check out of the room much earlier in the day. But most of these folks clearly didn’t shower within the last 24 hours–and didn’t even bother to do a deodorant touch up. At least the bus had air conditioning, which seemed to help the odor…

So I climb on top of my bunk–and try to settle in. The beds had seat belts on them. I laughed at first, thinking “why would I need a seat belt if I’m going to be laying down. On the way to the bus, a girl told me that the ride was “a little bumpy.” UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR.
Let me tell you, had it not been for that seat belt, my ass would have fallen to the floor MANY a time. The road was NOT PAVED! For at least 9 of the 10 hours of the trip. Or maybe it was paved and just in really bad condition. To give you an idea, if I sat up in my little bed, I would hit my head when the driver moved. The bumps were so severe that there were times that I physically bounced in the air!

AND to top it off, I think I mentioned I’d been having some..uhm…stomach issues. Add cramps to that. Oh, and did I mention there was no bathroom on the bus? LOL. AND…I’m not even joking…I think I had a touch of food poisoning. Or it could’ve been motion sickness. I was so nauseous it wasn’t even funny. Either way, I was awake and utterly miserable most of the night. We did stop for bathroom breaks. Now THESE bathrooms were WORSE than the others. I don’t have my plug, but I’m really going to try and get some of the pictures up here.

Am I a barn animal? The chinese must consider using the bathroom something animals do and make no effort to add any sort of comfort to the experience. The rest-stop bathrooms had stalls. No doors. And just a long, continuous hole that you had to straddle. So if the person behind you is using the bathroom, it would flow down to the person in front and so on. It looked like one of those long things that several horses would go to drink water. I can’t think of the name of it…

So needless to say, I just couldn’t allow myself to “go” under those conditions and just had to laugh it was so ridiculous. I mean, can I get at least one door so that everyone won’t have to physically see that Aunt Flow is in town?

We finally got to Shenzen and I went thru customs and after about a 5 minute train ride was in Hong Kong. My body was telling me it was time to take a time out from this whole traveler lifestyle (guess I’m getting old–can’t do it like I use to, LOL) so I decided to check into a real hotel, LOL. I stopped at an internet cafe and booked a room on Travelocity and headed straight to the hotel. I actually got an upgrade because when I went to check in, they told me to wait because they hadn’t gotten the fax which had my reservation. But I think travelocity sent them an email, which they didn’t check. So since they had me waiting for no reason, they gave me an upgrade to an executive suite. Last night was the best nights sleep I’ve gotten since I started traveling. The only thing–I think that Asian folk are not hip to the soft bed. Every bed I’ve had has been hard. Not that I like extra soft beds, but even beds in nice hotels seem to be a bit harder than what we’re use to in America.

So I let my body relax for the night. I still managed to wander about Hong Kong a little bit yesterday. I went to the “light show” which is a 15 minute show where many of the sky-scrapers in the city do a light show with some music. I watched the show from the “Avenue of Stars” which is suppose to be like the Hollywood walk of fame.

There is much MUCH more diversity in Hong Kong than China. I sorta expected that with the whole British influence thing. Last night this African guy tried to pick me up while watching the light show. I wasn’t in the mood to be friendly–especially after the night I’d had before. I was trying to be nice about it, but he just wouldn’t take the hint, LOL. Poor thing, he really tried. He would be talking and asking questions and I’d give a one word reply, LOL. Finally I just had to tell him that I didn’t want company, I didn’t want to talk and that I was leaving and no, he couldn’t walk me home, LOL.

Hong Kong is great for two things (as I’ve been able to tell so far): shopping and mangos. Everyone and their mom is trying to make you a suit–and I’m actually considering it–just depends on how long it will take. And there are so many “arcades” (i.e. malls). You have to go thru the mall to get to just about any attraction here–because the streets are busy–so they have the whole underground shopping mall to make your stroll across the street more pleasant, LOL.

And luckily for me I like mangos. I had a mango cake last night that made me want to slap my momma it was so good, LOL. All the bakeries have mango deserts–mango cheesecake, mango cake, mango tarts. Even McDonalds has a Mango sundae. LOL. (Yes, I went to McDonalds last night for dinner. Ya’ll know I don’t endorse that place after seeing the movie Supersize Me, but I needed something that was familiar…told ya’ll I was taking a break from the traveling lifestyle, LOL).

I haven’t done much else. I’m trying to get my travel situation worked out–i.e. figure out how in the hell I’ma get outta Hong Kong. I can always take a train, but it’s about 30 hours–so I’m trying to see if I can find a reasonably priced plane ticket. I pretty much chalked up this day to running errands–I’m going to try and get to the museum this afternoon and maybe get to Victoria’s Peak, which is yet another mountain…LOL. But it apparently has one of the best views of Hong Kong. I might just do a city tour–because there is apparently a beach right outside of the city that is really nice. Do you know I haven’t been to the beach yet? All this heat and no water…