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Chongqing Bling

Yesterday I left Changdu and took the two and a half hour rail journey to Chongqing. I was at the rail station roughly 2 hours early, and had my usual Mcbreakfast (when I am in a train station). As I was sitting there, a caucasion man approaches me introduciing himself, and being surprised he met another white person. He was surprised I was travelling alone through China. (the signs are pretty good, and in the hostels basic English is spoken).

He kept going on and on. He was from Vancouver, and his girlfriend was in Chinese. Somehow, he mentioned he was in a hot rod club. I told a white lie and mentioned I had to run for my train (realistically, I had another 45 minutes or so).

The ride was uneventful. People eating their usual noodles and Chinese meals where the odors permeated the train. I got off at the Chongqing station, and looked for the directions to the hostel from the train station. As it turns out, according to the directions-there are two stations, one where I could take the metro, and one for the bus. I would have preferred taking the metro, but I was at the station where I would have taken the bus, or so I thought. I looked for bus 429-and according to the list of busses leaving from that station. There was no bus 429. I found a police officer, and he said in very broken English-that I was at a 3rd train station which whose directions weren't listed on the hostel website-but he was nice enough to lead me to a bus to take me downtown.

Someone at the hostel recommended I go to Chongqing, a place I don't think I heard of. It was supposed to be like San Francisco. Like most places in China it seems-it's a big place. A REALLY big place. Lots of high rise towers, a big metro system, etc. (The city has a population of 8 million-roughly the same as New York City).

I rode the bus for roughly half an hour-which was full. My heavy computer bag was on my lap, and a baby was crying in row behind me. There was a lot of traffic, and I wasn't in a good mood. The bus made one stop near a metro station. I thought about getting off, but decided against it, as most people stayed on the bus. The bus continued on for another 1/2 an hour-through horrible traffic-I beat myself up for not getting off at that first metro station (the hostel did list directions from the metro). But eventually it stopped, and everyone got off. I asked many I saw where the metro was. Nobody understood me. I found it on my own. I was glad to see that I was only one metro stop from the one where the hostel was. I took the metro that one stop, and looked for exit #4. (where the hostel was near). I found 6-11. 1-3. But no 4. I walkked down miles of pathways (it seemed). Eventually I found #4, crossed the street, and found the hostel.

Later on I took a walk down the street. I panicked because I didn't have my phone. I was already far from the hostel and wondered where I left it. I looked in a few stores. I took the metro back to the hostel (again one stop), and found I put it in the locker in the hostel. I was relieved but beat myself up for wasting time after a while. I had some street food for dinner and went to bed.


Posted by DavidPearlman 16:58 Archived in China

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