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Tour to the Mall and Planet China

Yesterday, I took a cable car over the river. When I said that Chongqing looks like San Francisco, it actually looks more like Pittsburgh, with the confluence of a couple of rivers. The car went high above the river, and to the other side. i was talking to a girl who in her very broken English, said she thought I looked younger than my age of 48. I liked her.

We parted ways, and as I went up the hill, i saw a small shuttle bus that promised to take people to a few tourist attractions, that seemed to be connected with the cable car. I tried to get on the bus, and the driver wouldn't let me go. He motioned me to go to the ticket window, and of course, the lady at the ticket window (who doesn't speak English) was confused. I went back to the guy, and eventually he brought me to the ticket window, and told them I wanted to buy a ticket for the shuttle bus. He got me a ticket and I was on the bus.

So I got on the bus, and i rode it about 15 minutes-it stopped at......a shopping mall, which was attached to a Madame Toussands wax museum, a winding path with a view of the city, an aquarium, an Madame Tussauds art museum, a french structure which was boarded up. It wasn't a bad first stop-I was tired and there was a Starbucks. Plus there was a supermarket which provided a box of mandarins for $1.00. While I was getting my coffee at Starbucks, the bus pulled away.
i waited roughly 1/2 an hour fro the next bus (which had the same driver), and it turned out that was the only stop-the bus went back to the cable car. So i begged and pleaded to buy a 10 yuan (roughly $1.50 ticket) to a shopping mall.

I took the cable car back across to the other side, and went to a public park called Eling Park, which is supposed to offer a great view of the city. I went up to an observation tower and took in the view. I also watched people do different things-there we're board games, people singing, folks doing photo shoots, (including one woman with a furry tale), and all sorts of stuff going on.

The day was getting late, I got back on the metro-and got off at a place called Hongtudi (just because it had a funny name). There wasn't much there-just a lot of apartment buildings and small businesses. I really still wanted some pizza for dinner. I got back on the metro, and got off at another station a few down the line, which was connected to a shopping mall. I found pizza-which at around $9.00, was expensive (particularly for China)-but I decided to buy it. They didn't accept credit cards (common in China)-and they didn't accept cash either (increasingly common). They accept WeChat (sort of like Facebook combined with Google Pay), and Alabiba Pay (Chinese Google)-I couldn't do either. So I left. I found another vendor who sold duck and rice. (I don't like to eat duck but I was hungry). They accepted the same, but I found a desk where I could pay cash to and I was provided with a voucher.
After dinner, I was tired. I took a walk along the river and back to the hostel. China is fascinating but also frustrating. Here deep in the country-most don't speak any English and those who speak it generally speak little, and you have to speak slowly. That said folks are pretty friendly.

i learned not to go out late at night-not because of any safety issues. The hostel doesn't provide a map, and the metro closes early. There are taxi drivers, but even with their mobile phones-both times I used a cab, they had problems figuring out where to go.

Posted by DavidPearlman 17:33 Archived in China

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