As promised, here is my post on Huangshan, at long last. Hope you enjoyed the last few posts about disconnecting and using a Kindle abroad.
Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is far and away one of the most incredible places I have visited in my life. In the span of 10 hours, we saw a spectacular sunset, a million stars in a clear sky, and a magnificent sunrise after a pre-dawn hike.
After losing my phone in a cab in Beijing a few weeks ago, I felt disconnected. I was detached from those with whom I speak most and from the constant tether to the connected, smartphone-infested world in which we live. Or in which I (unfortunately?) live, at least.
Arrival in Hangzhou
I arrived in Hangzhou (pronounced han-joe) two days ago after my short stay in Xi’an. As cheap as cabs are (<$15), I decided to take the airport bus to the city ($3) and after much pointing at the address of the hostel I’m staying at in Hangzhou that I thankfully acquired while in Xi’an, I found out that I should get off at the first stop on the bus at the railway station. 45 minutes later, I did so and then tried to take a cab to my hostel. No one would take me. I started thinking they didn’t like that I’m white—I’ve been informed the word for white person in Chinese literally translates to “white devil”—but really they just didn’t know the obscure side-street on which the hostel is located.
I present a list in no particular order of some things I’ve remarked about the country, its people, and the culture. Some may be generalizations that I shouldn’t generalize about based on what I’ve witnessed, so I apologize in advance, but most things seem pretty common. Feel free to call me out if you feel I’m been overly hasty with any of these observations.
On a less-than-two-hour flight from Yichang to Beijing, they served a hot meal of chicken and rice. Impressive! However, chopsticks were mysteriously missing… surprising for a domestic flight. The Chinese around me seemed equally baffled while opening ther packets of plastic flatware.
Update: Happened again from Beijing to Xi’an (chicken and rice again, even), except that flight was less than an hour and a half! Take that U.S. airlines!