We tried to eat this food but I can’t tell you how bad it was. It was an attempt at French toast, an egg, sausage (that was only a funny looking hot dog) and orange juice. Not one item on this menu even vaguely tasted familiar. We remembered there was a McDonald’s around the corner so we ran there as fast as we could. I have to say one thing about being a blonde in China, we were a rare commodity. We were starred at everywhere we went. Walking down the street this morning was no different; I was feeling a bit uncomfortable.
We finally get to the McDonald’s and it felt good to be in familiar surroundings. Everything looked just like any other McDonald’s in the U.S. and menu was the same as well. We ordered our breakfast and when I attempted to pay, I realized I had brought the wrong money. I had brought Hong Kong dollars and not Chinese dollars.
So back to the hotel we went. I grabbed the right money this time and we walked back to McDonald’s for another try. A sausage sandwich and orange juice was our meal of choice. I’m not a big fan of fast food, but today it was like a gourmet meal. Every bite was a bit of heaven. To Hell with our cholesterol!!!
After we ate, we headed back to the hotel to wait for Yuan. He arrived on time! It was still early in the morning and the temperature was already very hot. We had to wait on the corner of the street for a bus. That was an experience in itself. Traffic was everywhere and so were the buses. I don’t know how Yuan knew which one to take, but the right one finally came along. He said we would ride this bus for quite a while to another bus station, and then change buses again.
The trip took about two hours. It was a very pleasant ride. The bus was air conditioned and it really felt good to be out of the heat. I couldn’t believe the change in life style once we were out of the city. The farmers live very differently. I saw cows along the way, but they didn’t look like cows in the U.S. They actually looked Asian. Yuan explained that these cows are not eaten, they are used for work. I saw no horses; instead, cows are used for pulling their plows.
We climbed for hours and I was able to take so many beautiful pictures. The water was chrystal clear. As we got higher up the mountain, the steps became steeper and wooden steps became stone steps. We held on to the railing tighter and tighter. It seemed like bus loads of people were beginning to arrive. We were hot and tired but the scenery was worth it!
So we started our descent. It was obviously much faster coming down than going up. More and more people were there at this point and it was more difficult getting through the crowds. The heat had drained us and people were jumping in the water to cool off. It looked inviting I must admit. We finally made it back to the bus and climbed aboard. The air conditioning felt wonderful! The ride back was quiet. We were very tired. Jillian wasn’t feeling too well and she couldn’t wait to get back the room. We think she was suffering from elevation sickness.
Yuan dropped us off back at our hotel and we agreed we would meet for dinner later. It was our last night and I looked forward to a quiet dinner together. A shower was definitely in order. Poor Jillian just wanted to sleep so she climbed into bed and was out like a light! The shower felt great but I had to deal with that hair dryer again…OMG!
About 8:00 pm, Yuan arrived. Jillian did not want to go with us so I left her there sound asleep. Yuan and I walked to a local restaurant and had our last dinner together. We enjoyed a great meal and talked for several hours. It was nice having a one on one conversation with him. We talked about his childhood; we talked about their government and we talked about what he wanted for his future.
Yuan is highly intelligent and very educated. He speaks out strongly about the things that bother him and he would like to see changes in the way the government runs his country. I learned about how the young people feel about their government through his eyes. They want to make a difference. Because the internet has opened up the world to China the people know there is another way of life. I’m so proud to know him!
After dinner, we walked the busy streets. Not far from our hotel, was another big shopping mall. The malls are on many floors in China. Each floor is a different department; such as, women’s clothes on one floor and men’s clothes are on another. I still didn’t see anything I wanted to buy and the clothes were way too small for me.
It was getting late and it was time to head back to the hotel. I was tired and we were leaving the next day. It was going to be a long flight home. I said goodnight to Yuan and headed up to my room. Jillian was just waking and we talked for a short while. She said I fell asleep in the middle of a sentence. I was truly exhausted by this time. Anticipation for our trip back home didn’t keep me from a good night’s sleep tonight...Karen