How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Xian to Souzhou, Day 9, Part 1 – Jade Tour and a Flight

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The day began at 5:00 a.m. and not on a good note. Sue hadn’t slept well and we had no hot water for showers. I didn’t bother, but Sue did. My hair needed washing so I stuck it underneath the tap. Brr. Cold.

We’d been instructed to leave our luggage outside the door before 7:45 a.m. As Sue pushed hers against the wall I rolled mine over the thresh-hold and—slam—locked us out. Down to the front desk and back up again we were relieved to return with the assistant manager and her life-saving master key. Our purses with passports and money were still there. Whew. We reported the cold water situation to save the next visitors the headache.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (Taken from 10th floor on our way to breakfast)

The pieces carved out of jade were fascinating: The workmanship was astonishing with delicate and intricate detail but too expensive for me. I don’t need jade jewelry either and certainly don’t have room for anymore dust collectors. I’m trying to down-size collectibles. Bonnie and Russ bought a tricky jade piece featuring five (or seven) balls, one inside the other, which were all moveable, but do not come apart.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (Jade carving)

Below are pictures of some of the fantastic jade pieces:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=jade+carvings+in+ancient+china&rlz=1C1EODB_enCA562CA564&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=585&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=VrYlVKG1MMyyyATbrYHQAw&ved=0CBwQsAQ

We headed to the airport after the Jade romp to catch our one hour and forty-five minute fight to Souzhou. At security two suitcases from our group set off alarms. Jim had one of the problem suitcases and Russ the other. Scanning revealed 15 or so ‘A’ batteries stored in his luggage were the culprits. The last flight he’d been told to store them there. This time, they were pulled out and he was advised to them into his carry-on. I’m not sure what problem Jim had. The screaming baby must have fallen asleep. We finally boarded at 12:30 p.m., taxied and lifted skyward.

Lunch was served on the plane. The Stewart threw (not dropped) the boxed meal onto my table. He moved so fast, some noodles spilled into my lap and he didn’t even noticed. Not a good day for him either. Other than the spilled noodles, I don’t remember eating.

Upon landing, I reached for my carry-on in the overhead. By accident, my hand landed not on top of the seat in front of mine, but on the head of the man who sat there. What a fuss he made. You’d think I’d assaulted him. The Chinese language, when the speaker talks loudly sounds enraged to me. I used my most soothing voice to apologize. He didn’t need to understand the words. Wouldn’t you know, I had him on my radar all the way into the airport. While Chinese people appear to invade your space in a crowd and fill any available space, they do not touch anyone around them.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Insert Image #464 (a boatload of people on the canal in Old Town) © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

We were met by, Jackie, our new guide, a tall, attractive man of thirty-eight with an easy going style and a great command of English. The bus ride to Souzhou took a couple of hours. The city is known as The Garden City or Venice of the East because of its many canals.

Next on October 3, Day 9, Part 2 – Old Town Market (and more). Lots of pictures.

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2014 All Right Reserved TAK

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

82 thoughts on “Xian to Souzhou, Day 9, Part 1 – Jade Tour and a Flight

  1. Good thing you didn’t accidentally stumble into the guy and put your hands on him to steady yourself. He might have indeed charged you with assault. 🙂

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  2. Don’t know if I could have let lunch service on the plane go unnoticed. I might have thrown it back at him. We like to travel, but I don’t think collecting anything is in our stars. My hubby spends a lot of time on eBay and Craig’s List trying to unload junk we already have. 😦

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    • That’s the western way, not to let a thing like that go unnoticed but other countries people don’t complain. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. It must have happened to someone else as well but not a word was said as far as I could tell.

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  3. Once again a really interesting post. The Jade pieces really look amazing!

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  4. What a day from start to meeting Jackie. Thank goodness he was easy going. And attractive. Those jade pieces are impressive. 🙂

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  5. It sure sounds like fun 🙂

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  6. Not all days are good days when you travel but we make the most of it. The jade looks amazing.

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  7. The jade pieces are beautiful.
    The lunch noodles are your lap not so happy.
    Meeting Jackie….YAY! 🙂

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  8. When going through Hong Kong airport years ago I was hauled out of line for my suitcase which had 2 AA batteries in a camera. No one spoke English to me and it was extremely frightening, I was traveling with one other girl friend and it we’d just spent 24 hours in a very hot crowded and humid Hong Kong, on our way back from Australia. The contrasts in the cultures and out treatment would make me choose Australia every time.

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    • Don’t know what happened to my reply. I may be repeating myself.
      The language and culture are hard enough to handle in a difficult situation with the added shrieking luggage telling tales on you. 😀
      I guess we travel for next experiences, although some are rather frightening

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  9. That flight doesn’t seem much fun. I love your canal photo and look forward to the 3rd, Jackie and Souzhou will be good I imagine 🙂

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  10. I think I would have found it hard to stay quiet with that service on the plane… no matter where one lives politeness is the same,, and good service… lovely post as expected from you,, thanks..

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  11. From what I’ve learned from my sister-in-law (Chinese), most people in Asia are extremely private, and, of course, this includes the body. Us as westerners are used to this. I’m sure you felt that you were in a stressfull position with that man. Glad you got through it okay.

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    • It was uncomfortable because he kept yelling so loud and of course there’s the language barrier and different culture…

      I used to have ESL students from all over the world. The Asians didn’t understand touching until they got to know (lovable 😀 ) me. 😀 😀

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  12. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Here we are on day 9 of what has been a fascinating trip to China – I love jade but too do not need any more dust collectors… It would seem that being aware of cultural etiquette is very important when visiting the country. Enjoying the trip thank you.

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  13. Geez, I hope you aren’t on a rap sheet now, lol! Seriously. I hope you managed to pick up some lovely jade! ❤

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  14. Glitches and all, in water temperature and etiquette and a hundred other things, at least in retrospect they make great stories don’t they? What a trip!

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  15. Pingback: Xian to Souzhou, Day 9, Part 1 - Jade Tour and a Flight

  16. Nightmare of nightmare I am not sure which is worst the hand on head incident or the locking out!! !!!!!!!!!! @* ~* @ xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  17. Tess, My poor dear. You already know how I feel about the luggage situation and then have to run down 10 floors and back up. I take that to mean no elevators? You are definitely a better woman than I’ll ever be. I’ve been through the cold water shower treatment around the globe. It doesn’t matter if it happens at home or the most exotic of havens, it’s never excusable.
    As for the fellow on the plane in front of you – he’s probably going to tell his friends about this hot chick who ran her fingers through his hair and believe it or not, she’s Canadian!

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  18. That sounds like one of your tougher days. I would hate starting off without a shower–or a cold one.

    Did you lose weight on this trip? Food seems generous, but certainly not fattening. When I traveled in Russia, everything there made you fat. I finally gave up.

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    • I need a hot shower to make me UP but a cold one is just too shocking to my sleeping self.

      I don’t believe I lost weight. I must have firmed up some from all that walking. I didn’t think about it at all. Huh.

      Russian food is heavy, isn’t it like European food. Did you get lots of potatoes? What kind of meals did you get?

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  19. Poor Tess, no hot water, angry Chinese man and lap noodles. Certainly not one of your better days.

    I will tell you a secret, when I was in Singapore I had a wonderful antique dealer who specialized in Jade. I just loved her. I bought three truly lovely pieces from her (all verified). I just love them, but they are not for everyone. All hand carved Chinese Erotica.

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  20. I think that’s terribly rude and ungracious of that man to make a big fuss and shout at a lady who has obviously made a mistake! That’s more abusive than you accidentally touching him. You really did experience a wide range of things on this trip!

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  21. I suspect when you live in such close quarters as many Chinese, you develop a strong desire for your own space! I’m sure you felt awful about it, but sometimes we can’t help an accidental touching of others. 🙂

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    • I can’t recall the last time I’d felt this devastated. 😦 It’s all over now but the feeling is still there.

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      • But it wasn’t your fault! It was accidental. Things happen. I’m sorry that a bad memory intrudes on such a happy time.

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      • Different country; different rules. You’re at a disadvantage.I wouldn’t hurt a fly and yet, though I used a voice I’d use with a scared child, he wouldn’t calm down. Unnerving. Doesn’t necessarily mean all of his countrymen would have insisted on holding on to their anger. Could be a trait of this person. Doesn’t mean I was off the hook.
        I know. Whine. Whine. Whine. 😀

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      • You’re not whining. You’re a kind and sensitive person. He could have been more gallant, Tess, when he saw how badly you felt. Civility goes both ways, does it not? ❤

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  22. Some days are just like that- it feels as if the universe is full of angst and upset.
    Your photos are wonderful and as always, I enjoy hearing the honest tone of your travelogue.
    That canal shot is especially glorious!

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  23. I had to laugh at your inadvertent assault in the plane. Mean ole` Canadian! 😉 The jade pieces are beautiful too.

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  24. p.s. like the new layout! I usually read entries in the little reader window so I haven’t seen the new look til now.

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  25. I love your frankness – and I think I will go on a trip to Canada instead of China 🙂
    China is fascinating, but the difficulty with the language would make it tough I think.

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    • 😀 😀 Why spend the money to go to China after you’ve experience my little tour? 😀 😀
      Come to Canada. Where are you planning on exploring?

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      • I am not sure where to go in Canada. I love the bush, so places with lots of natural beauty would be nice. I would also like to visit the French part of the country. Perhaps you could post a series on Canadian ‘must see places’? 🙂

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      • I got all wordy on another comment I responded to .I`m not sure what you mean by bush. We have lots of bears and lots of places you can get lost. We have miles and miles of bush and uninhabited areas. Impossible to do your own tour in the bush–no biking trails there (in the bush in the north)

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    • Here’s a start. Just read this post today. Perfect timing.
      http://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/trip-to-beautiful-quebec-city-canada/

      We have a lot of land here. Miles and miles of nothing but bush in the northern part. Not much industry in the north as mining isn’t going strong like it did when the brrr frozen north opened up the territory to immigrants and mercenaries (from all over the world) just around 1900.

      The tourist hot spots are:Quebec and Quebec City, and Montreal, Ottawa (seat of government and capital of Canada), Toronto for CN tower, Niagara Falls (for the falls). Then there is the west, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary for example.
      I used to host Japanese ladies doing a cross Canada tour from the east coast to all the main stops. I don’t know if these were put together by the tour guide or if there is any such animal as a package.

      I don’t do Toronto ’cause I’m somewhat a country girl and I’ve been to Vancouver to visit my sister. I’ve been to Niagara Falls but highway traffic now scares the shoes off me.
      Anyway, those are the highlights visitors are interested in. Of course all the major cities have arts and theater, ballet, and philharmonic and Opera.

      Somethings to start your engine humming. 😦 ❤

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  26. What adventures in this post Tess. How rude to have that box of noodles thrown on your lap, that would make me enraged never mind the man being cross about his head being touched. Bet you couldn’t wait to get off that plane…I hope the rest of the trip was happier for you and ended with maybe one or two beers? The waterways look interesting. I agree too about too many dust-catchers…no more! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was especially shocked because my knowledge about the Chinese portrayed them as more polite than we can imagine.
      With the strict employment expectations (late once…late twice–goodbye etc.) Maybe it depends if the boss is watching or not or the person know no-one will say anything.

      Look at Hong Kong these past 5 days… The young people want change. The young people have been speaking out. Our guides were open.

      No more dust collectors. I also have no place to stash them. If I can`t look at and enjoy them every day, stashing doesn`t work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I’m not planning to go to China soon, but I’ll remember your advice. The jade jewelry is beautiful, but I understand what you say about things gathering dust. Looking forward to the post tomorrow!

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    • Let’s face it. We can only collect so much stuff.
      Anyway, my trip to China was not on a bucket list of anything. I had no plans to travel for about 18 years but this one came along and bloom. I was there. 🙂

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  28. I guess living in very crowded conditions makes you good at stepping around people. And perhaps very sensitive to being touched too?
    True about the dust-collectors. I’m also trying to “downsize” there…

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