Breakfast was meager, the second bad one and the worst of the two. We packed our bags and were downstairs for breakfast by about 7:20. The fried eggs were tough and rubbery; sausages were fine; baked beans (I didn’t try); rolls were hard as in stale. For fruit: only halved bananas (cut ends black); sliced white bread; cereals as usual and milk. Coffee and black tea were good.
Lily admitted breakfast at this hotel wasn’t great. “It is the best hotel in Yangzhou and it is a small city; they try their best.” She added this hotel is large and caters to many Chinese travelers as well in another room. We are in separate rooms or there would be a big mess. Really? What kind? In all previous (and larger) hotels, Chinese and foreign travelers had breakfast in the same area—no problem—with countless buffet choices for everyone.
Our luggage had to be outside our room by 8:30 a.m. and was picked up at precisely that time. I snooped when I heard activity in the hallway. We’d packed before breakfast and still had about 40 minutes to read and wait for the bus.
Before we leave this hotel, I must share a discovery. Instead of a sink, the bathroom had a wonderful bowl on the counter, but the faucet wasn’t arranged properly and water splashed all over the water as turned on. I heard a strange sound as the water disappeared down the drain. I turned the water off and on again. Same sound. I had to take a look beneath the sink and laughed my head off.
My apologies the picture is somewhat dark: regular pipe leads from the drain as well as through the floor. See the loose plastic tubing in between? It’s just long enough and not secured. I pulled it out for you to see and wonder if our room was the only one with special plumbing.
The bus ride from Yangshuo back to Guilin again took 1-1/2 hours. “The ride will be bumpy,” Lily said. She grinned and called it a back massage. Thank goodness the bus had padded seats not bare wood planks.
As well as our tour company, Lily also works for another one, which caters to Americans who come to adopt Chinese children. She likes being freelance and enjoys meeting people and hearing their stories.
While on the bus, I observed a woman ride her bike in stocking feet. Her boots were on the handlebars. I noticed my first set of twins alongside another sibling. Till now, we’d seen only singular children and mostly boys. A man washed dirt off his bike next to a mud puddle, scooping water up with his hands. It wasn’t fancy, but appeared efficient. As well, I noticed several times, a female driving a scooter with a male passenger. Yes, believe it, or not. I wonder if this means she makes better money or is a better penny Yuan pincher? It’s obvious she owns the wheels.
I noticed only a couple dogs and a pampered few in the city. In the country, a few dogs slept on a farm we passed on the way to our River Li cruise the day before.
Approximate Costs of Electronics in USD:
- ($416) iPad mini – 2500 Yuan
- ($333) Samsung iPhone – 2000 Yuan
- $833 iPhone5 (very popular) – 5000 Yuan
- $333 Regular bicycle (a farmer might use) – 2000 Yuan
- $100 and up Scooter – 600–700 Yuan
- Hong Kong has best prices for electronics (and cosmetics)
A five-cubic foot freezer is about 2200 Yuan (approximately $360 USD). Back home we can buy one that size for half that amount. Yes, people in the cities have money to spend, but I didn’t hear a reason why it’s so expensive if this popular. Of course, farmers are still behind the times with old washing machines or none, and no freezers. They don’t have electricity anyway.
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A Couple Chuckles, Chinese Style:
When a husband likes shopping, his wife does not.
When you marry the right woman, you are complete. When you marry the wrong one, you are finished.
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Next on March 13 – Guilin: Day 19, Part 2 – Out and About
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