Play by play…. 3pm Tuesday I leave the Canton fair in Guangzhou (I flew into Shenzhen and I stayed at a hotel near Shenzhen) and took the Guangzhou subway towards the (Shenzhen) airport. I saw signs that read, “Guangzhou subway” everywhere. A bulb lit up in my brain….F$%@ …. I was in the wrong city. I called a local friend and he suggested simply taking a flight from Guangzhou— much less hassle….. I got to the Guangzhou airport at 5pm or so and realized that tons of PEK flights were cancelled due to weather and what was left was way over full. I got a ticket to Tianjin for today at noon…… Some random non-English speaking Chinese man offered to assist. He was making calls and asked that I follow him. He then proceeded to attempt to shake me down for 500 rmb. I played along until I realized that I was following him to the standby line. I then walked far away and returned at 6:47pm to find that I had received a ticket into Tianjin. Wohoo! I finally made it to my gate at 7:15pm and at 8:20 the gate attendant checked my ticket…. Her buzzer went off and she scratched my 28B seat off and changed it to 1A - FIRST CLASS I landed at midnight or so In Tianjin. By 1am I was in my 198 rmb hotel room after making friends with a guy from Libya (seriously) and he was so nice. I woke at 5:23am went 10 minutes to the train station, boarded a 6:20am train and was in my apartment by 8:05am.
I left out…. I enjoyed Julia and Edgar’s company Sunday night while eating dinner with them in Hong Kong. I took a minvan, a bus, a taxi, and my feet into Hong Kong for dinner with them. I then rode the metro to the border and made my way back to my hotel with Fran and Peter that same Sunday night. The adventure in Guangzhou nearly overwhelmed me. It definitely increased my calorie intake from the energy drain. Now I sit at 4:14pm fighting the urge for a nap. I need to be on schedule in order to stay sane. Kunming begins Saturday for a week and then my first of three May visitors arrives the day I return from Kunming.