Out of my comfort zone

Since China doesn’t allow me to use WordPress for new posts, I am on my phone b/c I managed to get VPN access. Anyhow.

I arrived in Fuzhou, China past midnight b/c of a delayed flight from Hong Kong. As soon as I walked out of the airport I was greeted by at least 20 cab drivers wanting me to ride with them. Everyone trying to help carry my bags. Eventually a Yao Ming look-a-like got my service, but only for split second. He had two others in the car and trunk space that was already filled (greedy greedy). I quickly found another driver, only to realize his car didn’t have a lick of “Taxi” written. A bit skeptic I was. I put my bags in the trunk then asked him how much he was charging (mind you this is all in Chinese). I had an idea of what the price was going to be beforehand. And of course he tried to stiff me. After 10 min back and forth I told him to take my bags out of the trunk. He finally gave into my price, but since his car was not an actual taxi cab I decided to be safe and find another. I saw that everyone else was taking the public bus. I decided to take the bus even though I had no idea where it was going to drop me off.

Probably the longest 50 minute bus ride. Passengers sat up top and the windows looking out had covers on them so I could not see anything. The guy on my right was coughing up a storm and to my left was Mr. Sniffles. Not sure where I got dropped off, but in a matter of seconds a sea of taxis came swarming in to the area. Luckily I found a taxi who took me to the hotel. Arrived at 2 in the morning.

Accessibility is almost zero. I’ve been eating every meal at the hotel even though oil and MSG fill each dish. Walking to the tennis courts takes 15 min b/c the shuttle can only go from tennis courts to hotel (inconvenience of the roads). A sea of mopeds, scooters, and bicycles nearly run you over when you cross the traffic lights. There are holes in the front and back of babies pants so they don’t have to have diapers. And no one seems to be helpful when you ask questions.

Exchanging money was a trip too. The answer we usually got was the bills were either too old or they just didn’t exchange USD. After an hour of searching for banks that would exchange, Bank of China came to the rescue.

As if that wasn’t enough of a headache. Laundry service is almost non-existent here. Every place I have gone to said it would take three days before they could finish. Apparently they take the clothes elsewhere to wash. Or maybe they saw my stack of clothes. I went to the market and got soap and gloves. Hand wash it is.

In tennis news. A downpour decided to make its way to Fuzhou. Pushing the the matches to two indoor courts (not really indoors, just a covering). But the rain was a downpour so the roof started to leak and they had to postpone the matches once again. I was the last match on. After a whole day of adventures my match and another were canceled at 5pm b/c the lighting in the indoor courts were abysmal. So I’ve potentially got two matches tomorrow.

It’s been a trip.

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Positive!

JJ

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