Separation Anxiety

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of China  , Hubei,
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 1 - Transit to Wuhan
Bus to Yichang took about an hour to get there. Once there wasnt sure where to go so followed the other people on the bus. These guys then got onto another bus which I knew wasnt mine so started to head back.

Hadnt seen anyone when the bus arrived so decided to head back to the ticketing office since it seemed like I had been dropped off at the long distance bus terminal. Luckily the ticketing office was also where the arrival gate was (had completely missed it since I hadnt looked). Almost as soon as I walked in the guy who was waiting for me came up to me with my nae on a sign and asked me if it was me.
From here he then took me to where the bus to Wuhan was and I put my bag on the bus. He then said I had til 1pm until the bus left. He said I hadnt much time so I needed to be quick. Decided to head out and bought some kentucky and went to the wall mark to get some drink.

Upon coming back I didnt see the bus where I thought I had left it. That is between two bronze buses. Looked around for a bit but couldnt see it. didnt mind missing the bus but wasnt looking forward to loosing my backpack with most of my gear. At this point was wondering if the guy had meant 12pm since he said I didnt have much time to get food and I couldnt see the bus where I expected it.

Decided to head backto the ticketing office but with no chinese from me and only limited english from them couldnt get anywhere. Luckily someone who spoke a little english came up to me since see was also looking to meet someone else at the bus station and was kind enough to call the travel agent in Chongqing who called the guy in Wuhan.

Eventually explained I had lost the bus or possibly missed it. Thankfully the guy came back and took me back to the bus. At this point I'm not sure whether I was just confused about where the bus was or whether the bus had moved on me after I had left it. Have had to many late nights and early mornings so am tired and its quite possible I midremembered where the bus was and when I looked around completely missed seeing it.

In any case I dont think I'll be putting my bag on a bus then walking away again especially when someone leads me to a bus (brain tends to switch off in this case). At least when I walk there by myself I tend to keep track of landmarks better.

In the end the bus didnt leave until 1:30pm since the driver was waiting for someone. Guess its a private bus and if someones late they'll make everyone wait.

From Yichang to Wuhan it was a 5hr drive through some nice rice paddie countryside with water buffalo and everything. Once we got near Wuhan the bus stopped once, a bunch of people got off, a bunch of people got on. This always makes me nevous especially when your not sure where to get off. In the end the guy behind me spoke some english and said the bus was stopping at ht eWuhan train station. Thsi didnt happen but it did stop at a long distance bus station though this one didnt happen to appear in my book (when comparing characters).

As a result had no idea where in Wuhan I was but was sure I was in Wuhan since a nearby sign said Wuhan Travel Agent. Tried to get a taxi but when I pointed to the address in my book the first driver said no and the second one wanted Y80. He wasnt willing to use the meter and eventually went down to Y70 but wasnt desperate enough yet to say yes. First time Ive had drivers in a big city not willing to use a meter.

Wandered around a bit and a third taxi pull in but he also said no. At this point the first driver had picked up a passenger and offered to take me for Y50. Decided didnt feel like stuffing around so said yes. In the end he didnt know where to take me straight off since he called someone on his phone and asked. In the end guess I overpaid for the cab by Y20 but at least I got to my to destination. also guessing the other driver didnt want to go because it meant crossing the river. But thats only a guess.

After checking into the hostel had a shower and didnt do much else before bed. All I can say is that Im happy I didnt go to the dam else I would have arrived in town 2-3hrs later and I really wouldnt have wanted to deal with taxi drivers at time of night.

Day 2 - Dead day for Transit
Spent the morning in the hostel killing time until I had to head out for the train. Only real thing I did was go to the supernarket to buy some supplies for the train.

Was also lucky enough to find that the hostel had a scanner so was able to scan the documents I needed for a refund and send the email out. Will be nice to get some extra cash into my account especially since I wasnt sure if I would see the money from the ticket again.

Found that this time when I caught the taxi he turned the meter on. don't know whether it has something to do with the drivers working for different companies or whether it was just because I was at the bus station.

Found this new train station to be huge like all new train station in china. Seems to be more like an airport terminal than the train station I've seen before. Also this time it seemed that the crowd was a bit more well behaved and less pushy.

Not much to do on the train. Only stange bit was when the conductor wanted to see the card she gave me after some other guy had a discussion with me. Have no idea what she sai and all I said was Xian which ended the conversation. Not sure what the guy was after but he ended up swapping his card with that of another person on a bunk in the next cabin. As for me, in the end mostly spent my time sleeping since it was going to arrive in Xian at 5am.

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