Beers N Noodles and An Evening With Happy Susan
Trip Start Jan 01, 2005
791Trip End Ongoing
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Upon awaking I decided it was time to move on. I had seen half of what the Chinese consider 'Heaven on Earth' so now it was time to visit the other half. It was time to take my sandals for a walk around 'West Lake' in Hangzhou City.
After saying goodbye to the happy hotel staff I headed across to the North Long Distance and grabbed a ticket for the mid day express bus. After boarding the bus I giggled my butt off as the driver went about putting everyone in 'their ticketed' seat. It was so funny. He was trying to separate couples and friends and make sure they were where they supposed to be.
Strangely many followed his instructions but most were yelling at him.
I watched for awhile and then came up with the 'highly original' idea of swapping everyone's tickets around. As I couldn't 'say it' I had to get up and begin swapping peoples tickets so that the ticket was in the right seat and so people could remain with their friends etc. Strangely this made the bus driver happy and he went back to what he was supposed to do and started the bus. I seriously can't understand the Chinese way of thinking sometimes. If it's not the driver trying to put the ticket in its correct seat it's the actual passages doing it.
Seriously, many HAVE to sit in their ticketed seat and will ask a couple to move apart to get it. Maybe they don't think to just to sit in the other seat so friends and couples can stay together. I have no explanation and have simply stopped tyring to find a reason for it each time it happens. I sit back and watch in amazement!
Believe me, it goes the other way too.
There have been many things I've done or asked for where I've been met with a blank stare.
I mean, why in the world would anyone want to drink cold beer or cold orange juice?
Why would anyone want to walk 'there' if you could take a taxi?
Why would anyone want to ride for six hours?
You would have to be stoopid!
The journey to Hangzhou took around three hours and cost 65 Yuan. I arrived at the North Bus Station and thought it best to grab a hotel near by. I had met a couple in Suzhou who had arrived from Hangzhou and had told me how expensive the hotels were. I grabbed one a few doors up from the bus station and paid 80 Yuan and not the 150 Yuan the other couple paid nearer to the lake.
The bus ride into the lake was supposed to be around ten to fifteen minutes so I was more than happy.
After paying for two nights I headed around the corner to one of Hangzhou's main roads called Moganshan Lu and boarded Bus No: 188 which was to take me somewhere near the lake. Not long after I got on a girl came over to say hello. We began talking about Hangzhou and she showed me where some buses go and what to look at on my map etc.
Travelling alone certainly has its rewards!
We both got off at Yan'an Lu and headed to Mc D's for an ElcheapO coffee after which we headed across to Xi Hu (or West Lake). Out of the thirty six lakes known as West Lake here in China, this is this one they are all named after. Hangzhou's West Lake is very famous in China and has been for a long time and judging by the amount of Chinese and Foreigners at the lake area it will remain so.
There were thousands and thousands of people walking around its edges as the sun was setting. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
It truly was an amazing sight!
We joined them and struggled our way around to The Baidi Causeway which is a long bridge type thing that leads to Gu Shan. West Lake really is beautiful at sun set but sadly there were too many people so we decided to grab something to eat and get to know each other more over a beer. We headed back to Yan'an Lu and grabbed a bus back to Moganshan Lu and got off near Susan's home and found a little eatery. The food was delicious and the company was beautiful.
We spent a few hours talking and then walking around the little roadside market place.
I now sit just around the corner from my hotel in a little night eatery that sells 3.6% Snow Beer. The only beer I have found here in Hangzhou has been 2.8%. I'm not out to get drunk but I at least want my beer to taste like beer and not beer flavoured water.
So Hangzhou so far.
The people are very friendly. Right now I have about ten people around me chirping away as they study and watch me writing my diary in English. For some reason that means I don't have to pay for my beer and that an endless supply is available. It really is so funny. We are sharing bbq sticks that are far too spicy for me but they are delicious so I'll continue eating them and pay for it tomorrow. All day people have been helping Susan and me with questions we both have about Hangzhou that Susan couldn't answer. Tomorrow I'll do what I came here to do and that is to walk all the way around West Lake and take in as many gardens as possible in one day and then meet Susan for dinner later in the evening.
What a laid back and happy city full of 6,114,000 people!
Beers N Noodles toya.....shane
The soundtrack to this entry was 'Enigma'
The album was 'The Screen Behind The Mirror'