Our wandering took us to Coal Hill yesterday -a nice park within the city. There are walls up all around it -apparently you have to pay for it, but the gate we went in had no one at the ticket counter and no one else was paying..
. when we left through another gate - people had to pay! Whoops! But it was SO hot - after about 5 hours of us walking around I was starting to not feel good -just really hot and dehydrated. So we attempted to find some shade to sit in which was more difficult than you'd imagine, and sat and chugged a bunch of water. What really ended up helping was chugging a cold Coke when we finally got back to the hostel - guess my blood sugar had gotten too low.
Anyway, right across from Coal Hill is the Forbidden City - we were standing right there, and decided to wait until today to go - one, I wasn't feeling well and wanted to fully enjoy the experience, and 2, it was Sunday so it was crazy busy. So, we are going first thing this morning before it gets too hot, plus it is Monday so it shouldn't be quite so busy.
It's funny - the people trying to sell you on tours and rickshaws etc - they are everywhere near tourist sites, but are not allowed past certain points. It's hilarious how they will be all over you, then you step past "the line" and they don't cross it - the police are there watching to make sure they stay away. So it's funny, we wanted to stop and talk and decide what we wanted to do without being bothered, so we crossed "the line" and there was a guy standing right AT the line "Excuse me sir? Sir?" haha so we figured we had to at least go past earshot
. haha it's funny. So we decided tat it was just too bloody hot to walk back the 3 hours, so we took a taxi -so much easier now that we had a business card with our hostel address in Chinese characters! Got back, had that coke I mentioned earlier, then decided to head out for some food. Our first experience at ordering food outside of the hostel - eek! Thank god for our phrase book!!!!!!!! We ended up ordering the noodles with seafood. When it came (and of course we had to pay before it came out) it was noodles.. no seafood! So we tried to communicate that there was no seafood -that was a feat in itself! They nod as if they understand and like they will do something about it, then just disappear! Uh, so about the seafood..? So we tried again, and eventually they were like "oh!" scooped our plate up and were gone... a few minutes later the same plate came back with a few pieces of slimy, raw looking baby octopus and such on it.. ugh!!!! John ate it, I couldn't! I could only imagine how sick it would make me! ugh! gross! While we ate, some younger girls kept coming up to us and saying random English words to us, giggling and running back to their seats. Then they would repeat it but say something different. And it would be things like "I like middle"... uh, ok... John later figured out that maybe she was trying to say she likes threesomes and she like it in the middle.. haha
Forgot to mention yesterday that our roommate is from Edmonton - Dan - he's pretty cool. Turns out he was on our flight here! Anyway, we all got chatting yesterday afternoon and then all decided to take a nap at 6pm. Yeah, that turned into us all passing right out and then waking at 4am! ugh.. so much for getting on the right time zone!
Anyway, in the middle of the night last night, some people decided to start power sawing at 11pm - and were STILL doing it at 5:30 this morning! So much for noise bylaws like back home!! Ah, the serenity! Craziness!
Yesterday Johnand I walked for 3 hours, just wandering and seeing the sites. Even though it is a big city, we both feel very safe here. We joked about ending up in dodgy areas and not even knowing it, and sure enough, after the fact we found out that we walked right through an area that isn't classified as being the best, and didn't even know it. I believe it is called the Hatong area... ? Our hostel is actually right in the midst of it. haha It's interesting because the homes in the area don't have plumbing, so there are "public" washrooms and showers for them to use... that would suck if you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and had to walk 3 blocks to be able to go! Especially in winter when it apparently gets as cold as -10!