Today was the start of the next part of my journey, my safety net (nikki and Tony) were heading home and I would have to make my way around, commnicate and survive all on my lonesome (at least until Wednesday when my tour would start).
Nikki and I had done some work the night before teaching me some key phrases (mostly shopping related) and I had asked Tony to add the names of the places I wanted to see in characters in my pocket sized tour guide (we had by then worked out lonely plant already had them but its not so easy to carry around as this book)
The plan was that about 9am we would take me and my stuff to the hostel that I would stay at forthe tour and hope there was a single room (share facilities so cheap) available for two nights. I did try to explain to the chick at the desk that I was also booked in on the 5th but she couldn't understand me so it was easier to worryabout that later in the week.
So once that was all sorted, we took my gear up to the sauna that was to be my room for two days. It was a good size room although very warm and in the centre row of the hotel so no airflow. I also couldn't see how to control the temperature which has probably contributed to the way I've been feeling for the last few days (more on that later).
Once everything was in, Nikki and Tony were off to get their hair cut and finish their own packing to head off on the bus in the afternoon.
Again to Nikki and Tony if you're reading this, the time I spent with both of you and in particular the rest of your family over those three days was amazing and an experience not many people will get to share. Nikki your ability to adapt to such a strange and different country is awe inspiring and you should be very proud of what you've achieved.
OK, so enough with the touchy feely, anyone would think I'd drunk 2/3 a bottle of vodka hey :P Tony, you better look after our sister or Matthew will head over and "kick your ***" :P
So here I was, on my own in a country that speaks a totally different language has a totally different culture and way of life and I have three days to kill.
I started the day off as any chicken does, tucked safely in the internet cafe trying (unseuccefully - lost episodes were avialable on you tube) to update this journal and managing to use almost every computer in the room trying to find one that liked me.
And then it was time to leave the safety of the hostel and venture out.. To start with today I walked about 10-15minutes up the road to Wanfujing - shopping street we'd spent a bit of time in and I knew I would be able to find some (harmless) lunch. In the end I decided to wuss out and give Sizzler a go... The salad bar selection was deifinitly not a patch on ours at home, just some basic salad stuff, the soup was good though and the steak was OK...
After lunch it was off to the Yashow markets where I had seen a bag and some other stuff I wanted but not bought yet so I was going to bravethe bartering all on my lonesome. I headed straight up to the jewellry floor and picked up my bag, a notebook and some wine bottle covers I had been eyeing off. I probably paid too much for a chinese prson, but I'm not with one anymore so I think I kind of have to [ay a bit more. I tried to use my newly learned chinese phrases but in the end it was easier to just use the calculator.
I also picked up some jewellry for Leah and then headed out and decided to go for a walk and see what I could find in the area. I knew there was supposed to be a good cafe near by that had heaps of books and you could sit and read as well as "bar street" (name speaks for itself) ut I think it was a bit early for all of that and I instead found the street with all the embassies on it.
As I was walking along I tried to guess which one might be the Australian one and actually got it right... It seemed to go on forever and has treese growing inside it and all overthe buildings. a bit interesting...
After my walk I hailed a taxi and headed back to the hostel for a little nap in my hot box, and then some more internet time.
for dinner I used the subway rather than walk in the cold and headed back to the food court I'd discovered and had Thai for dinner. very nice.
After dinner I took my book to the bar and stayed there for a while hoping to meet some other epeople who spoke english.. I did get talking to the intrepid group who had laready started their tour and were off to the wall tomorrow but they didn't really want to talk to me too much so I headed back upstairs and off to bed.