Kaitlin reporting in, live from Nanjing. We made it to the train station and I think both our mouths dropped open as we stared at the hordes of people. It was utter madness! After finding our gate we stood around awkwardly, trying to sort out just exactly where to go next. A helpful man (whose name I forget but the last character of his name was made of the characters for China and Heart - Loyalty he said it translated to) showed us where to go because we were on the same train.
Then of course, he tried to convince us he knew a good hotel he could help us get a discount at. Ahhh touts. I was wondering how long before they showed up. We told him no, we were staying with a friend, but he was still persistent (albeit nice).
We couldn't get the hard sleeper for the train, so we were in the soft. Which left me totally spoiled. Seriously. TVs, nice blankets, a closing door... ahhh the good life. I slept like the dead until I woke up needing to pee.
Now, I don't want to gross you out, dear friends, but let me discuss bathrooms for a moment.
First, squat toilets aren't so bad. If you only have to pee. And you are in a skirt. Any other time... Well, I wouldn't recommend it. Next, you cannot throw your used toilet paper in ANY toilet. You throw it in a garbage can after neatly folding it. Evidently their sewer systems cannot handle the paper. Pipes are too small. This is common for most of asia. Disgusting? Totally.
We arrived early this morning and we had a pick up from the train station. I was under the impression that meant a car but no, we were just guided through the subway and walked to the hotel. Good thing my bag isn't too heavy!! Our rooms weren't yet vacated/leaned so we waited around for a while and I took a nap.
The AC has given me a full blown cold and I'm taking the Tylenol Cold Day stuff I brought with me. I was fully expecting this. AC is foreign to my system and it makes my grandmother sick even in the car. I've been a bit foggy today so after we got our room we both tooks showers, washed our clothes, and went out for a stroll. We're only spending today and tomorrow night in Nanjing. We leave on the night of the 22nd for Huangshan, the mountain we're climbing. So we've got some days to shop. I bought a really cute shirt and did a good job haggling the price down. There's another one I like but it is in a legitimate shop, not a stall, so I can't really haggle that. Still, it's less than 10 bucks so I may check it out before we go.
We ate at McDonalds today because we were really hungry. Probably not a bad idea, right? Well, their idea of a McChicken involves a whole lotta spicy something in the breading. I liked it, Amy not so much. They love breaded/fried chicken here. KFC is freaking everywhere! Except their KFC sells strawberry tarts and their McDonalds sells Taro pies. Weird...
I made the mistake of having a drink that was made using blended ice and my stomach is a little bit upset with me at the moment. Suck it stomach, you will toughen up or ship out.
We got some lychee (it's in season) and this is our 4th kilo we've eaten so far. A few snacks from the bakery too. Nanjing doesn't have much for us to do (Massacre hall and a garden thing tomorrow) but the shopping is great and the city has a good atmosphere. It's the old capital of China, you know. Lots of asian tour groups going through with flags and megaphones here but not so many as in Beijing.
This computer doesn't want to let me upload photos so I've included a picture of the smog in the morning of Beijing with this update. If I can get them up later I may change it.