So it's that time again, where I ramble on about the mishaps of our trip. This entry is about our time in China. Although it is against everything this blog stands for, I must admit that I really enjoyed the parts of the country that I saw. This shows, as there are only 5 negative points that I can remember off hand about our trip here, although it must be said that we weren't here as long as we were on India! The infrastructure is pretty good and they seem to be developing the country at an efficient pace. With that being said, there were definitely a few things that I really didn't like, number one being the people! (in all fairness not everyone, but definitely the majority) So here is the run down of the worst parts of the China leg of our world trip.
1. Smog - so China is the most polluted country in the world according to many statistics, the majority of which are published by the US so China are disputing them, however this results in there being a constant fog over the country. We experienced it everywhere we went in China and it's definitely not pleasant knowing that you are surrounded by so much pollution that even the sun cannot really penetrate through. (If you can't picture it then it's pretty much like the scene from "The Matrix" where they show Neo the real world and it's just fog, cloud and thunder storms.)
2. The People - for the most part, they are extremely rude. They have no understanding of the concept of queuing so find it easier to push their way through. Tash almost got stuck on the metro when she tried to exit at our stop but instead of being let off she had around 20 Chinese people push her back in as they forced their way on the train. They are also happy enough to spit anywhere they see fit even if it happens to be in your general direction and they don't mind throwing there rubbish on the street rather than making the 5 metre walk to the bin. It is obvious that they know that it's wrong as the government have put advertisements everywhere telling them so.
3. Passing out - one of the worst points for me was blacking out on a train. We decided to move on from Beijing and head south to Shanghai, the obvious option was to take the train. When we got to the station we were told that the train was full and we could maybe get one tomorrow. Determined to leave Beijing that night I asked about seats instead of a bed but was told there was only standing left and it was the slow train that took around 9 hours. Feeling adventurous I convinced Tash that this was the best option, thinking we would find a corner to sit on the floor and fall asleep. When we got on the train, it was a different story. The train was jam packed with people standing and we ended up crammed in between them. "well at least it can't get any worse" or so I thought, they then closed the doors and the temperature inside rocketed as there was no ventilation. "okay, now it really can't get and worse" and then everyone around us decided that on a no smoking train, it would be a good idea to light up cigarettes. Four hours in and I was struggling and thought I was going to be sick, so I spent 5 minutes pushing my way through people to get to the toilet to find out it was locked. At that point my body gave up and I just remember everything going black as I slid down the wall to the floor. Awaking several minutes later just to look up at a bunch of amused Chinese men. I clambered my way back and dragged Tash of at the next station.
4. Being rejected from dozens of hotels - after reading about Shanghai I was aware that some hotels didn't accept tourists. However, this became a bit of a joke when we walked down 3 consecutive streets, entering every hotel just to be told "No! You leave!!". Now I'm pretty sure we didn't smell that bad, or look that scruffy. We were given no explanation and just had to deal with the repetitive screeching's of angry Chinese women. It took us from 5:30am until 12 midday to find accommodation that would accept us. Still to this day we don't really know why we were rejected.
5. Arriving at the station 3 days early - so after our traumatic start in Shanghai we thought it would be a good idea to get our train out of there booked and secured. When arriving at the station on the 27th we were told the next train wasn't until the 1st of the following month, later than we wanted it but only by a day or two we booked it. All excited on the 1st that we were leaving we enjoyed our last day and spent all the Chinese Yuan we had left and made our way to the station. As we arrived there, looking at the station entrance we looked down at our tickets to see the day 2010 10 04. After taking a second to comprehend we then realised that meant the 4th of October and not the 1st. I had obviously misheard the Chinese ticket man's accent and we were three days early for the train. The worst part was returning to our hostel to stay an extra 3 nights with no money to hand, when we discovered they were fully booked. Nightmare!
Stay tuned for more nightmares to come...