In 2007 I went to China for two weeks. I’m not sure how it is now, but then you couldn’t just bring your cell phone along and expect it to work. It was difficult, especially in the rural areas, to make a phone call to the states. Even in the major cities it was impossible to make a call with a phone purchased in the U.S. unless you had some kind of international package. I was used to talking to my husband everyday when out of town, so I took to writing letters. I read them again the other day. They made me laugh. I wasn’t very eloquent or lyrical.
From the Salvo Hotel in Shanghai…February 24, 2007, Year of the Pig
Hi Punk! I miss you. I feel kind of lonely way over here. But I am glad I came to see these sights on the other side of the world. Shanghai is an amazing city. You would really like it, I think, just as you like NYC or Boston. Such interesting people to watch and new things to soak in. I got an eight-inch pizza–Canadian bacon and pineapple– for just over $1.00. I got a bottled Coke and a Snickers for less than $1.00. Everything I see is a trinket to bring home–a yuan coin, a matchbook, a business card, even the shower cap!!
Interestingly I look fatter in China. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the lighting. Speaking of lights–there are a jillion here. Everything is really lit up, bright and clear. The colors ( you know I’d notice the colors) are so vivid and surreal. More later….
From the Lijang Waterfall Hotel, Guilin…February 25, 2007
Hi Sweetie. I wish I could figure out how to call you tonight, but I’d have to put a $500 deposit deposit down to make a call from the hotel & the business office is out of pre-paid phone cards. Anyway, I miss you. We saw more incredible things today. The “hills,” “mountains,” “rocks,” or whatever these formations are around Guilin are very interesting. I’ve never seen this type of topology anywhere.
This morning I sat in the a hotel lobby in Shanghai by this long thin pool of water. All the fish (beautiful huge gold & blue fish) must have thought I was going to feed them. When I sat down they all swam down to meet me. I thought it was funny because I didn’t know fish could see you. I have eaten duck on this trip but no goose legs. Everyone else at dinner tonight, sans me, ate them.
From Guifu Hotel…February 26, 2007
Hi Punk!! We are having another amazing day. We spent 4 hours on a tour boat on a river whose sights were incredible. “It is like a long painting,” the tour guide said. And it was. I took about 100 pictures. We saw water buffalo, people washing clothes on rocks, camerand ( a bird, but I’m sure I spelled it incorrectly) and so much more. We saw rock mountains (limestone) shaped like horses, apples, dolphins, and more.
We’re getting ready to go out to the market. A while ago I almost spent 50 yuan for 2 ball caps. Thought the people I was traveling with were going to stroke out. They made the seller really angry [My guides stopped me from buying anything.] but, they said I should not spend more than 10-15 yuan for the hats ($1 or $2). Yikes. So much to learn. Tonight we’re going to an outdoor play about the locals in this area.
From the Liuzhou Hotel…February 27, 2007
“Wall-eye-knee” means “I love you” and I do!!! I hope you’ll be getting these letters soon. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to make a call. The first night was easy, but it hasn’t been since. We had another nice today. Last night we saw the most incredible outdoor show. I’ll tell you about it when I get home. Today we went to a stone park—many fascinating sculptures. We’re in a really neat city now named Liuzhou, thus the name of the hotel.
Amy and I went to get our nails painted. I have flowers on each nail. At USA Nails it would be $3 per design. These were less than $3 for all designs. I hope I still have them when I get back, but if not I’ll take a picture of them. We’re having a great trip. Amy and others with us are a lot of fun.