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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Nanjing (day 1)

CHINA | Saturday, 5 July 2008 | Views [984] | Comments [1]

With the opportunity to write far sooner than I ever thought, I'm taking advantage.

I arrived in the Southern Capital (that literally what the characters Nan Jing translate to) at 4am. I mentioned earlier that I managed to screw up my train ticket after purchasing a string of successful ones. Anyway, the screwed up ticket was for an amazing train because I arrived a full hour and a half before scheduled. I decided to make the best of it.

I immediately got in line to try to purchase my second to last ticket in China. Either I learned a hearty lesson from my last debacle or the Nanjing accent agrees with me because this one went off without a hitch.

I'm headed for Suzhou on Wednesday. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After the ticket was purchased, I went to a nearby 24 hour McDonald's and waited for it to become 5am so I could buy some breakfast. Turns out they had no intention of making breakfast, and I had to point out the signs everywhere that said breakfast started at 5am. They made me my damn breakfast.

As I was eating, I noticed a park with a lake and a cityscape and a sun rise happening about a 100 yards from the McDonald's. I downed the rest of my coffee, and went for it.

It was absolutely beautiful. The sun was rising facing the buildings, so the reflection was on the water and there were people fishing and there was a college girl who spoke English. She started a very pleasant conversation with me.

Around 6am, I decided to go see about the bus situation. I got on, messaged my couch host, and enjoyed the 20 minute ride to the other side of town. Immediately upon entering her house, she and her parents started planning the day. It was about 6:30am.

We were out the door by 7am. I did a whirlwind tour of the city of Nanjing today, in a way I very much didn't plan to do. She took me to things I had read about but decided not to see. She didn't get hungry until about 3pm, so that's when we ate lunch. I was/am very grateful for her hospitality, but I decided to do this trip alone for a reason. And being dragged around a ragingly hot city without food all day does not fit into that reason.

We've decided to sleep in tomorrow (much needed as I've been officially awake since 4am, and unofficially awake since about midnight because I was worried I'd miss the stop). And hopefully we won't attempt to do so much in such hot weather again. She's a lovely girl, but she wants me to see every damn thing in the city in four days. I'm not sure how to explain that not only do I not want that, but I don't think it's enjoyable AT ALL.

To be continued...




oh, Nanjing. Yea, sometimes there are people who think visiting a city means seeing EVERYTHING. At least this is happening on the first day of your trip, and its somewhat bearable. One month in, you'll see what I mean (and relish those days in which you do NOTHING cultural or academically stimulating). Nanjing, from what I remember, has the largest collection of KFCs I've seen in China. There seemed to be one on every goddamn block. Oh, and are you planning on checking out the bar area? Its called soemthing with numbers, like "324" or "798"(le sigh), or something.
Yea, the massacre museum is really interesting. Its nice to spend a lot of time there. The collection of rocks, bones, artifacts. Really well put together.
I hope your last days in China are wonderful, and the rest of the train travel works out fine. Love you and miss you oodles!

  Mario Bucca Jul 7, 2008 4:43 AM

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