Guilin Noodles

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

Saturday was a little bitter sweet. The girls left in the morning pretty early. I barely woke up to say goodbye. They just got kind of a grunt and wave out of me.

Chris and I ended up hanging out with our new English friends, Vicky and Lee. For lunch we went to McDonalds and I had a chicken sandwich. It was alright, but it’s still fast food. After lunch we went to the underground market that is under the main square in Guilin. It was my second time visiting and it was still strange as ever. Chris tried to bargain with an old woman for a shirt, but that didn’t work out for him.

We all went back to the hostel and I took a short nap. Everyone was feeling a little bogged down yesterday from the night before, so we decided to try and see a movie. Some Canadian kid here at the hostel gave us directions and we hopped on a bus to the mall. When we arrived at the mall, we realized instantly that we had no idea where the theater was and none of the signs were in English. After wandering aimlessly and asking unsuspecting Chinese people, who knew no English, we found what appeared to be a theater. It turned out to be a karaoke thing where you rent rooms for you and all your friends, then sing your heart out. Turned out that it was one floor below the theater, so we headed up stairs. Getting tickets was just as challenging. A nice guy that spoke a little English helped us figure everything out. When he left we found out that he was actually the manager and he was just doing his job. He did however give us 50% off our tickets. The movie that was playing at that time was Prince of Persia (in English). It turned out to be pretty good stuff. We were the only white people in the theater, so I guessed that a lot of the viewers were reading a lot of subtitles. This was evident when we would laugh at something, then two seconds later everyone else would at they read the joke.

When the movie was over we went downstairs to the arcade. I haven’t been to an arcade in about 15 or 20 years. The best part was the bumper cars. At one point Chris and Lee, who used to be a rugby player, played chicken. No one turned and when they hit, I’m pretty sure Chris’ car came off the ground. In total, I spent about $3 US. Not too bad for 45 minutes of sheer childish bliss.

When we came out of the arcade, it was pouring down rain. We ran to a bar a few doors down and hopped inside for a beer. As soon as we walked in, it was like in the movie Animal House when they walk into the “black” bar. With the exception of them being Chinese and not black. Also we’re giants compared to most of them.

When the rain let up we tried to get a taxi back to the hostel, which is across from the train station.  Like always, no English. I tried to act like a train and the driver thought I wanted “boom boom.” I guess my late 1800’s style train reenactment has a lot of pelvic thrusting involved. Finally, the driver pulled out a map. I don’t know why he didn’t do that right away. It took me about two seconds to point at the train station.

When we arrived back at the hostel, we picked up some Guilin noodles and pot stickers… So good! That was about it for my night.

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