"The weather here is lovely!"/sarcasm/..."Well, it actually doesn't get any better than this"
18.03.2011 - 20.03.2011
This weekend we went to Dongguan. As soon as I had devoured my lunch in the canteen I ran to my room for a shower and to pack my stuff. I didn’t have more time than absolutely necessary, because I did this in the course of 20 minutes. I met the others by one of the many buses outside our canteen. Six of us were going (Nick, Jeppe, Mark, Aline, Amanda and me) The bus was almost full. We tried to find seats, one of my students (No I don’t know his name, I have 390 students a week!) greeted me and pointed to a seat a few seats away- I ended up sitting next to an awkward teenage boy for two hours. He did say “thank you” when I moved to let him get off the bus though, his pronunciation was really good from what I heard.
We got off the bus, but then we realized that we had no idea where we were. In Dongguan for sure, but where? We asked some of the other students who were on the bus, we needed to find Wallmart. We got a cab and surely, we found our way. We stayed in Wall mart for awhile. I bought some juice and chocolate to take with me. The guys bought wine for Jasmine (she let them stay in her apartment over the weekend) We went to Starbucks, we waited for the others to meet us. Jasmine came to get the guys, they left quickly- leaving Nick, Amanda, Aline and me behind, which I found strange- I mean, I didn't even get to say “Hi” before they were out the door. We waited for almost an hour before Jonas, Jesper and Faith came. We didn’t know where to stay. After dinner, Jonas and Faith went back home. They didn’t feel well. After searching for hotels, and finding a few- but we weren’t to keen on any of them, we decided that we’re staying with Jonas, he lives in a shared apartment with fellow swede Jesper. So Jonas and Faith came back, to collect our luggage and we went out. We came back by midnight.
Saturday morning, I went to get breakfast in their campus shop- it’s so much better than ours! It actually looks like a little supermarket, and not like a lousy kiosk. I had a strange, soft bun with a yellow fruity filling and a sweet cake + the berry juice I got the previous day. We waited until Aline, Jesper and Nick got up and we went out to see some of Dongguan. They weren’t too happy about this city, there was “not much to do”. There was some expensive shopping possibilities and western places scattered around. Like Wall mart, which is great- I found loads of stuff I would love to have in my room- but I can’t carry it with me back. But of course, if you do your weekly shopping there all the time- it’s going to be fairly expensive, compared to Chinese markets. We ate at Pizza Hut. I had my first Pizza in China- it was good! We walked to a café called Northern Lights. I was still full from the pizza, but I still enjoyed looking at the beautiful cakes and sweet, little creations they had on display. We wandered off to something called “the Pillow Museum”. Jonas had picked up a free magazine at Starbucks when we met there, it had tourist attractions, maps etc. in it and it was our best friend. We used the map to navigate towards the hotel. It took a long time. It was a few kilometers away. And it rained. The hotel was called “Silver..- something” that was all we had. Eventually a building appeared on the other side of the busy road, it said “Silver..—something. This was it! We were delighted and ran up to it quickly. The hotel was very luxurious and we got some weird looks upon entering. We were told that the pillow museum was on the 2nd floor. But once we got there, it was closed! It said open at request in the magazine, so we requested. We really wanted to see some pillows! The museum wasn't that big, but they had quite a display- we probably spent the longest time out of anyone who’s ever visited. But we left, and found our way back to their apartment. Some of us agreed to not go out, like the others were planning to do. We nerds had a movie night instead. Jonas, Amanda, Faith, Aline and me. We bought snacks in the handy little campus store and tried to relax on their hard couch (much like one you’ll find in an airport- waiting area) But it was nice. We saw “Inglorius Basterds”, because Aline hadn’t seen it, which I found strangely funny... she’s German.
Hannah lives with Jasmine. But like us, she didn’t want to go out with the others. She came over, she was supposed to join us for the movie night but some complications hindered this from happening. She took a cab, usually its about 20 minute drive and costs no more than 30 yuan. Her cab driver was a woman (they’re usually men here) the license, however, had a picture of a man. So poor Hannah thought she was a victim of human trafficking. The lady was confused and got lost. She ended up being very late and had to pay 70 yuan… She stayed the night.
Sunday at noon we were all up and ready to go. We left to go to Hannah’s apartment (she shares with Jasmine) to visit and to pick up the guys- so we could go home. Firstly, their apartment is the nicest one I have seen yet! Proper kitchen, dining table, proper living room, nice furniture! I would love to live in that apartment in Norway! They’re lucky. We didn’t move until 15.00. We found the bus station. But on our way there- we managed to lose the three guys (we took separate cabs). We waited and searched for them, but they were on another bus station ? We got tickets. Then we had to wait in the boiling heat for an hour. Finally our bus showed up. We got seats and relaxed while we moved closer to Shenzhen. Problem this time was that we didn’t quite know where to get off. Amanda sat next to an English speaking boy, who told us where to go. Aline got in a bus and left for her school. Amanda and I tried to wave a cab for 30 minutes, when we got one, she showed the address and they declined. Every. Time. So we got a bus. The people on the bus were helpful. Amanda called an English teacher and got her to speak to a Chinese woman. I was dead tired at this point. I' impressed I didn't pass out then and there. The women talked to Amanda, though. Asked her for her Skype and stuff. I think they could see that I was not up for talking, I wanted to go back and plan my lessons! It was getting late. We walked all the way to the school from the bus stop, it’s a 30 minute walk. We were back by 19.00. We missed dinner, but we grabbed a burger before trying to flag all those cabs. So it wasn’t too bad. I managed to actually plan what I had in mind (I was considering shortening it, making it simpler. Because it was late in the evening) But I can proudly say I made most of my plan come to life. I finished the PowerPoint and from there my mind goes blank.
Sleep came early that night.