Greetings from China!!
Alright, so this email is going to be a short one but I just wanted to share with everyone a little bit about our first official trip/vacation. Like I mentioned in the previous email we went to Nanjing. It is about a 3 hour bus ride from Hefei (my city). We were only there for a day and a half, but we totally needed it. So we arrive in Nanjing around noon and as we are walking off the bus there are TONS of people yelling for us. they are all taxi drivers wanting to take us to wherever we need to go. They start getting right up in our faces and speaking in chinese. I always just have to laugh because do they really think that I look like I can understand them?? haha...and this isn't the first time this has happened. Everywhere we go people just start talking to us, they automatically assume we speak their language. We usually just ignore them and keep moving, but this particular time it was very hard to keep moving because each of us in my group probably have 3 chinese men surrounding you. This is when you just hold tight to your purse and push through. So finally we make it to the main street and some of these men kept following us. We showed them the address of the place we were staying at and they said they would take us there for 100 yuan. We laughed and walked away. We flagged down a legit taxi driver and he said it would be about 30 yuan. After we get to the Hostel ( a hostel is a really cheap place to stay the night when traveling, it's usually one room with several beds in it. Sometimes you share the room with people you don't know who are also traveling) we drop off our stuff and hit the markets for some shopping. nanjing had some GREAT markets. It was a really nice city. It had a river that ran through it, that was all lit up at night and you could take little boats down it. After shopping the entire first day, the second day (which was today) we decided to go to some gardens and to this big mountain that is pretty popular for tourists. We didn't plan on hiking to the top, but kinda did on accident. It had a really cool view of the over-polluted city. haha...it actually really was pretty. After forever of walking and hiking we decided that we were all tired and wanted to head home. After the 3 hour bus ride that ended up being closer to 5 because of road construction. We had to seperate and get 3 taxis to take us back to our apartments ( 3 people in each taxi). First group flags one down rather quickly and goes. Next up..my group. It takes us like 15 minutes to flag someone down. finally, one stops for us and we show him the address to our apartments and he shakes his head in agreement..so we hop in. haha...ok funny story starts now. So I was the one riding in the front seat, aleksi and aubrey are in the back. As soon as we get in Of course the man starts talking to us in chinese and looking at us and expecting us to answer him. This time instead of just shaking my head I decided to make a conversation out of it. (Most of you will think I am really weird, but my sister,molly and a few others will appreciate my dorkiness). So the man says something in chinese..I reply "oh my day was great...thanks for asking. How was yours?" He says something in chinese...I say "bowling?? really...sounds fun. did you win?" He again responds with something I don't understand and I say back..." you think im pretty??? oh, you are too kind. thank you!" This went on for awhile actually. It was sooo funny and my friends aleksi and aubrey were dying in the back seat. The guy just started laughing too, he didn't know what was funny though. Then I said aloud to the girls " guys...isn't it kinda weird that we are just trusting our LIVES to this strange man we dont know. we don't know this city at all. He could be taking us in the complete opposite direction we want to go and not even know. He could take us to a factory and force us to work for him like slaves." We all started laughing...our laughing quickly turned into silence. My friend aubrey was like "...seriously though." All the taxi drivers have their picture and taxi number on display on their dashboard for people to see.
The next conversation went like this..
me: "uh...guys, do you think our taxi driver is a man or a woman?"
aleksi: " um. duh cortney....it's a man"
me: " yeah, that's what I thought...but this picture is of a woman."
me: "umm..what if we are in a stolen taxi?"
aleksi: "oh my gosh, he really is going to take us to his factory!"
we all kinda got a little nervous. Then we realized that absolutely NOTHING looked familiar. we had been in the car for like 20 minutes and were not home yet. then...it got really scary. He pulled off the road and stopped infront of this building that was all dark inside.
aubrey: "oh crap...the factory."
aleksi: "cortney, hurry..get out the address and show him again."
me: inside my head (oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.)
I hurried and pulled out the address again, and showed him. He yelled something in chinese and got on the road again. 5 minutes later we were pulling inside the gates of our school. I don't think any of us took a breath for those 5 minutes. we paid the scary man and jumped out.
So this email was supposed to be short,but kinda turned out to be long. Anyway, I am safe and alive and not working for a scary man in a factory. I love you all and I want to hear lots of comments. Or I am going to drop you off my mailing list.... :o) haha.