Thursday, August 4, 2011

Last morning in Guilin, YuYu reunites with foster family Day 11

We had a slow day yesterday, all travel, felt like wasting precious
time since we're leaving soon. We rode from Guilin to Nanning on a
deluxe bus because another family who took the train on Tuesday said
that so many people with "platform tickets" were pushing into the
reserved seat car and it was so crowded they had to stand during the
four hour trip. The travel agency diverted us to a bus, and it was
clean and comfortable, but it took five hours and the Chinese are tree
planting fools and the whole length of the freeway has bushes or trees
planted along the road side and you can't see past the trees to see
the countryside. You don't have that problem on the train so I'm
sorry we missed our train ride but glad we didn't have to stand the
whole way.

We took the Li River cruise in Guilin on Wednesday and instead of
staying in Yangshuo, the tourist town at the end of the cruise, and
seeing the spectacular show designed by the same guy who coreographed
the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, we were sent on a bus back to
Guilin even though our deluxe bus to Nanning didn't leave until 1:30pm
the next day. When our local guide came to the Guilin hotel to
retrieve us to take us to the bus station, another family who had
stayed in Yangshuo was already in the van because they had stayed over
and seen the show. Crap. Next time we come back to China, it won't
be as part of a mammoth tour group. Our BLAS guide (government travel
agency co-ordinating the whole shebang for all these families) should
have let us know that we had the option to stay and see the show, but
it wasn't offered. BLAS also left us stranded at the Chengdu tarin
station (forgot) for two hours which resulted in a totally CRAZY PANTS
sprint to the airport in rush hour traffic (sure, pull onto the
sidewalk, it's barely being used by those pedestrians). We keep
saying, "the next time we come to China, we're do . . . differently."

Anyway, YuYu's foster family who lives in Nanning, flew in last night
from Hainan Island, and for awhile I thought it was because they
didn't live here anymore and we had crossed wires and they had to fly
back to Nanning just for the two days we're here and I would have so
much more liked to have met them in Hainan (a Chinese resort
destination) than Nanning (BTDT two times), but turns out, her parents
were helping her brother (who we couldn't see in 2006 because it was
his first year at the Guangzhou military academy, no visitors, even
immediate family) move back to Nanning. We'll find out if his time in
the Army is over or if he is getting transferred to a post in Nanning.
The family came to the hotel from the airport to see us last night
but brother could not come in because he was in his uniform and could
not fraternize with foreigners while in uniform. We'll see him today
after he changes into his civvies.

Time to go meet the foster family in the lobby. I invited them to
stay in the hotel tonight so we could be together, not go anywhere,
swim in the pool and just relax. Our old friend Matthew Xu, who was
our guide in Nanning in 2004 and 2006, just happened to be free to
help us (another mix up with BLAS, I requested Matthew, but was
assigned NO ONE for these two day, as if I could magically speak
Chinese in Nanning but no where else in China) translate with the
foster family. Matthew is such a good translator and he is bringing
his daughter Angela to swim with the girls. Time to go buy swim caps!
I'll have lots of black mail photos for future reference.

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