Fuzhou, China – Day 1
Why did the chicken cross the road? Well to get to the other side of course except in my case I’m crossing the sea. This chicken is setting aside all anxieties and tackling one of the more difficult countries in the world. Red China! Where there is no FB, no google, no English, no democracy and where I’m likely to hear “no” quite a lot! I’m traveling there by ferry too from Nangan, Taiwan to Mawei China then to Fuzhou by taxi and then high speed rail to Shanghai! The cost for the ferry from Beigan to Nangan is $160NTS, then $1300NTS to Mawei, $80 Chinese yuan or RMB to Fuzhou and $56USD to Shanghai. The really nice hotels like Yue Hotel (and I mean really nice) is $420RMB or $65/USD. Some other expenses incurred for miscellaneous stuff may make your head roll. I spent $2.00USD for a pack of Marlboro Reds and a little less than $2.00USD for each Red Bull. Point – you gotta love Asia (particularly if you speak the language which I don’t).
Today I experienced an unexpected set back. There are no available seats on the high speed railway to Shanghai and when you don’t speak Chinese and no one speaks English and you don’t have wifi, this can be troubling. What to do? Or what did I do? I bought the next day’s train ticket as there were no seats on any train headed north like to Hangzhou for instance. Then I took a seat on my pack outside the Fuzhou Railway Station and took a deep breath and asked the big guy for help. Then I saw it, it was a long way away by foot, but I saw it – bright twinkling lights and the words Yue Hotel. No taxi driver can understand “Yue Hotel” or “hotel” for that matter or “no reservation” or “no wifi” and no person at the train station could understand “no ticket” or “no locker” etc. (Looks like I’m the one saying “no” a lot thus far!) But my legs did not say no. I figured I could pray for the strength to carry my two packs and walk up that hill (and down and up and down and up) until I could find the right street that led to the bright twinkling lights carrying what now feels like 100 lbs. And I got it. I will have a safe and comfy bed and shower tonight for $63USD. Well technically $115/USD a night given that I already paid for the hotel in Shanghai. But thank you God anyway.
Moral: when things are looking scary, look up first and then look around. You are bound to find what you need from God including guidance and you are bound to find a solution. The best way is to start with gratitude i.e. take stalk of what you do have. For me, it was sunlight so I wasn’t afraid to walk in the area around the train stations at night. For me, it was the Bank of China which dispensed cash even though the hotels won’t take my MasterCard or Visa and I mean some “I’m scared shitless” kind of cash. For me, it was Redbull and a lighter pack because Shaun is holding onto my cold weather stuff from the European part of my trip. For me, it was Maggie from Beigan because without her I wouldn’t have made it this far. For me, it was the metaphorical toolbox I got when I stopped drinking and found God because without that I would not have stayed calm and made my way to safety. At the end, what is that saying I’m so fond of….hhhmmmm…oh that’s right… it’s just another adventure!
That’s all for now from Fuzhou, China.