Okay, so it’s been an interesting few days. I just got the internet working in my room, so my laptop is happy to get back on the grid. So am I because now I can make my next report to you all!
Sunday started out as any day should; with the best of intentions. But so far, I feel way way behind. It has really been frustrating.
When I check in, I am told there is no wireless in my dorm room. But then they say internet. Ok. Need to buy a LAN cable. Ok. But when I plug it in and configure it as it tells me to, no go. And I know it can’t be the settings because it doesn’t even detect a LAN connection! I call the front desk. “I’m sorry. There is no one here that can help you tonight. Someone will be available tomorrow. Please call then.” There is a computer room on the second floor that has wireless connections, so I go to investigate. Room is under construction and it has moved to the study hall. Have to use their computers instead of my own, so I can’t send stuff out, etc. At least I get to check my email.
I need to apparently use “foamless” detergent for the laundry machines. So I go to the local grocers and ask for this. They have no idea what I am asking for. When I go back to the desk and tell them, they actually write it out in Cantonese for me and give me a different place to go. I will be trying that today.
The hallway is unbelievably hot. The AC is paid by the hour in the room through my ID card. I figure get a little settled in and unpack before heading down to add money to my card. A hour or more later I’m dying of heat. Luckily, I have a cold beer that Cheryl bought while we were still at the hotel. So I search around for my lighter, because of course, I don’t have a bottle opener yet. I originally brought the lighter to light other people’s cigarettes and it has a Canadian flag. So far, it’s opened two bottles of beer.
I go to put money on my card at least for the air conditioning (since I can’t do my laundry yet) and it won’t accept the bill. I have to go back to the front desk and ask why. It’s an old form of bill that the machine won’t accept. They give me a new one and suggest that I try that. It finally works and I get AC in my room. Yippee! It’s probably about a $1 per day by the time you work it all out, but still, it’s a pain!
It’s been pretty frustrating so far to say the least. Then, when I get to the hotel again to meet up with the crew, I have problems with the cab driver. Turns out what we hear as “fifteen” is “fifty”. Duh. So drinks are well in order. End up meeting the group finally. Cheryl gave me the best advice…Just breathe. So the group heads to Temple Street. We stop in this little cafe and have a nice dinner (I will have to go back there!). Then we do the Temple Street Night Market. I had seen some bed sheets a day or so before at the Women’s Market, and figured that I could probably find them at Temple Street. No go. I have to rush back to the residence and buy them there. Not so expensive that I couldn’t ditch them for something nicer later. But still no pillow.
The trip does get better, but think I might make different entries for different days. So much for Day 1.