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Chongqing

aka Grimsville

overcast 32 °C

Got to Chongqing at 6am and we were expecting to be picked up by a driver/rep from our booked Yangzi River cruise, but there was no one there. We rang the hostel and a while later a man appeared. He had no English and we had no mandarin, but this didn't stop him yapping at us for yonks. :D

I found this amusing. We're never going to understand you no matter how many times you say it Mister - not unless you put a few mimes in there. ;) We have tried to learn a few phrases but it's pretty difficult to learn stuff you don't understand. And even when we do say what we have learnt, people look at us like we're aliens and say ''HUH??'' Then we repeat it again and again for a few minutes. Still nothing. Then Michelle plays it on her iphone app and then suddenly everyone understands! Even though we think it sounds exactly the same as what we just said! :D It's a great game all the same. :)

Anywho the driver brings us to the base where Jimmy, who speaks English, takes over and gives us a rundown of our expensive 3 day, 2 day itinerary for the cruise. Turns out today is day 1 and it will consist of waiting around for a bus til 4pm, then driving til 9pm and getting on the boat at 10pm. uh oh. Then tomorrow the boat would dock at 6am and we would tour the white King City til 10am, back to the big boat to sail through 1 gorge til 12, then an OPTIONAL TRIP ON A SMALLER BOAT (AKA MORE MONEY) to the Lesser 3 Gorges! (this would cost us an extra 30 quid each if we wanted to do it). The best bit is not even included. Our spirits were dropping. The guy in the hostel, that we liked and trusted, had told us everything was included. Grim. So after that, the big boat would continue on through Wu Gorge for another 2 hours. Then day 3, we would get off the boat at 7am to go to some poxy dam!
We were raging and really dissappointed. We felt royally ripped off and needed a good rant. We went for coffee for a few hours and had a good auld rant to each other about how annoyed we felt. Then we went back to Jimmy and let him know our feelings. He then told us it was our lucky day as our boat had a malfunction and we were to be upgraded to a fancy shmancy boat. Hmmmmm. At this stage, we expected a dinghy or a fisherman's trawler to rock up. :D

Chongqing itself was grim. The river looked brown and sludgy, the sky was smoggy and grey, half the town was rubble and it really was all a bit of a shithole. We did however find the best steamed buns ever and scoffed 4 each, followed by some pot noodles on a plastic table for lunch. Michelle insisted on wiping the table with her surface wipes before we ate. LOL. I tried to explain to her that the noodles in fact, came in a portable bowl and we wouldn't have to slurp them off the table. But she insisted! ;) Even the Chongqing beer was shite.

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We were glad to board the bus to get the feck out of there and even more delighted to see and meet 2 US lads, Evan and Neil, in the seats behind us. They were handsome, intelligent and funny and we all got along instantly. Things seemed a bit brighter as they were delighted to see us too. Even the constant stream of shitetalk from the little lady on the microphone at the front of the bus didn't dampen our lifted spirits.

We stopped at what seemed to be the Chinese equivalent of Disneyland for an oppulent dinner and made friends with a few Chinese lads and lasses at the table.

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We were even more surpirsed and happy to see that our boat was not a heap of krap, but actually a pleasant, clean little river cruiser with friendly staff. HURRAH! Our room was nice too and on the 4th floor so there was no smell of diesel. Phewf. We dumped our stuff, showered and rendezvoused with Evan on the rooftop for a few well appreciated drinks and a bit of a laugh. The two lads were stellar Americans, very intelligent and even got sarcasm!! Which was handy, considering Michelle was around and she is one sarcastic *i*c9 ;)

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Posted by squeakylee 23:59 Archived in China

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