An Afternoon in China

Mar 14, 2019     China     My Adventures
Walked a while and all of a sudden happened upon these great little streets!
Walked a while and all of a sudden happened upon these great little streets!
It may be just a scratch on the surface, but I spent time in China!
I felt really badly about my first trip through China on my way to Bali. I had an 8 hour layover and stayed in the airport the whole time. There was a group of young "kids" who hopped in a taxi and went exploring for a while which made me feel even worse. But I was by myself and typical me was too intimidated to go out by myself. China scares me.

So anyway, on my way back from Bali, I had a 16 hour layover! I was so so happy to find a fellow San Diegan on the same set of flights to hang out with. We made our way to the transit hotel (not without issue - see My First Foray into China to get to the Transit Hotel).

After a bit of rest, we decided to go cruise. What a grey industrial area. The loud booms from the construction outside kept waking me up. My travel mate Korey thought he knew where he was based on his last visit but it turned out this was a totally new area.

So we just made a right turn and walked. Intersection, right. We could both usually agree on which direction to go since we both leaned toward the smaller roads with more personality.

We walked by a bunch of mangled yellow pay bikes. LOL just like home! Then past a very industrial smelling agricultural building. Hmmm. Oooh, then a bunch of local food stalls. Those look really cool.

Of course I'm too afraid of not being able to order vegetarian so I opted to just not eat. But this is where the locals were eating so I'm sure the ramen or whatever would have been good. Plus I was at the mercy of my new friend's yuan since my ATM card didn't work. Although I'm sure he would have given me money for my lunch and I was going to give him some US $ before we departed, I didn't want him to feel like he was stuck paying for me.
Ahh the smoggy skies of China. The sun was a bright orange through the
Ahh the smoggy skies of China. The sun was a bright orange through the "clouds" the one time I saw it.
The pay-bikes are loved just as much as they are at home. LOL These smashed bikes were everywhere.
The pay-bikes are loved just as much as they are at home. LOL These smashed bikes were everywhere.
A random left turn, under the freeway, then along a busier road for a while. Police paddy wagons, a huge development of some sort. Is it residences? A hospital? I'll never know. I think if I went up close to the signs with my Google Translate, that the guard would escort me away and I'd disappear in China forever. I was seriously even worried about taking photos of anything at all!

Then all of a sudden like magic, to the right was the most "Chinese" looking little street. Bingo! I have to say that I am SO glad I had someone to walk around with. I don't think I would have ventured this far on my own. It didn't seem like they saw many white people in these parts.
Yummy bao type things for $.30 (2 yuan).
Yummy bao type things for $.30 (2 yuan).
It made me giggle the oven mitt type things everyone has on their motorbikes. And look, this electric bike has 3 seats!
It made me giggle the oven mitt type things everyone has on their motorbikes. And look, this electric bike has 3 seats!
Wow, for some reason I thought it would be less third world than this. There was boba, fruit, cell phone stores, fresh fish, restaurants, people on motorbikes on the skinny streets, parts stores, it was just so much fun to look at everything. There was a woman with a blanket on the street selling horns, paws, strings of unidentifiable treasures. Surely there was more than one endangered animal part on her blanket. I didn't risk taking a photo of that but man, I sure wanted to.

We had no idea what the conversion rate was. A tea kettle was 24 yuan, our boba teas were 11 each, a fancy jacket in a clothing store window was 120 yuan. Back at the airport we found out it was 6 yuan = $1 so stuff was pretty cheap. We wanted to go back out and shop!

Korey worked in HVAC and kept commenting on the systems they were using. He was agape at the wiring everywhere! Well I was too. What a mess. What a dangerous looking mess!
The wires! Reminds me of Vietnam.
The wires! Reminds me of Vietnam.
And just to make sure these wires aren't to code, we'll hang some laundry on them.
And just to make sure these wires aren't to code, we'll hang some laundry on them.
We ended up basically getting lost. It was a maze of little roads and walkways. We wound up on some very small alleys with no people. We took a quick right turn once when we didn't feel comfortable with the 2 men eyeballing us around the corner. It was a bit of a laugh. We only backtracked once and in the end we came out right by the endangered animal retailer on her blanket! That was right after we came across a sex-toy vending machine! WTF
Chinese medicine shop - bottles and jars of god knows what.
Chinese medicine shop - bottles and jars of god knows what.
This girl must know where she's going. No idea if this little alley comes out anywhere.
This girl must know where she's going. No idea if this little alley comes out anywhere.
What is this?! A giant sex-toy vending machine behind a curtain on one of the side streets!
What is this?! A giant sex-toy vending machine behind a curtain on one of the side streets!
So it may not have even been 24 hours, but it counts. I have been to China.

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