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Published: December 18th 2006
After an overnight 10 hour bus ride from Guangzhou, which was an experience in and of itself. It was a nice bus, with a cabin attendant and snack service, but the road was really bad, and the bus slide off it once. We ended up in the gravel median, after which we just started going again. There were lots of concerned looks among the fellow passengers, but in the end, we just went back to sleep and hoped for the best. We arrived in Guilin at about 6:30am, and the city was still awakening. I swung by the station restroom on my way out, and have not smelled something that bad in my 24 years on this planet. Nothing has come close to the gag inducing odor this restroom had. Enough said. I walked into the city with my pack on (as usual). It is small and light enough that I regularly do a full day of sightseeing with it. I waked around for bit trying to find an internet cafe, but it was too early and I gave up after about 1 hour. As I rounded a corner, I saw a whole bunch of people eating soup behind a still
in construction KFC. Breakfast sounded good, so I checked it out. There was a small operation set up in a stairwell, which was producing massive amounts of food. I watched for a sec, and noticed that one could get a orange ticket for 1 yuan. I thought, why not. So I went up to the lady sitting by the tickets, and she gave me that 'what do I do with him' look. I handed her 1 yuan and pointed to the orange ticket. This did the trick. She smiled a very telling smile, like a 'good, he gets it, no problem' and handed me my ticket. The three ladies in the soup operation helped me figure out how to get through the ordering process, and put my garlic, green onion and hot sauce in. Folks, this 0.15 cent breakfast was the best bowl of soup I have had in my life. It was amazing. And, the price I have not been able to match since. I continued my walk, and watched people doing morning exercises and a whole bunch of women doing sward exercises. I didn't want to get too close to a bunch of women with swards who may
be having their period, so I just took a few pics from a distance and continued my walk. I took a roundabout tour of the city sights, saw the two pagodas, climbed up one of the hills, and snapped a good set up pics before grabbing the bus to Yangshuo. As I was waiting for the bus, I had a great time interacting with two kindergartners who were also waiting at the stop. It is amazing how much fun you can have with only a few mutual words. The small bus that was supposed to take me to the main station didn't show up, so their mom picked them up on a moped and I walked over to the train station to get my bus. I sat next to a police officer on the way to yangshou, which came in handy when the bus driver tried to overcharge me. I just pointed to the police officer and that shut her up. Funny how that works.
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