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Published: December 10th 2006
Those were words of advice for China given to me by a bodyguard I met in Hong Kong. seems to sum up the difference between China and Japan nicely.
After the helpful police officer helped me avoid getting overcharged, I ventured over to Lisa's guesthouse to bet a bed. I was first showed one that was 25 yuan a night, then after telling them I wanted something cheaper I got one for 15. Since this is about 1.75 a night, I was happy to chill and recover from Tokyo prices for a bit. I spent the first day just winding down from the pace of the last few, and went for some walks in the countryside. My first meals have been soup. And then I buy some eggs and yams prepared on the street by a nice lady who never tried to overcharge me. I have really enjoyed just hanging out in my 'special' (read cheap) room and reading. I have gone for some great walks, explored the countryside and gotten to see lots more of those mountains I like. The highlight of this stay so far has been meeting a local businessman and his friends at a cafe in the
middle of nowhere along the river. He insisted that I join them for lunch, and then refused to let me pay a thing. Great food. And some fantastic ginger based tea. I had six cups of that stuff. Then my stomach told me that I had gone a little heavy on the tea. My roommate for the first night was French Canadian. I think he spent more time smoking joints than anything else. The room smelled a little after he left. To each his own, but I was not sorry to see him go. Nice guy, but I don't need that liability around. This communist dragon may be on capitalist sedatives, but it is still a dragon. I am not so convinced about the change that I want to play around with drug charge. For one that has never smoked a puff of dope in my life, I seem to incur lots of liability for the stuff. Although, nothing as bad as the Netherlands. I was solo the second night, and now have to roomates form Israel and one from Italy. Here in Yangshou, there are two kinds of people: those that come up to you and 'tout' (read try
to sell you something you don't need) and those that wonder what the hell they will do with you once you approach them. I have had fun going up to that 2nd group of people whenever I need some food. I have had all my meals except the one along the river at places that spoke no English and didn't really know what to do with me. great fun. and cheap to. I got a ticket to Kunming today, and had to wait until tomorrow to go, so I negotiated a reduction to 10 yuan for the room. Combined with my .25 cent meals, I am keeping my budget to under $2 a day. So far, this has been a great spot, and even though the weather has been a little overcast, I have loved not having to worry about it being high season here. I will battle the masses in Southeast Asia, but for now, I enjoy being here in the off season. One funny little bit a 'small world' stuff was that out of the 10 people staying here at this time, there was a family from Portsmouth, England. We all cracked up on that one.
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