Unfortunately, no matter where you live in China, (and I assume anywhere else abroad) you are bound to have what we foreigners call a 'Bad China Day'. This is where essentially everything will go wrong. It will be the biggest thing like missing your trains to the smallest thing like having to re-walk stairs in extreme heat just to switch a gondola ticket for a ticket you already have to get your gondola ticket.... a system that seems completely void.
This blog post is to enlighten you followers on what it is like to go through a Bad China Day, best way to combat it and to know you're not alone if you plan on coming to China. First off, I don't want what seems like a life time of struggles to put anyone off coming to China. To be honest, a huge part of the adventure and fun and hilarious memories comes from the ridiculousness of China and that's what makes China well, China. Coming to China helps build character because if you can survive in China you can survive anywhere, give valuable insight to why most Chinese act the way they do, appreciate what had growing up whether
Gondola Photo Shoot
Oh, totally didn't see you there
it be fresh air, clean water, blue skies, democracy, freedom of internet browsing etc. There are so many benefits but of course, you will encounter some Bad China Days.
As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I am excellent at seeing the positives in a negative situation so usually I'm fairly good at turning a Bad China Day into a memorable event. A recent adventure to Nanjing on a Chinese national holiday with one of my besties, Tara, was one of these days. To be fair, the day started off super smooth. We arrived well on time and picked up our tickets. However, it was when we got cocky with time, things started going downhill.
We decided to order a coffee. Nek minnit people are going through the gate to wait for our train that stops there only for a very short time while Tara and I are still waiting on our coffee. It was getting so urgent to the point we thought of leaving our paid but not made coffees at the shop and making a run for it but they insisted we had the time. Luckily, they saw the urgency on our faces and so we grabbed
The most relaxing part of the day
our coffees and ran and finally made it to the train.
An hour and a half later, we arrive in Nanjing. After hunting down a main road, we finally hop into a taxi to take us to the massacre museum. This is when we learned very quickly that when people say "don't go to a famous tourist destination in China on a Chinese public holiday", actually listen to that advice and either stay put or even leave the country. We thought it's only Nanjing, can't be thaaaaat busy. It's not like we were going to the Great Wall....
To our dismay, we were so very wrong. We went to what we thought was the end of the line to only realise it was halfway and that the end of the line was actually several meters down the path. It felt like the whole of China had suddenly come to the massacre museum. After slowly snaking up and down the line we started getting excited because after an hour we were past security!
To our utter disbelief.... it was just to join another ridiculously long line that was so wide and no true structure to it that if
Looking innocent and empty....
a fire occurred, we would've died in a stampede. We decided we may as well wait it out because we had waited so long already until we saw two guys turn around several metres ahead of us. As they were foreigners, I decided to yell out to them and ask why they were turning around. Turns out they were no where near the entrance and they were in front of us by miles. So with that, we gave up and after a struggle and a few security guards and some random Chinese people help, we finally were given our freedom of the line and left.
Due to the looming fact we only had a few more hours to see Nanjing, we decided to go straight to Purple Mountain. This was an excellent decision by team Ireland and NZ (Tara and myself). We caught the bus up to the Gondola (or cable car whatever you'd prefer to call it) which took us to the top of Purple Mountain for a spectacular view of Nanjing. After some lunch nearby, we decided we probably had enough time to essentially sprint to the Mausoleum, which very quickly turned to a power walk - it was too warm to run. Then taking our time we didn't quite realise that if we didn't leave within the next few minutes after we saw the Mausoleum which wasn't all it was cracked up to be as it turns out you needed to buy another entry ticket to go inside, we would miss our train. So we raced to find the little choo choo train we saw driving people back down the mountain to the main road as all roads were closed on the mountain due to being a public holiday. Of course, we had to line up again for our ticket and after we bought our ticket we then saw the line for the choo choo train. In that moment, we realised waiting would've taken longer than to walk so we power walked back to the bottom, beating 3 choo choo trains.
As we reached the bottom we were deciding whether or not catch a taxi or the subway when we realised.... it took minimum of 50mins to get to the train station and we had about maximum 20 until our train was going to depart. We had missed our train. So after another painful wait at the subway we finally got to the train station. After what felt like the millionth wait in line, we managed to refund our tickets (for free as is every train ticket in China) and we were finally on our way home, two hours later than planned.
Even though we felt we suffered so much throughout the day, it was still such an amazing day out. The Gondola views were stunning, the experience of the crowds was something unreal and hilarious that it was kind of worth waiting in line just to appreciate the no lines in normal life back at home, and just a great day out with my bestie. It was fab.
So if you have a Bad China Day, look past all the ridiculousness of it and realise how unreal it is and that it is actually just a situation you can choose to either cry or laugh about and share it with others for a good story or heck, share it in a blog! You got this! Days like these are what makes China so very China. Because in China, if one thing goes terribly wrong, you're bound to have everything go wrong for that day so just grit ya teeth and get on with and laugh it away.
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