This Slow Boat is About to Reach China – part 17

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASunday 9 November 2014

Longitude 124.12E, Latitude 35.84N Speed 38Kmh

Temp about 10C? Not bad. Windy but dry and cloudy. 59F at 0830.

My cabin bill – US$1057.59 so far!

Here we are at the tail end, the last day of the cruise. We get off at TianJin tomorrow morning early. We’ve booked a bus to get us from the ship right through to Beijing, to the Lido Hotel, wherever that is. We’ll get a taxi from there to our Shi Cha Hai Shadow Art Hotel. I’ve shown the beautiful waitress Keqing (Keching) the hotel booking form to see that the taxi driver will be able to understand it. She says yes, no problems. Also, she says that taxi drivers understand “money” and “how much?”. No doubt they do.

On the ship I’ve just tried to exchange US$ for Chinese Yuan but the machine doesn’t give anything except Korean Won. Big bloody help. We’ve just left Korea. So I go to the ATM but it’s not working. Big bloody help.

Impressions of the trip so far:

  • What a mixture of emotions. It seems an age since we left Singapore but it’s only 16 days. What a range of different places we’ve been thorough.
  • The highlights have been the Hong Kong departure at night, unforgettable, and leaving Nagasaki at night as well, with an orange full moon rising over the hills.
  • My feelings are, I’m sick of people! Being in such crowds, I suppose. I am so sick of being talked at. Not talked to, talked at, with no breaks in the conversation and no interest in what I might have to say.
  • I am sick of the haughty attitudes of Americans, not all, but too many. Similarly, to a lesser degree, of British.
  • I’m sick of boring Aussies, unintelligent, embarrassing yokels.
  • I’m especially sick of eastern Europeans, or whatever they are. Rude, thoughtless, ill mannered, pushy.
  • Chinese are OK, but keep to their own kind.

But essentially I want to get away from people. Never again will I do one of these mass group tours. I’m not sure how much future travelling I’ll be doing, but it’ll be back to individual travel, for sure. Some people cruise all the time, staying on the ship for the reverse voyage to Singapore. Aaaarrrgh. No way.

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