Thursday, May 21, 2009

Local Help

Day 436

On the bus Mica and I had met some English guys and when we arrived to Guilin we decided to split a cab and go to the same hostel. The receptionist didn't speak any English and it took some time to convince her that we didn't have a reservation. None of us had slept well and we were anxious to get into the room. Once we were checked in we took turns taking showers. Mica and I went to sleep on ubber comfortable beds while the English guys went out.

A few hours later Mica and I got up and headed down for breakfast. This is when we met Gil from Israel and Dong Dong, his local girlfriend. They invited us to come out with them for the day and we readily accepted. Before we even hit the main road a tout was trying to sell us a boat trip. It was really nice having Dong Dong there to do all the talking. It was really quite amazing. They would yell at each other in a seemingly aggressive manner, leaning in towards one another and the Dong Dong would turn to us and say, it includes 5 parks. There would be more yelling and then she would say that she's gotten the price down a bit.

Soon we got into a taxi and headed to our bamboo raft. The view from the Li river was really amazing. The main attraction was a rock that looked like an elephant drinking from the river. We thought the tour included park entrance, but instead they pulled over across from it for pictures. I guess they even cheat locals here. A woman tried to get us to pay to take pictures with some captive birds. It didn't look very nice and we declined.

Back on the raft we headed the opposite direction to look at a rock that looked like a camel. The scenery really was quite stunning and the tour was worth it even though we didn't quite get what we thought we would be getting.

Dong Dong and Gil then went off to find a new apartment for Dong Dong and Mica and I checked out a market. I bought some new sandals, the ones I had picked up in India didn't have enough cushion for the amount of time I spent walking and Mica got a bracelet. We ended up walking the rest of the way back to the hostel.

As soon as we were back I put my clothes in the laundry and tried to get online. Much to my surprise the blog was blocked. I didn't think much of it at the time and just did some emailing.

After a couple of drinks with the English guys Mica and I headed out to dinner with Dong Dong and Gil. The food was amazing and the menu only in Chinese. When the bill came Dong Dong insisted on paying. I really didn't want her to do that. If anyone was paying it should have been us to thank her for showing us around. When dinner was over Dong Dong put Mica and I in a cab and we went back to the hostel.

After a few more drinks with the English guys we called it a night.

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