Eight years ago I came to Nanjing alone, on my birthday, and I did not have a good time. I bought a memory card in Shanghai that apparently was a “knock off” and it died taking all my pictures with it on the train ride back North. I was talked into giving Nanjing another try, though people keep telling me Suzhou is nicer and Hangzhou is nicer. I never saw the famous battlements last time and they hadn’t even started reconstructing Admiral Zheng He‘s treasure ship. I hope to see those two historical sights but first breakfast, blogging, and World Cup highlights.
Thanks to the Nanjing Sunflower Youth Hostel and Sunshine Space Cafe for being located near the hotel I ended up booking through Ctrip. I’m a little old to stay at a Youth Hostel, though people say I look young, but having walked around in the rain first last night and again early this morning, there are not a lot of places to get a small bite to eat and sit down near my hotel. I’m in some historical neighbourhood turned shopping district. It has many shops and restaurants, but they are not expecting foreigners. You can order in English here and I probably could have gotten my laundry done a lot cheaper.
At the Red Lantern Guesthouse I think you paid by the kilo to have your laundry done. At my hotel which is targeting Chinese businessmen or even families you pay by the piece, so I spent 178 RMB on laundry this morning. What can you do? I wandered all over Greece looking for a laundromat, and in Japan I remember standing in the street using a coin laundry. I only have so much time and I have a little money. I can afford to splurge on laundry service. I have lots of clothes with me, but I sweat so much I need to change before diner for the good of the free world.
The Sunshine Space Cafe also has lots of expensive looking European beers which are 10% off during a World Cup game. They also run a little store, this place was definitely a good fine especially since I’m about two blocks away. The hostel and my hotel are situated on a pedestrian only street which cars can get onto if they can figure it out, my cabbie could not last night and it pissed him off. I ended up carrying my bags alone in the rain to the hotel. I think I have one bag too many, but you’re only allowed 20 kilos per bag so I brought a second bag besides my backpack.
I also brought my laptop hence the almost daily blog updates. I have an iPhone too with a local SIM card so I can WeChat and through the magic of synching some of my photos end up on Facebook even though I am in China. Twitter is harder. I don’t miss the Internet. I’ve spent what little time I have been online, updating this blog and looking for a job. It took a while to find out who won the Stanley Cup, I don’t know who won the latest UFC fights or any of the World Cup games. I’ve spent a lot of time walking and standing. I have earned my blisters. I’m not sure why I climbed the Drum and Bell towers again. I’m afraid of heights and the pollution is definitely worse than eight years ago. I thought heading South or just being away form the big city on the train would bring some blue sky, but I didn’t see any. You can see why wealthy Chinese want to leave, you don’t have to be a climate scientist to notice the lack of clear skies.
I’ll eventually put more photos on Flickr, but iPhoto has worked like shit since I’ve been here so I’ve been uploading one or two photos the old fashion way, FTP. iPhoto seems to crash every time I start it now, so I may not be able to upload any photos this morning. I will try rebooting my entire computer. I think iPhoto expects to be able to access some service that is unavailable in China and it just hangs. It never had this problem 8 years ago. I turned WiFi off and ripped out these three photos. A new laptop is definitely on the must buy list once I get a new job. I’ve also finally found a use for the iPad, on long flights and train rides they are very handy. They are light and have long battery life. I would probably get a keyboard, but I have too many apps and files to give up on a MacBook Pro entirely. I’ll have to look into finally buying a tablet, when I get that good job that was promised me when I did my Sauder MBA.