Saturday, June 25, 2011

China. Sanya.

Just wanted to let everyone know. This is my last entry on this blog site. From now on I will be writing my blog entries on I will let everyone know when my first entry will be posted. Thank you for following me here and hope to see you on my new blog!

Oh, a wonder land of China. You are so puzzling to me. From your smells in the air to your ability to imitate anything. From your ancient history to a the modern skyscrapers.
After 5 or 6 times I've been to China, it still amazes me to an extend where I can't seem to like it. But I try. I try very hard.

This time around, our destination was Sanya. An ancient Island that dates all the way back to 221BC. It promised a lot of good things. As well as white sands and blue waters. Some Asian players told us it was like "Miami." And of course when you go to a place with these kind of expectations it never turns out to be good.

On my first day there, I almost got run over by a car, while crossing the street on my way to
breakfast. Was kicked out of breakfast because I didn't have the right coupons. And was hit on the head with a broom by a woman who cleaned the street. Great first day, wouldn't you say?

Also, remember I said I love trying new foods? Well...not everything. The morning I was kicked out of the European breakfast. I was sent to a Chinese breakfast. Let me just say, that after I saw snake skins marinated in peppers, I run back to the European breakfast and begged to let me stay. The rest of the week it was European breakfast and Russian restaurants for lunch and dinner.
Why Russian? Oh, you would be surprised how many Russian people are in Sanya! I actually think there is the same amount of Russians as there are Chinese people on that Island! Shop and restaurant signs are in Russian! Chinese people in Sanya don't speak English, but they speak Russian. So for me it was easy to communicate in my own language.

But first things first. As soon as we land in Sanya, we find ourselves in a long line for taxi. Of course, taxi cars nowhere to be seen. Private car drivers swirled around us, trying to make us go with one of them. Their best price is $150. Compare to a $15 regular taxi fare. After 20 minutes in line we are tempted to take a private taxi. But we persist standing in line.
Finally, cars start coming in. Line starts moving. People get into cars not respecting the order of the line. When our turn came, the lady with a baby run in front of us and got in our car.

Eventually we got in the taxi and were on our way to the hotel. The smells outside were horrible. I covered my nose with my shirt. Galina turned to me and said: "I don't see any similarity to Miami here. Do you?" I looked outside and saw run down buildings. Dirty streets and lots of people. And that smell.....

As we got closer to the hotel, the area was improving. There were more modern buildings and cleaner streets. A lot of construction everywhere. Our hotel lobby was very "Grand." Marble staircase, columns and floors. But when I came closer to look at the beautiful flowers on the staircase, I understood that they were made of fake marble. I smile.

My room was nice and spacious, but the view from it, made me want to keep the curtains closed all day. Outside my window were temporary metal buildings that looked like storage. Some windows were covered with news papers. But I could still see inside. And what I saw wasn't pretty. I felt sorry to see young men, who lived in these horrible conditions. Three rows of bunk beds with candles for a light.
Sometimes I heard people fighting underneath my window. But I never got up to see what was going on.

We've spent 2 weeks in Sanya. Our first week was getting used to the conditions, courts and people. The cars that drove on the side walk and people walking on the road. All of it happening in front of the police station, which obviously didn't care about it. "Stop" signs were just a suggestion and "do not enter" signs were there to make the road more attractive.

One day I've decided to visit a local market. I specifically asked to take me to a place where local shopped. I have to say that I've regretted my decision after I was thrown out of taxi at the market. The door was opened for me. There was screaming and yelling, until someones hand reached for mine and pulled me out of the car. I thought "oh well, I will find another taxi when I am finished" And only later I understood how wrong I was. There were no other taxis. And f there were, people jumped in front of you and took it.
I could take one of many private motorcycle drivers, who honked at me all the time. But I preferred to walk, than take a half broken motorcycle.

After 10 minutes my slow walk became a fast one. And later into a run. I saw people looking at me like I was a big red spot on a white wall. Some followed me, and some stopped to look at me. I was scared. So the last 15 minutes of my walk became a sprint. When I finally saw courts, my heart jumped of happiness!
Needless to say that after my market visit, I didn't go anywhere alone. Forget about remote areas.

When my time came to go home, I couldn't wait to get on the plane! I had 30hrs of travel ahead of me, but all I was focusing on -I am going home!!!!

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