Saturday, 6 December 2008

The Hotel

I'd booked the hotel on line. I had given them my name. When we arrived we assumed that we both had to give our passports to the reception when booking in, but they took only S's. Despite that I paid the bulk of the deposit, they ignored me. Everything was in her name. It was no problem really, but I was amused about that. We had to pay cash deposit - enough for two nights stay even though we were only staying one night. There was one staff member who spoke English - the rest were very polite but could say little more than hello, welcome. But as usual we managed, and soon were on our way to our room on floor 7.

We had the cards to get into our room, but try as hard as we could we couldn't get the door to open. So S went down stairs to reception and soon we had a young lass who did it easily. The room was quite nice and had all we needed. We initially had trouble getting to know the switches but soon we had it all worked out. We lay on the beds and watched TV for a short while before deciding to go and find a meal. I went to the restaurant and tried to fathom the Chinese menu - no one spoke English.

It was one of the restaurants that had plenty of the dishes available on display. They looked pretty unappetising. Right in the middle of the display was an ox skull - complete with teeth. It did nothing to enthuse us about the food!

So we decided to go out into the street and find something! We found lots of shops, street vendors and restaurants, but not a word of English anywhere. We found a great little gift shop and enjoyed looking around. Was tempted to buy a lamp that was for sale. It was about 15 inches high, a little man with the lamp a hat, but the switch was the little man's penis! How we laughed! There were Santa hats which promised that the stars would light up - the stars on the white "fur" of the hat - but when I asked how it switched on, as I was going to buy some, the staff opened every packet and not one of them worked. So in the end I bought nothing.

We found a few really good dress shops - designed and made locally, but none of course to fit either of us!

We kept looking for a restaurant and went in a couple, but with no English speaker, or menu, we quickly retreated!

We found a supermarket and bought a bottle of white wine - but then realised that we did not have a corkscrew, and using hand signals tried to get the directions to where they might be on sale. "Wait a moment" we were told and one of the staff members scurried away. About 8 staff members stood by us, smiling, until the lady appeared with a small promotional corkscrew - a freebie! Shie Shie.

So back out into the street to find food. In the end we decided to try our hotel and room service. Much drama as the menu for room service in our room was out of date. Not only were the things we pointed to not available, other things were expensive. In the end we ordered - the pork and chilli was good, and the vegetable, but "minced crab" - was chopped raw crab and we couldn't eat it.

But we had enough to eat and our glass or two of wine! More television and a fairly early night. Our room was wonderfully warm - but outside it was near freezing point.

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