It is the 21st here and I am in Guangzhou at the white Swan Hotel. My flights and connections were effortless. With delayed flights and bad weather the Lord got me here with ease and perfection.... Well, that is until I got to Guangzhou. CCAI failed to inform anyone to pick me up. Nope. No banner with Welcome CCAI Families. The Great Wall of China had their reps. pickin' up one man though. I waited about an hour then called Jason - my rep in this province. He had no idea who I was or that I was even coming. So what does a white girl from the Appalachian mountains who speaks very poor Mandarin (not Cantonese) in Guangzhou do? I go out and rustle myself up a Chinese Taxi. So, I am on my way to the "White Bird Hotel" since I can only say Bai Niao Hu (spelling) in Mandarin not White Swan Hotel(bai tain Hu). The Taxi driver begins his long journey to the hotel then comes to a toll booth. this is were my troubles get worse. My taxi driver pulls over and says he needs 500 RMB for the toll. Now I know very well he does not need 500 RMB for that toll! I told him Ai Ya! boo how. And ask him to call my rep. He is just a tellin' me off in Chinese and refuses to call saying he doesn't have a phone - the one he had previously used when I got in the taxi mysteriously disappeared. Mr. Chinese Taxi driver is ready to toss me out in the middle of a busy Chinese highway int he middle of no where but I refuse to give him any money except his taxi fee. He is shaking his head and telling me to get out. I thinking' I'll be sold into prostitution (by the pound I'd be worth a fortune) or hopelessly lost and no one will ever find me. So you know what I do? One guess. I'm a singer, right? Can you guess now? Oh, I'll just tell you. I start singing Jesus Loves Me. Then I start singing Jesus loves me in Chinese. I know I am not suppose to proselytize here but an amazing thing happens when you sing about Jesus in a foreign country... it just makes people respond. Yep. He whipped out his missing phone lickety split and called that number I gave him. I heard him just a fussin' away ~~ probably about the deranged fat American woman in his taxi singing Jesus loves me ---- he had asked where I was from at the beginning of the ride and I told him I was from mei guo - America. Then I heard my rep getting snapping out firey Chinese phrases getting his attention and respect and all the sudden he was saying the measly 70 RMB I gave him was "hao" - good. I said hen hao - very good? :o) He said hen hao... chuckle chuckle... we were good friends at long last and he took me directly to the hotel. So, I am now in my hotel room looking out on the polluted town of Guangzhou, as it is quite smoggy today. I was pretty perturbed with CCAI and China at the time but I now forgive them. :o) How could I not when Jason my wonderful rep rescued me. He really is wonderful. He hugged me when I got out of the taxi profusely apologizing. I proceeded to tell on the taxi driver right in front of him ( he couldn't understand me anyways) and how he tried to get 500 RMB out of me or set me on the road! humph. I also told him I didn't know how to say White Swan Hotel so I told him White Bird Hotel.... yeah. He'll be telling' that one for years to come...lol
So that was my first day in China! The only pictures I have so far are of these boats from my hotel window... I leave tomm. for Fujian, Fuzhou where hopefully a rep will meet me.
This is me, signing off from the White Bird Hotel.
Slow boat to China... I'm being sarcastic I know! I feel better tomm. when I am rested and over my "ordeal" lol