Whoa! My Beijing plans have sort of worked out, against all odds; I’m posting this from the Youyi Hostel, which, besides being ridiculously cheap and offering ‘net access, is also right around the corner from the Golden Elephant Thai and Indian restaurant, which has an Italian place across the street from it.
I can see where I’m going to be spending my next few meals…
I missed National Day (which was rainy and very low-key in Harbin), and I won’t be going on to Xi’an after all, but you know what? Fuck it! I’m in a city with English-language bookstores, and food that is neither Chinese nor Russian, and by God I will enjoy every goddamn minute of it!
Oh, and I have a new phone, and with it, a new number. Those of you who are inclined to call me (um, Mom, I guess that’d be you) can reach me any time at 13684665171.
I’m posting from work at the moment, since the phone line at my apartment – and consequently, the ‘net connection – has been switched off. I owe money on it, which is apparently the result of, you know, staying online for seven or eight days at a stretch. I’ll pay back the money within the next few days.
Oh. And the water there isn’t working either. I woke up this morning to find that the sink wouldn’t flow, the shower wouldn’t start, and the toilet wouldn’t flush. After a while reading the guide by Toiletable to troubleshoot common problems, I asked another resident of my apartment building about this, and he said “Oh, of course not. All the water in Harbin is turned off today.”
“When will they turn it back on?”
“Who knows?” he said cheerfully.
Oh, and even if I do get ‘net access and running water back at my apartment within the next few days, this coming week is the National Day holiday, and I’ll be out of town. The current plan is to celebrate National Day on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and then possibly go on to Xi’an by train.
So — talk to you guys later, then.