Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You're Late!

Li River in Guilin

My hostel in Guilin
I decided to come to Guilin in Guandxi Province because it is famous for its beautiful scenery and I have spent so much of my time in China in large cities. I had prearranged a driver with my hotel and once again my smugness was my downfall. I was the first passenger through the door since I like to travel light and only had a carry on. It was one in the morning and I was looking forward to making it to my bed as I scanned the area for a person holding a sign with my name....alas, no Terry Leverton sign. There were plenty of Taxis and I probably should have just taken one but I had not prepared for this so I did not have the name of the hotel or address in Chinese. Glumly, I watched the other passengers depart and happily be collected, while I stood shifting and thinking that maybe someone had my name written in English. After about half an hour I approached one man who was holding a sign that said Laurie Robinson and said, "Lakeside Inn?" I knew it was a long shot but since this was the only Western name I saw I was wildly hoping someone made a mistake with the name. He shook his head and motioned that he would call my hotel. I quickly found the phone number and watched as he dialed. He handed me the phone and I spoke to someone from the hotel that had obviously just woken up. I tried to tell her I would take a taxi but she seemed to want me to wait. She spoke to the man with the Laurie sign and then he indicated that I should wait. Now the worst thing about being helped by someone who does not speak English is that you have no idea what, if anything, has been arranged. Laurie arrived and just then I saw a disheveled looking man run in with a sign saying Terry Leverton. Finally, a driver. I hastily motioned to my Good Samaritan that this was my driver and hurried towards him while making the international "you're late" motion by pointing at my wrist.

Finally arrived at my destination and as I walked in there was Laurie standing at the reception desk! We were both staying at the same three room hostel!

Me outside my hostel.


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