Upon Arrival in Chongqing, we found our next hostel "Where Friends Meet" it is located on a "houtang" which is an alley where they sell just about everything and street food. This is always very interesting and I'm starting to haggle a bit. It is also located on one of the major rivers that go through the city. I would like to say that the view is beautiful but, you really cant see through the "Haze".
We found a wonderful place for lunch with a Chinese band which played traditional music and really performed for us. There are not a lot of westerners in this part of China so, they are extremely friendly and want you to feel at home. They also take your picture a lot!!
We then Headed to John's Apartment which, is on the 16th floor of an extremely tall high-rise. It is quite small but, a lovely place. His roommate David will be leaving next week so, John is looking for another place to live. No roommate this time. It seems that the Chinese build everything upwards, there are so many tall, very tall buildings. Chongqing has 32 million people. It is the third largest city in China.
He then showed us the cheap imitation shopping district. It is underground and goes on and on and on. It is where they sell all of the name brand rip offs. Its quite amazing and ohn assures me the stuff falls apart rather quickly.
We stopped and had some beer on the street and people watched a bit. there are people everywhere and even though its the middle of the day, its packed. Makes me wonder if anyone works here and yet i know the Chinese are very hard working. There is just SO many people.
From there we went to club that John has played in and had a few more beers because he claims that i must feel a bit buzzed before we meet his friends and eat "Hot Pot". Hot Pot is a bit like fondue, there is a big pot in the middle of the table filled with oil, a very SPICY oil. You put in your own food and fish it out with chopsticks, no skewers. Food consists of beef, pork, chicken feet, intestines, bean sprouts, lotus root, (which is yummy), brains ( i did not ask who's) tofu, cucumber, potatoes, noodles. Digging it out with chopsticks is not as easy as you would think. In fact not easy at all, not sure if it was the beer or the fact that chopsticks are still a bit foreign though getting easier daily. John's friends came with us , where more beer was drank and some wine which was more like a grape juice than a liquor. We had a lot of laughs and John's friends were more than pleasant
From there and the time is now Mid-night and the street is still hopping we headed to a Mahjong
room. You rent the room for however long you like and they supply a hot sweet tea which you drink through a straw. We, of course, brought in our own drinks but, also drank the tea. I learned the proper way to play Mahjong which is much different than the computer game i play. The tables are elctroic and automatically set up the tiles for you. There are four of us to a table and we have two tables going. I'm quite a compettive game player so, i caught on quickly and even won a round. Had a most enjoyable evening.
Got back to the hostel quite late and it is now early morning. My feet are once again not cold but, freezing. why they dont heat anything i dont know but, i wish they did. The Chinese believe that the inside temp should be the same as the outside temp it is just above 32 degrees farenheit.
i have been truly blessed to see how they really live, eat and entertain themselves. Because if i was in the states, i would definetely think twice about eating at some of these establishments.
Tomorrow, Hot springs, and "KTV", Harry Potter store.
Note to self: Little plastic beer cups, sleeves for your coat, Chinese men who carry their ladies purses,