|I arrived in Beijing today and got myself booked into a room. Now Beijing is to hold the Olympics in less than one year. If they think they have a rats arse chance in hell of being ready for it, they are kidding themselves.
Why do I hold this opinion you might ask especially as I have only just arrived? The transport. I got my luggage and proceeded to the exit to catch the airport shuttle. Managed to get my way past the guys trying to hustle you for an over priced taxi, then stood where it said shuttle. I started to feel I was in the wrong spot so asked the guard. He said I was but I got the feeling his English is not the best even though he did know a few words.
Well I was right, the other family that was standing in the same area as me, had figured it out and moved. I looked around and saw a desk that people were going to. I approached, found I was finally at the right place, got my ticket for the shuttle and shot the guard a filthy look.
So I got on the second bus as the first looked way to full and the guy was next to useless with helping with baggage. After a while it arrived and I forced past the idiot that is supposed to help and put my luggage in the carry space (they will help locals but not foreigners). I climbed aboard and took a seat. The bus was nice but it only seemed to have the driver and no other 'help' person.
So off we went towards the city that seemed to go on for ages. This place is majorly spread out. None of the speaker messages from the driver were in English and most of us just shook our heads wondering where we were to get off. All the other buses I have taken they have had someone to tell you which is your stop so you are closest to your hotel. Not so on this one.
All but about five people stayed on till the last stop as we were all kind of shaking our heads. Our situation was not about to improve. We had been dropped off in a kind of 'nowhere' spot. There was no bus terminal or taxi rank near by. So we lugged our stuff out to the roads edge and tried to hail any passing taxi. It took ages and the bike guys really tried to hustle you to get a fare. One guy started at 50 which I basically laughed at. I knew it should only cost about 20 so he was hopeful that I was new to the country. No such luck mate.
I finally got one and we made the longish trip to the hotel. By the time I got there I was just bloody glad to arrive. I had booked the hotel at the airport and the price was no better than what they had on over in the hotel. Guess I lost out on that one.
I have no 2 in my room number (1007) so I'll wait and see what goes wrong. I didn't have to wait too long. I had gone to the 7eleven across the road to get some food and boiled the kettle on my return. The glass shelf above the kettle broke. Great. Just glad that I didn't get cut. The room also does not come with internet as told so pissed of there.
I gave Geoff a call, Lin's friend, to let him know that I had arrived in town. We have arranged to meet up for dinner and drinks. It will be nice to be able to talk to someone and not spend too much time on my own. I also need to arrange a tour or two. There are a few things in this place that should be seen.