Last week a teacher said they are having a women’s day celebration.
I later spoke with my friend Danielle and she confirmed that I would need my passport and bathing suit. She also said we would be spending the night.
Yesterday–Saturday we piled on to a huge tour bus with the women from my neck of the town. The other teachers who live closer to school were on a different bus.
I had no idea what I was in store for.
We set out leaving the hustle of Long Hua for greener pastures.
Forty minutes down the road we already had to stop for a W.C. break and vomit relief. So China.
Back on the bus a lady came down the aisle feeding us peanuts with a bird on her shoulder. She brought her parakeet along for our bumpy trip. She told us that the bird, Kui Kui–meaning Sunflower, will only drink tea and not water. I told her he’s definitely a China bird then. She spoke perfect English and said her husband and two boys live in the States. I was puzzled as to why she was our tour guide. She asked me if I read the Bible and I said ‘no,’ trying to look as uncomfortable as possible. She asked me if I knew what the Jehovah’s Witnesses were and I said, ‘yes,’ she said they came to her house with their Bible and have taught her all about it, said she attends a bible study with her bird and invited me. I politely declined. Later I would see her passed out on the bus after a heavy tour with the bird bouncing on her back nibbling on her loose articles, taking poops on her back. ‘Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag.’
We found ourself flying through country roads and villages. The Chinese countryside sounds very picturesque. However the countryside I found begged to differ. While some views were breathtaking the trash is what did it for me.
Trash is dumped everywhere. Large quantities of it. Seeing this made me very sad. I realized I would never litter again. We flew past chickens running out of the road from being hit by our mammoth tour bus. The chickens were roaming broken glass, dust, and rubbish. I was really hoping this wasn’t where most of the chicken I eat comes from. The same goes for the oxen we saw as well.
We came upon a shack with blankets for windows. Someone was poking his giant snout out.. a gargantuan PIG! It was the funniest site.
Finally we made it. To what seemed to be an organic park and farm. It was nestled in the crook of the mountain. We hiked through fields of flowers and vegetables. I wore the wrong shoes but it all worked out. Brides got wedding photos taken with their groom in a field of flowers and dirt.
We hopped back on the bus for more fun.
Our next stop was Nine Dragons Mountain–named just for me..a girl can dream. Each mountain was one of the nine dragons. We went through a temple and Danielle showed me how to think of something happy with incense in hand, bow your head 3 times and place the incense in the altar. Firecrackers were being set off constantly, I could have sworn it was Chinese New Year all over again. We didn’t see any monks but the temple was beautifully situated and the sweet perfume of incense permeated throughout.
Finally our last stop was our hot spring and hotel resort. When the teachers said hot spring I really thought they were talking about a naturally occurring spring that so happened to be warmed by sulfur. I was wrong.
While cruising up the mountain and getting glimpses of the sites I noticed a complex called, ‘Mercury Composites Technology Corporation.’ Outside, it had the American flag, Hong Kong flag, and Chinese flag. It’s the first time I’ve seen the American flag since I’ve been home. It was a very happy site.
We blew through a village and up a valley to the resort. Surrounding the resort were mansions! Beautiful Chinese mansions! We were about an 1.5 hours from Shenzhen so it may have been wealthy Shenzhen business peeps.
First we had a rest. I walked around the facilities to scope everything out. During my walk I realized it was not a naturally occurring hot spring but more or less a water park with water slides and tons of different heated pools!
We had dinner and then after we went hot springin’.
Danielle and I forgot that we had to have both our keycards to get into the hot spring so while all of our friends were getting ready to go into the locker room we had to trudge back to our hotel room. The lot outside was empty and low and behold Danielle found a 100RMB note! We both shrieked! We said our happy thoughts at the temple we wished at had brought us so much luck! It was really sweet and such a find!
Some teachers brought their children along so the children could have an experience outside Shenzhen. I thought this was really nice. Some of my students even came. Danielle and I found a nice spot in the pool and some of our Junior 1 boys tried attacking us with water.
It was the funniest thing seeing these pools packed with Chinese. No lifeguards in site. Men were puffing on cigarettes while wading into the pools. With the lights being so dim, anyone could drown and nobody would be able to tell. They even had belly-dancing and African folk-dances. I don’t know what it is but Chinese people absolutely love African ‘folk-dancing.’ It was fun.
Back in the locker room of course there wasn’t a bathroom. The bathroom was located at the other end of the pools and the locker room. The Chinese architecture here makes so much sense it’s ridiculous.
Danielle and I looked for our friends we’d been galavanting through the countryside with but to no avail found them. We soaked for an hour and then headed back to our hotel room. A warm fresh bed never felt so nice.
We woke up about 8AM and headed to breakfast. After breakfast I had to have a bath especially with it being the creme deluxe of bathtubs. It was a very nice soak and soon after we packed our bags and left our resort for the next adventure: Turtle Island.
When we arrived at the South China Sea they called this particular beach ‘Turtle Island.’ I thought for sure I would see huge turtles roaming sandy beaches just like the Galapagos. No giant turtles but giant waves and sea spray! That was enough for me. I hadn’t seen the ocean in almost a year. Feeling the water and sand in my toes revitalized my blood. Mountains loomed over the South China Sea. When we arrived it was overcast just as we departed the sun peaked out. It was absolutely beautiful.
We trudged back up the hill to the gift shop and Danielle treated all 4 of us friends to yummy ice cream since she had found some lucky money. We hiked the most jagged stairs to a indoor house of sea turtles. Here were my big turtles. Although they didn’t look as whimsical as I’d imagined and more or less looked dreadful and depressed.
Finally we finished up hopped back on the bus. Went to lunch at our resort then headed for home.
Five minutes after being on the bus it was dead silent. Everyone passed out including me. I knew I was in Longhua when I awoke and outside my window I saw a man with a nice piece of luggage. He was taking a rock and beating the wheels and the sliders out of the suitcase.