Unexpected Hero for My Arrival

Trip Start Aug 20, 2010
Trip End May 10, 2011

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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear Pengyoumen,

I admit that I have sometimes been too proud to acknowledge people as serious or worth my while. A major target of my prejudice has been the teenie bopper entertainment icons--N'Sync, pre-psychotic Britney Spears, the Jonas Brothers, and that set of blonde-haired brothers from the Disney Channel.

Trashy television polluting the minds of our nation's youth. Ditto.

But then, when I was lost and didn't know where to go in a dark alley in China, I was saved by an unlikely American hero. That's right--Hannah Montana.

Allow me to explain. After catching a cab from the Nanjing airport, my cab could not find my friend's apartment, and then could not find the address I gave for a local hotel. When he dropped me off at a traffic gate and dark alley saying, "The hotel is that way," I was flustered enough to go ahead and get out.

The hotel was not there.

After asking a policeman for directions, I heard from behind me a high school-aged girl say, "Excuse me sir, can we help you?" This girl and her dad ended up giving me a ride in their rather nice Ford Escape to the hotel. Upon learning that the hotel was full, they then helped me seek out another hotel, where the dad used his company's discount for my room.

I was flabbergasted. 

In the midst of this generosity and help, I asked the girl, "Your English is really good--do you practice it regularly?" She replied, "I watch an American drama series." I had to ask to which one, and sure enough, it was no other than Hannah Montana. 

On a side note, when I introduced myself to Lili, on of the office administrators, I gave her one of the Nashville gifts I had packed. Her response? "Oooh... That's where Hannah Montana is from!" As if that were not enough, on karaoke night this week, I sang the only country song I could find, "Achy Breaky Heart," by none other than Billy Ray Cyrus, also known as Hannah Montana's dad.

Despite the frustrations of travel and my inability to escape the Disney Channel, I have to say I could not have imagined a better note to start on in China. In nearly every instance of asking for help, I have received more than I expected. When I expressed my gratitude to the father and daughter who helped me, he said, "If I were in the U.S., you'd do the same for me." I certainly hope so.

And for the Nashville viewers, we all know that the only proper way to thank someone for so much of their help is to treat them to a taste of the South. In this case, I of course gave them a box of GooGoo Clusters, peanut butter flavor to be exact.
For this entry I only have pre-departure pictures. They tend to focus on the animals after I told them I was leaving. So sad. 

And as usual, please leave comments/suggestions/questions!

Take care friends,

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Anneke on

I totally know the feeling! In a new town, riding a taxi all over who knows where, everything seems weird. In fact, I myself had an experience very similar to yours.

See, it was all so crazy, everybody seemed so famous
My tummy was turnin' and I's feelin' kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I's nervous
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio

And the Jay-Z song was on
And the Jay-Z song was on
And the Jay-Z song was on

So I put my hands up, they're playin' my song
The butterflies fly away
I was noddin' my head like yeah,
Movin' my hips like yeah

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