Naughty Nanning

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Zelin Hotel

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuangzu Zizhiqu,
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hard sleeper, day ticket. Not cramped but 12 & 1/2 hours of thumb twiddling. This allowed me the time to complete 'So Long and Thanks for all the Fish', the 4th installment of Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy and to listen to 3 hours of Ricky Gervais tormenting the idiot abroad, Karl Pilkington.

Is there anyone in the world as ill as the Chinese? They always sound sick. But only in places that can irritate westerners. This guy is coughing and spluttering seemingly just to get my back up. It is working. My back is so up, I am developing some kind of spinal curvature. They are loud, all the time. And now some other guy is standing at the doorway looking down on me reading "HelloOOO , HELLooooo" he says. "Hello" I say coldly.

I'm tired, I know - it's why I'm seriously irritable. But sadly, and I dont know if he means it he is able to press all my 'sitting on a 12 hour train ride' buttons at this point. He answers his phone and talks loudly, holding the set away from his face although it isn't on speaker. He holds it at a distance as if it is some competition to see how far away from his face he can talk and his friend can hear him. Where do they get these people!? His ridiculously loud plinky ringtone not being enough, he makes sure he leaves it long enough before picking it up to allow him to jig along a little to the shrill music. Cough, snorrrrrrrrt, Hack follows. No spit with this guy, he hasn't developed that far yet. Just hacking, incessant grinding me down hacking.
He then starts to play annoying chinese pop on his mobile over the top of the annoying chinese pop being pumped out by the train. He means war. I read something about London kids doing this music playing thing apparently as they feel the need to share thier culture with others on the train. It is a sharing thing, and not at all anything to do with annoying the hell out of anyone and everyone around them. I can't help but feel the article must have been composed by an idiot.
A snigger goes across my face as I use the experimental section on my kindle and let "Sister Hazel (American folky pop that I for some reason like)" play just a tad higher than my new best friend. He quickly stops his music, as do I.

I am very tired.

In Nanning we  finally arrive and it is dark. We traipse along the high street to find the vietnam bus ticket office closed (8pm). Second option would be the train but it is unlikely we'll get a seat for the next day. Using information from (MartinandKate at recommended) we went straight to ticket booth 16, as apparently you queue everywhere else and get directed there anyway. The queue at ticket booth 16 was non-existent compared to the other 20 or so busy lanes and I got straight through to ask for tickets to Hanoi. She spoke English. It's a miracle. Ok, so she wasn't past about 30 words of english, but a hand drawn sketch later and I had two soft sleeper tickets for tommorow nights train to Vietnam - Really really really good advice from a website devoted to train riding by a person who I can only assume rides trains for a living (they seem a little obsessive about it). Train success.

As all hostels in Nanning appeared to be booked (there appears to be only 2), I was left booking a hotel through for 220 yuan (about 22 pounds). I wasn't expecting much but when we finally got there (I say finally as the map on hostelworld sent us to the other side of Nanning to where our hostel was nowhere to be found until after a very difficult conversation with a receptionist at an international hotel directed us half way back to the station - this hostelworld issue with maps also explains why we were lost in Hong Kong just to explain).

At 10pm I had to discuss our requirements over the phone with someone clearly at home with the kids as the two receptionists did not speak a word of English. After a back and forth on the phone with me, the receptionist and the Hotel on call translator we were given a nice twin room, a more than we were expecting twin room - mini bar, air conditioning, buttons by the bed to turn on and off everything (which Kate exploited to great use - 'light goes on, light goes off, TV goes on, TV goes off etc etc).

I guess a hotel that charges by the hour and has sex oil and condoms for sale in the room just doesn't get much business with twin rooms. Selling some of these rooms on hostelworld is a stroke of genius as far as I'm concerned.

The brothel worlds loss is our gain. A great nights sleep.
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Richard on

Are you an idiot or just complain for no reason,I have lived in Nanning for 3 years the people are wonderful to help you maybe because your some british idiot you failed, Americans do well here!!!

martinandkate on

Thanks for your productive comment Richard. The fact that you have lived there for 3 years suggests you clearly like the place (otherwise You would be seriously misguided). If you had read my blog you will see that I really enjoyed China as a whole and generally found the differences amusing and thought provoking. A blog is written 'in the moment' and at the time in Nanning (if you had read my blog which you clearly haven't properly) we were both shattered after a very difficult journey - but it doesn't detract from the points I made about the specific hotel I stayed in. I am not surprised an American would jump to conclusions before actually understanding the situation.

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