Last day in Mojiang
Trip Start Jul 18, 2013
16Trip End Aug 05, 2013
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We were spared any banquets today, which was great. The class did end with a large group picture and then each individual school with the trainers and staff and then all sorts of individuals with us, the foreigners. I felt a little like the backdrop or cut-out that is set up for photographs, like at the fair. We just stay in the same spot and different configurations of people join around us.
Tomorrow will be a long travel day, back to Kunming and then a flight to Beijing, where we will meet the other training team and the project coordinators for dinner. We fly out of Beijing—or at least some of us do in the later afternoon and then arrive at Newark before a flight to Indy. Again, I think our travel on Sat./Sun. about 30 hours.
We haven't had consistent hot water at this hotel—for showering, that is. There is always plenty of hot water for tea. The only time I have been able to get a hot shower all week is at lunch time, which makes my morning not so comfortable.
I walked back to the hotel today by myself as others wanted to eat in the restaurant and I wanted to get something and take it back, so I could rest and shower. I stopped on the street to buy some grapes from some women, grapes that are unique to this area and that I remember from a neighbor’s vines in my childhood. The three women began laughing right away when I suggested (by way of gesturing) that I just wanted a small amount. I filled the bag myself and without even setting the scale, the woman, still laughing, wanted way too much money for such a small amount. As I resisted, telling her it was too much and begin digging in my pack for what I thought was a more reasonable price, she reached into my pack and touched my money, and they all laughed even louder. I removed her hand and offered an amount that I had paid when accompanied by my Chinese friends. They laughed more and she continued insisting on the inflated price. I took out half the grapes, put them back in the basket and put half the money she was asking for on top of the grapes. They all laughed some more. I left and was furious all the way back to the hotel. This is really the first time that I have felt mistreated, and I know it was small, but I remained angry for quite a while.
My bags are packed—we leave for Kunming at 7 am.
I’ll be at the Comedy Attic for the Quarter Final round of the summer competition. I hope to have some new material worked in to some of my regular routine and I hope to see lots of friends there!!