Yichang, Wuhan, and Everything Inbetween

More un-lost memories from my harddrive that died that i recovered for $1000.  After the 3 gorges dam we rode a bus to Yichang, the biggest city close to the dam.  from there there was supposed to be a dude to pick me up and take me to Wuhan (the biggest city in the region) by bus.  When i got off the bus it took a few minutes of me asking the tour guides what i was supposed to do and finally we figured it out.  a dude did escort me to the bus and this is where the awesomeness ensues.

how was i able to get this awesome picture of the bus driver while he was driving?

because i had to sit here in this seat that is not even supposed to be a seat!  I got on the bus, it was totally full except for 1 seat in the back.  i walked back there and the guys were laughing and saying that some old dude was sitting there.  I was like WTF wondering where the said old dude is and wanting to punch these gigglers out.  I get off the bus and see this old F!ck walking to the bus, the same old F!ck that asked questions on the tour all the time and was really slow and held us up all the time.  It was his g-damn seat.  that old F!ck was able to get me one last time.  I told the bus driver there were no more seats and he was shocked and went on the bus and came back and said, well, there is a seat, and then flipped down this thing.  I was amazed and also very angry and embarrassed at the same time because i was at the front of the bus for all to see how i had gotten the shortest end of all sticks.  sitting in this would most definitly be illegal in the US.  there isn't even a seat belt.  you are front and center right in front of the windshield to see the horrifying chinese driving up close and super personal.  you also get the awesome blast from the bus horn that the driver uses anytime anything comes within 30 feet of the bus.  that means when he passes cars, when cars pass him, or any other time he thinks vehicles need to know where he his (like an average of every 10 seconds).  If you've ever ridden a bus or any vehicle in china for that matter you know that they seriously honk all the time at everything.  a cloud in the sky? honk.  the sun?  honk.  honk? honk.  I had to put my super heavy bag up on the thing above my head.  if we crashed i would die from a combination of things.  that super heavy bag above my head might be one.  As you can see there is no where for my feet to go.  i had one foot on the top step while the other hung down into the stairwell cavity.  or i would use muscles in my foot and toes that i've never used to rest my foot on various tiny awkward surfaces for a few minutes.  It was a 5 hour bus ride to Wuhan.  Even if i could fall asleep and overcome the megaton bus horn that's mechanism is right in front of my face, or 120 degree super wide screen windshield view of all that dangerous driving in super HD 3D.  I still couldn't fall asleep because there was no seatbelt and i could just tumble right out the door at 80mph.  Now that i look at this pic i didn't even know where was a filthy CANCER covered mop and broom there.

just me up front chillin' with my man.  there was this dude that would come up to the front of the bus to smoke cigarettes and chat with the driver.  do you know where he sat whist doing this?  on the edge of my f!!!UUUKING seat!!!!!.  I wanted to knock him out for smoking on the bus and then taking what little precious space i had.  unbelieveable.

you can see how spacious this seat is.  my knees were pretty much jammed in there.  Also notice how the door is right there for me to fall out of at 80 miles an hr.

and to top it all off, to make it THE most awesome bus ride ever, they played "Flashpoint" a movie starring Donnie Yen that features realistic fighting and is supposed to be awesome.  I've wanted to see this movie for years and you can see that at the angle i was at i could see nothing.  All i could do was sit there and listen to the movie on blast but see nothing.  Is it really fair for the gods to throw this much of the black part of the yin yang at me in one go?  I know there needs to be a balance but i thought i still had some yin left from getting hit by a taxi and the London thing.

i'm pretty sure these inspection stickers in the window mean nothing

Protecting the environment, no littering

Do not drive tiredly

Sieet weather driving prudently.  The further we went the more incorrect the signs became.  This was a bad omen.  

Of course the day can get worse.  along the way once we got closer to Wuhan the bus driver kept letting people off.  it was like he was just taking requests from everyone.  This means by the time we got to Wuhan there were no more trains going to Shanghai so i had to find a hotel for the night.  Around every train station in china there are tons of guys trying to sell you stuff, get you a hotel room, etc... I plowed through these guys and tried to find a place to buy a phone recharge card.  i found one next to the station and the guy behind the counter asked me if i had a place to stay, I said no and this woman standing next to him showed me her hotel price list.  I thought, well at least this guy wasn't harrassing me on the street so maybe it will be ok.  I got her down to 100 rmb for the night ($15) too easily and we walked over to the hotel which was 5 min from the station (anything around train stations is usually pretty seedy i knew).  it looked like the shadiest street i've ever seen in china, or in my life for that matter.  whore houses, shady guys milling about, and it was a deadend street to boot.  the hotel was of course at the end of the dead end.   I had to argue again with them about the price.  then i told them i don't want to pay a deposit.  they agreed to it after i said i was just gonna leave.   I said i wanted to see the room first and she took me up there and it looked fine, except for the key was like a piece of plastic that you just stick in the door that didn't look like it could be a key at all.  it wasn't like a magnetic key card or something, more like a fischer price plastic block or something.  i was soooooo tired so after all that i said ok fine i'll take it.  She closed the door and asked me if i need a "xiao jie".  my brain processed what she was saying until i realized that she was asking me if i need a girl.  I was a little shocked and i said, who, you?  she laughed and said no not me, some other girls.  I said ohhhhhh, i don't know, but if i do i'll come find you.  I didn't want to say no because i didn't want them to get mad and come and mess me up if i flat out refused one of their hos.  I got really paranoid so i slid the mattress over in front of the door.  the bedframe couldn't move without making a ton of noise and my room was right about their office so i didn't want to draw any attention to my room so i just slid the mattress over.  that wasn't enough so i then stacked the TV and water boiling thing in there too so the door couldn't open in the middle of the night when they came to beat me up and take my stuff.  Was this enough to keep the door from opening?  how many guys would come for me?  Was I ready to kill someone?  On top of being paranoid and thinking i heard stuff there were mosquitoes so i didn't end up getting that much sleep in the 5 hrs before my train left.  I also miscalculated and the mattress def did not fit in the space between the bedframe and the wall as you can see.  why did i even remain here?  well because i was destroyed from the busride and the whole day and sooo tired that i said i would just take my chances.

rediculousness.  in the morning i went downstairs and the proprietor was sleeping on a cot in the lobby. i said hey dude hello hello i'm leaving now.  he picked up his head long enough to point to the counter suggesting that i leave the "key" that i was jingling in the air on it.  and that was it.  no room check or anything.  was i paranoid for nothing and these guys actually just don't give a sh!t?

the long distance train station in Wuhan.  Wuhan has 10 million people and is sometimes referred to as the Chicago of China.  It's another huge chinese city bigger than NYC.  I don't think there's anything here that you would want to be here for.  So i'm getting out of here ASAP

forgot why i took a pic of this chicken english muffin thing from mcdonalds besides that fact that it tasted horrible.  there must have been something really significant going on here cuz i usually don't put pics of sh!tty food on the blog.

leaving Wuhan station bound for shanghai.  turns out i didn't take the bullet train, but the train the next level down which only gets up to 230km/h instead of 270-300km/h like the bullet train.  that's still pretty fast.

along the way it suddenly became all white.  there was a while when it was way worse than in this photo and visibility was zero.  i don't think the elevation was that high that we were going through a cloud or that it was that early that it was super morning fog.  it was like a bootleg harry potter movie happening.  or a big asbestos cloud.  it was like this for like 20 minutes.  I am always weary of Chinese safety standards (and rightfully so).  So riding through a cloud with zero visibility at 230km/h for 20 minutes is a little disturbing.

the bullet train from wuhan to shanghai had a fatal accident in its first year of operation due to human error they say.  they tried to lie about it and the gov't tried to cover it up but peeps on the train were chinese twittering about it and it got out and then people lost confidence in the new super expensive chinese bullet train system.  way to go china.  so i wasn't too sad i didnt get to ride the bullet train from wuhan to shanghai and die.  i did ride it from shanghai back to beijing and didn't die.  you can see that experience and the hotter stewardesses in a previous post from when i posted it way back then.

passing through Nanjing.  Nanjing university is here.  but what probably most non chinese know it for is "the rape of nanjing (or nanking)"  where japanese people raped and murdered everything here in 1937 during the sin-japanese war.  This is one big reason why Chinese-Japanese relations are so bad even to this day.  Ok way to end this post on a nice note right?  So in this post you saw the worst bus ride and worst hotel experience ever in my life, and hopefully it stays that way.  did i deserve all that bad stuff and dark yang?  Maybe, i did have an awesome 2 months all over asia.  Well you can look forward to a fun filled post from Shanghai next.  I get my Ying back.