DAY 37 – I, POD

June 6 – The guy who drove me to the Harmony Inn takes me to the railroad station. The man doesn’t believe in the concept of waiting your turn. He takes my luggage and hurls it on the security belt, completely ignoring and seemingly resentful of other people waiting to do so.

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  • Maglia Shaquille O’Neal He goes to buy my train ticket and muscles right up to the window agent and throws money at him while he’s mid-transaction with another customer. Amazing. He gets away with it, too.

    I take bullet train to Beijing. Asics Pas Cher Arrive around 1PM. kyrie 1 pas cher I take the subway and before long I’m at one of the hutongs (alleys) that leads to a lovely lake, with a million music bars around it. Hutongs range from one narrow block long to a small labyrinth of back alleys that intersect with others, but they’re all characterized by their narrowness and are united and organized around a communal idea. At least that’s what I believe the original concept was. They are generally too narrow for cars to pass, and while motorbikes may go through, they are usually pretty quiet.

    This particular hutong is big, spilling out onto a lake, and features row upon row of interchangeable, for the most part, music clubs. Each club positions the stage on the same side of the room as the next, I suppose by mutual consent, so the bands are literally not playing back to back. nike air max 1 pas cher nike pas chers As it is, they overlap and “non-blend” with each other on the street. Sometimes you pass one club and hear music emanating from the band next door. Maglie Denver Nuggets “Boy bands” are the operative word here. Nike Air Max 90 Homme Most of the band members don’t look old enough to patronize the joint they’re playing in. Penn State Nittany Lions Asics Kinsei 5 męskie They look, on average, 16. The sheer number of clubs is numbing. adidas zx 500 donna

  • It’s literally one after the other after the other after…etc. There’s also a lot of solicitations for “lady bars” some of it a bit aggressive. Air Jordan 5 Donna Some hawkers plead “Ohh, come on-nnn,” to walk into their club. Personally I’ve always found “pleading” to be a persuasive sales technique!

    Hotels in Beijing are much more expensive than where I’ve been, and I didn’t even realize it was a Saturday night, so a few places are sold out. Two cute young girls, one of them with glasses who laughs “I’m really nervous” walk around trying to help me find a hotel. In the course of it, THEY find a hotel, but apparently there are a few hotels that don’t rent to foreigners. News to me, but sure enough, my guidebook confirms it happens. It’s about 6pm, it’s raining a bit, and I’m tired of lugging my bag, so when I come to a youth hostel and there’s one “pod” room available, I take it sight unseen. Adidas Superstar Heren “Pod,” indeed. Womens Air Jordan 3 It’s so small you take a picture of it to show your friends back home, who wouldn’t believe it otherwise. Hogan Rebel 8 feet long, and my head and feet simultaneously touch the walls width-wise. It’s also on the second “floor” meaning I have to climb a few rungs of a ladder to access the room, as it’s about 5 feet off the ground, on top of another pod. You can’t possibly stand in the room. And it’s 100 yuan. Cheap, but not That cheap.

    The best thing about China’s “pod rooms” is that they don’t pretend to be something else, like “cozy” or “intimate.” They are pods. At the Drum Tower hostel in Beijing, my pod was perhaps 8 feet long, and considerably less than 5’9” wide, because that’s my height and width-wise my head touched one wall and I actually had to crouch so that my feet could plant themselves simultaneously on the other. The second best thing about them is they’re cheap, although not as cheap as they should be. Mine was 98y. In Suzhou (?) I had a veritable Presidential Suite for 120y. tuta new balance maratona di roma The third best thing about them is if you’re ever thrown into solitary confinement in prison, you can look around your cell and shrug, “I’ve had smaller.” In case the similarity doesn’t strike you immediately, the room has cross-metal “bars” – that cross-serve as both a door and ventilation.

    The most important thing to remember, is, if you have a room like mine on the “upper” level, is remembering you have to descend a ladder when you go pee in the middle of the night. (You didn’t think this pod had a bathroom, did you?) Otherwise you’ll fall five feet or so. nike damskie buty czarne You also have to remember to back out backwards from the room, and crawl back in, because you can’t possibly stand up. New Balance 574 hombre Canotte nba swingman Purdue Boilermakers The only time you can be upright is when you’ve pulled yourself up onto the mattress (one hesitates to call it a bed, although technically it is). Some pods apparently are a little larger and do include a bathroom, though that’s hard to imagine. I cull through my luggage and take what I need for the next day and leave the bag under a table downstairs. There’s no way I could or would want to lug that monster into the room.

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  • There’d literally be no room to step around.

    Late night on my way “home” I walk into a restaurant because I see a girl with curly red hair with her back facing the street inside, so I know she’s a Westerner. When I walk in to feign read the menu, I see she’s cute. She’s twirling her noodle dish around her chopsticks, using them like you would twirl pasta with a fork.

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  • It’s also cute – and effective. She’s getting a lot of noodles on those sticks! She’s the only person I’ve seen doing that. So I go up and say, “I don’t know much about chopsticks, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the approved Chinese method of using them,” or something like that. Her name’s Katya, from the Ukraine, and we talk for a couple hours. She’s teaching English to kindergartners.

    I’ve barely mentioned women in these annals because, except for a couple of instances in a couple cities in which I either briefly met or interacted with someone, it wasn’t much on my radar. Russell Wilson – Wisconsin Jerseys In the smaller places I was, which was most of them, I was going up mountains or down rivers or here today gone tomorrow and there didn’t seem to be much opportunity. Also, unlike Latin America, where I could go to a dance club at least, there were no equivalent places that I found. Mochilas Kanken Classic Plus, again in the smaller cities/towns, there was a dearth of English speaking denizens. And most people always seem to be with others. goedkope Nike Air Max 90 And there was no way to make my intentions known. nike lebron 13 pas cher So a host of reasons. Also, it wasn’t a priority. adidas riot 5 femme Hard to believe perhaps, if you know me, but it wasn’t. In Beijing, though, nearing the end of my trip, that changed somewhat. People spoke, or knew, English. new balance 373 bleu marine homme It was a cosmopolitan city. Nike Air Jordan 14 Womens
    Maglie Portland Trail Blazers There were also Westerners. nike donna It just seemed doable. asics buty męskie And it was a last chance to have a trip fling.
    So anyway, amazingly Katya tells me she has no place to sleep because she’s out of money and she lives an hour away and has to wait for the subway to open in the morning. So, I don’t leap on it, but a few minutes later I say she can sleep in my tiny pod room which will make us instant ‘close friends’ and she unhesitantly accepts. I take this as a positive sign that sex may occur, but when we get to the room, she goes to sleep wearing all her clothes – even her socks – and when I drape my arm around her, she forthrightly removes it. Nike Free 2.0 In reality, sex in that room was pretty nigh impossible, and certainly not romantic and every little squeak or moan would be instantly heard throughout “Pod-ville.” In fact, the guy in the room below snored during the night and I thought it was Katya. sac a dos fjallraven soldes So whether anything would’ve occurred if I’d had a “normal” hotel room is hard to say.

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