China Trip Feb./March 2016 – Day 2

{In which I defy military law, find a bakery and win a monkey with siging in German in front of 200 Chinese people]

Six in the morning is an unholy time to get up especially after the night was cut a bit short by waking up in the night by noises, getting up and seeing that our hotel room door – which I close for sure – was slightly ajar. I ended up sweeping the the whole room before I was comfortable getting back in bed.

We had actually plannend on getting breakfast at 7:30am but then it turned out they’d pick up Dad and his boss super early
Breakfast came with a side dish of „lost in translation“ because English? Will help you jackshit here cause if they know some words like „good morning“, „hello“ and ‚bye“ you are lucky. We made do with pointing, signing and honest to god drawing a watermelon to get another platter of those.

Chinese breakfast is also incredible rich, there were vegetables (the green leaves and I am going to assume the shredded red stuff was vegetables too as they were so slathered in soy sauce, I was only able to taste that), fried egg (with soy sauce), a croissant (no butter, no jam, but plain croissant), those fried dough thingies that have a really neutral taste but taste amazing to me, yogurt, melon (frikkin tasty!) and some sort of rice in milk (?) that was far tastier than I expected. I even managed to acquire orange juice in the end!

(As much as I am bitching, I am enjoying myself despite the unplanned internet hiatus – everyone is super friendly despite not understanding us at all and always trying to make our stay as pleasant as possible.)

And then off we went to the conference that was the annual meeting of the firm who bought up Dad’s. I still have no earthly clue if I was even allowed to be in that conference but eh, one if the higher ups organized me a chair and I took that as an okay to sit through hours after hours of Chinese self-adulation (at least I assume it was due to the nature of those conferences).

Hilariously it took place in a military hotel of all things and yesterday we weren’t even sure if we as foreigners would even be permitted to enter it at all… we ended up going through the back door. And I was too scared to unpack my cam just in case they did not want us to take pics or take us into custody for fear of spying for ‚the enemy‘.

Since I sat on a different table than my Dad and his boss (wonder whom they kicked off to get a seat for me) I was left to type up today’s entry and look interested cause there were exactly two people with enough English skills to converse with – one was moderating and therefore out of commission for translator duties and the other sat with Dad, his boss and the uber-boss of all things. And since it was a military hotel, there was no WiFi. At all.

Military Hotel also meant that we were not allowed to attend the buffet – instead we went to another restaurant.
The amazing thing about China is that when you eat out, you just randomly order a bunch of different dishes and everyone digs in! Which is great cause I’d hate to pick a dish and then it turns out uneatable (though that I have not encountered yet, even the terrifying spicy stuff is tasty… as long as your taste buds still work I mean).

Dad and I then got excused from the next part of the conference and went to aimlessly walk the City, trying not to drop dead of tiredness. Or get lost. Always on the search for working free WiFi.

Which is how we ended up in this super cute bakery: MaiYou. The sales Person even spoke enough English to communicate which was a blessing. We ended up with a coffee, hot strawberry milk and some raisin pastry for altogether 26 Yuan – which is a gran total of 2.50 bucks.

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Cheap-o also was the Coke and the Pocky (!) we picked up in a convenience store a bit later for a total of 7 Yuan. Thankfully, cause we still had not obtained any Yuan and were running on the 100 Yuan Dad had left from last time.

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Since we were supposed to spend a good four hours outside we walked aimlessly for quite a while till we called it quits and walked back… being greeted with a sign saying „foreigners are nott permitted to pass without permission“. OKAY THEN. Did not help when we were outside the hotel cause now there were soldiers outside and we remembered the sign… clever as we are we ambled around in front of it for a bit, hoping someone would come out to look for us. Until Dad remembered he had Zhong’s (who is the only one speaking English AND German) phone number and called him. Long story short, we were kinda smuggled in by car and then promptly whisked away into some sort of storage room because no foreigners in the lobby!

Now, the above part I wrote in bits’n’pieces as the day progressed as to not forget a thing – the next hours however passed in such a hurry that I am only now coming to sum it up.

Basically it all started with one big show with the various employees of the company putting on a huge show – there were drummers, dancers, singers, you name it! It was pretty darn epic tbh. Since we are poor fuckers, we were kinda roped into performing during yesterday’s meeting and put on a heartful performance of „Eine Seefahrt die ist lustig“ which uh, was a great hit with the audience! (weirdo Europeans singing? Evening entertainment saved!) – we kinda counted it as payment for the food which was again so fucking tasty, it ruined western Chinese food for me forever.

The company is also really free with presents, employees could win some sort of kitchen-aid, a vacuum and the first prize was an iPad!

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This was my loot – two plushie monkeys (one won, one given), two scarfs (red everyone got, white was specshul and came with the rice package from Tibet the brown monkey holds) and some sort of hand creme that everyone got in the company’s goodie bag. The brown monkey is special – our singing won us the public award of the day which is supposed to even includes money. No one knows how much yet but eh, never won money before!

The pics of the food from my phone will be added once the bitch cooperates again.