Arriving in China: Part 2/6 “What have I gotten myself into?”

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Getting off at Hangzhou train station (continued): I took a deep breath, and than a nice full drag of China’s finest “Ligun.” I turned my head like a peacock to see the surroundings, and to my surprise everyone in the area was staring at me like a hawk; the same way you would stare if you saw a leprechaun. I turned back, and tried to convince myself it was all in my head and that I was imagining things. I did the peacock head turn once again. Turns out a 5 foot 10 inch white male, with a beard stands out like a sore thumb in China. Well at least at Hangzhou train station, to say the least.

The attack: I was spotted! I considered making my eyes chinky to blend in, but it didn’t help that I was at least 3 inches taller than the majority of those that were in the vicinity and was looking in every direction for my driver. Groups of people started following me in my search for my driver (as my body language and slight indecisiveness indicated that I was likely a tourist) while trying to sell me everything you could possibly think of (“happy ending massages, black market taxi’s, hotel stays, beads etc.”)

The trip to the hostel: As my driver helped me load my bags up in the car, I could not help but think that I am one crazy son of a bitch. “So this is it, I am here. I have totally lost my god damn mind. I am getting into some strange car, in a strange country, with a strange man that I barely know and we’re off to who knows where. If this is the end, so be it; I’m a man”  I said to myself.

Zoooom!

To be continued…

Coming next: Part 3: “Hostel”

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