We made it to Xaihuangbanna! We were met at the airport by the photography staff and whisked off to our sweet lovely hotel. Our guide Tim helped us get settled and gave us an overview of life here and the many places we will get to see tomorrow .
Earlier in the day, we were in transit in Khunming. We took a cab into the city and had a nice simple lunch of curry chicken and rice. It was so delicious! We decided to get sim cards for our phones. No one could tell us where. We looked high and low. We went around asking people where to get one. My Cantonese dialect was not cutting it here. My mandarin was worse. Lol. But Dori found a very nice young man that spoke not only English but also French too. He took us everywhere to hunt for a place that would service foreigners like us. We finally made it to China Unicom and for 200rmbs we got 4g data and mobile. We are so grateful to tis young man. He took time out of his busy day to escort us every nook and cranny of this busy city and it was very heartwarming to be helped like that. We just got our vpn service on. FB and Google is not available here. So we paid for it online and its all good! Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes. The adventure continues!
So… our next big adventure was to go into the city to Wal-Mart! We hailed a cab and asked to go to Wal-Mart. He immediately asked for 200rmb – about $50.00USD. I was shocked. We were in the cab and I told him to use the meter. He refused. Then I went all Cantonese and pidgeon mandarin on him telling him that it was wrong to cheat a fellow Chinese person or anyone for that matter. He was shocked i could speak like at to him and then he used the meter instead. It came out to be 20rmb or $2.50USD only. He asked if i came from the UK. I said “no, I’m from America”. He said “I thought so… UK people are more polite “, On the return trip 3 cabs demanded 300rmb. We did not use them. We were getting nervous. It was late and no luck until this one cab stopped. We showed him the map and he said he knew where to go. Please get in. We did. I asked him to turn the meter on. He put up his hand and said no! I asked him why. He said “No charge. I just want mske sure you foreigners get home safe.” This conversation would go on for several minutes. In a panic , I called Tim to speak with him. I didn’t know if he was going to take us to our destination or kidnap us. He drove very fast and got us back to our part of town. He really didnt want any money from us! We gave him 20rmb and thanked him for taking care of us. He has definitely renewed my faith in cabdrivers!
We made it to Wal-Mart and back! Tim was looking for us and was relieved when we told him we were fine.
Our Photo display at the Xaihuangbanna Foto Festival is up! Dori explains it all!