Getting dumped on in Hangzhou

Today it’s pouring rain, so I’m taking the day off to try to get this site working a bit better. It’s kind of working but it still looks like crap. I’m struggling to get the CSS working, and creating custom template PHP files working correctly. Unfortunately I’ve been spending most of my computer time working on the site, and haven’t been creating content. This is only my second post, but I’ve been in China for 10 days. On the plus side, I’ve finally started uploading some pictures.

Ten days so far feels more like a month. It’s definitely been a challenge so far. Shanghai was quite easy because everyone speaks at least some English, and they can pretty much figure out what I’m trying to say when I attempt to speak Chinese from the phrase book. Not so in Hangzhou. Few people speak any English, and they have no clue what I’m trying to say while I’m slaughtering the Chinese language. Just trying to get somewhere in a cab has been a real pain in the ass. It doesn’t help that most cab drivers don’t seem to be able to read a map, even though it’s in Chinese! I hand them the map and point to the location I want to go, and they seem clueless. You’d think map reading might be a requirement to drive a cab….

The other challenge has been the heat & humidity. It just wipes me out. From the moment I step outside the sweat starts. If I have to walk more than 100 meters, I’m totally drenched – my shirt is soaking wet, and the sweat is pouring off my face. It’s crazy. Phoenix was hot, but it’s nothing compared to this place with the added humidity.

Today I’ve moved from the Touran Hostel to the Emerald Hostel. The Touran was a total dump — I’m not sure how it received such a high rating on hostelbookers.com. The beds are hard, the AC barely works in the room, there are mosquitos in the room so I woke up with bites. In addition, I noticed employees coming into our room to use the shower. But at $5 US per night, i shouldn’t expect much. I moved over to this place which is $10 per night, but I have only one roommate. Another plus for this place is that it has a good internet connection. Finally a decent connection in China. I’ll use this as a chance to upload more photos and do work on the site.

That’s all for now – I’ll be writing posts on my experiences in Shanghai, and the eclipse in later posts