S2: 八塘 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

November 11, 2020

S2: 八塘

When it's already two or three hours past checkout time and the user of a room still hasn't come downstairs, it's understandable that a hotel owner come up and knock on the door and ask "hey, what's up". At least, it's understandable the first time.

But, once the hotel owner has gotten the response (in a language which the hotel owner speaks) that the occupant of the room has miserable diarrhea, wants to spend another night, and will totally come down and pay at some point, it really behooves the hotel owner to stop coming by and checking.

I mention "in the language which the hotel owner speaks" because I had an episode in Vietnam in 2018 where I actually wasn't sick in the slightest, merely felt like taking a rest day, and got up wrapped in a comforter to answer the door of the room only to realize "fuck, I don't speak Vietnamese" so I mimed *coughing* at the hotel owner and put my hand to my head like I had a fever. At the time I thought it would get the point across without having to resort to language. Instead, it got me hourly visits to the room with bowls of soup, and cold medicine, and cookies, and hot drinks.

But, this was in China. And I speak Chinese. And the hotel owner speaks Chinese. I spoke to the hotel owner in Chinese. She acknowledged me. She went away. So, being as she wasn't bringing me bland foodstuffs suitable for a dodgy stomach or rehydrating beverages, she had no blipping reason to keep coming back.

Okay, she had one reason. Because she called the 110 Police Hotline last night instead of calling the police station's direct line (as helpfully indicated in the poster on the wall behind her front desk) and therefore got someone who had not just spent 10 minutes talking to me and looking at my documents and swearing under their breath at a computer screen while getting instructions from the Exit & Entry Administration on how to register me, my existence was known to enough people that someone decided their needed to be More Paperwork filled out on where I'd been and where I was going. So, she had to ask me questions.

But that accounts for one of the times she came by the room. And there were enough visits to the room that I stopped keeping count.

Around 7pm, when I finally felt well enough for breakfast, I ended up across the street at a fried chicken sandwich place that claimed to be a national chain but wasn't one of the one I recognize. Lady behind the counter freaked a bit when she realized foreigner and had to go in the back to put a face mask on to take my order, and then spent the whole time I was in the restaurant eating my food looking nervous at me.

Then, back to the room for some more Pepto and an early night's sleep.

Today's ride: 1 km (1 miles)
Total: 3,088 km (1,918 miles)

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