D27: 杨桥畔 → 靖边 - Me China Red - CycleBlaze

April 14, 2021

D27: 杨桥畔 → 靖边

The plan from here to Jingbian was to head south to the redrock park I missed in 2018 and then wiggle my way north and west getting lots of lovely views of the Ming Great Wall. However, the weather is cold and gray and I can be sure that when I come back in a month it will be neither. I take the direct route to the city.

There is nothing much of interest along the way although I do get some snaps of some gloriously catty red banners of the sort that generally congratulate people for starting a business rather than talking about sleeping with bride to be.

The bike club I've been directed to is located in a fancy coffee shop up three flights of stairs. It takes a lot of breaks to catch my breath but I'm untired enough that it's doable. Honestly, pulling panniers off and carrying things up in stages might have been worse.

After an afternoon there, I head for the hotel I booked on Trip for a particularly tortuous check in experience.

First, the English address is wrong. The taxi can't find the place.

Then, we find a hotel with the same name that's not the hotel I booked.

That hotel convinces me to cancel my original booking and stay with them but, while Trip is being decidedly unhelpful with sorting this out, changes their mind when confronted with the difficulty of actually checking a foreigner in.

While this is going on, I manage to find the actual address of the original hotel, and hail a taxi there.... all with my laptop open because Trip has simply decided not to let me login on my phone.

This hotel then doesn't have the slightest clue how to register me.

Which, in fairness to them, may be because of their registration software apparently being programmed by barely trained flightless cockatiels. It takes me twenty minutes after I'm behind the desk to get everything entered and I know where and how to look for things.

I shit you not, five of the seven potential forms of ID to choose from on the Foreigner Registration menu are specific for Chinese citizens.

Chinese ID, Chinese Household Registration Book, Chinese Military Officer's ID, Chinese Police Badge, Chinese Soldier's ID, Passport, and Other
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After having to pick "other" as my visa type because most of the types given are currently nonexistent, I had a choice for "issuing authority" of two districts in Beijing
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The list of countries for "nationality" didn't have the option to use hotkeys and, although it was in Chinese, was in alphabetical order by English name.

Today's ride: 25 km (16 miles)
Total: 964 km (599 miles)

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Gregory GarceauThere are so many occasions when I can't find the right words to describe incompetence. Do you mind if, someday, I borrow "barely trained flightless cockatiels?" I'll provide generally accepted citation for the phrase, but I can't afford to pay you any royalties.
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1 day ago
Marian RosenbergTo Gregory GarceauIt will please me no end to see a phrase of my creation escaping out into the wild.

This is specifically not just for "incompetence" but for "decorative incompetence that fails to function as intended".
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1 day ago