This is my second assignment abroad. Still going with Roy, this time plus Darwin, become like “the three stooges going to China” story. Like the first time, first we transit to Guangzhou. This time only five hours, but that don’t stop us from getting out of the airport to try once again to go to Beijing Lu. But before that, we have to check-in for the next flight and get away our big big baggage from us and left us “only” the laptop traveling out airport with us. The funny thing is, me and Roy has a very little ability to speak Chinese, and plus Darwin, even worst, his Chinese even worst than us. So, the check-in not done smoothly, in fact, we don’t have idea what’s the China Southern girl behind the check-in desk saying when she seems to complaining our excess baggage. We only guessing because she said “san lo” like “3 kilos overweight”. But in fact, she’s asking us whether we want to have ourselves insured by paying additional money. She finally get us understand by pointing some writing in her desk, saying something about insurance. The funny part is, she’s pointing at the Chinese character, which off course that’s only getting the situation worst. However, we finally understand by reading the small part of the writing that in English. Everything is settled, we laugh, she irritably laugh. It’s not really our false, isn’t you need to be able to speak international language (i.e. English) to work in an international airport? At that moment, one thing goes on my mind is, the “three stooges story” begins. This will be fun, as the stories continues…
Beside funny, I felt a ‘universality’ feeling that afternoon. As we merge as one with Japanese, Indian, Arabian, African, and off course, Chinese. For me that is an ‘international airport’ is all about, Universality. We can see many kind of people here and they see us as one of those many kinds as we see them. I’m walking behind a Kenyan woman (I supposed, because we landed nearly the same time with Kenya Airline). She’s wearing all yellow, from hat to toe, with all shiny accessories in her hands, feet, ear, even in her nose. And even though I found yellow color doesn’t match her kinda dark red skin, that’s the way she and many other Kenyan wear proudly. They look elegant, I must say, those tall skinny shining yellow walking slowly and gently. I also met my fellow Indonesian, who taking his wife to Guangzhou hospital. Nowadays, many Indonesian, not only we – Indonesian Chinese – come and try the medication in China’s hospital. They say it cheaper and more dependable. But isn’t it become high cost if you come with other relatives that we in Indonesia say “aji mumpung” which only accompany one person who need the medication. Anyway, it’s good to know that we’re not alone.
Wo men bu se mi lu
Cold windy autumn afternoon welcome us as we taking our first step out from the airport to the city of Guangzhou. We don’t have problem getting on the bus since we’ve been done this on the previous time. The problem arise when we want to get off. Where to get off when we want to go to Beijing Lu. Everybody is saying that we have to get off in Haizhu square. OK, we keep that in mind. And you know what? We end up got off at ….. Bin Bin Plaza, again. It came out, that, we’re not really lost the last time. Bin Bin Plaza is indeed Haizhu square. And it’s only about 15 minutes walk from there to Beijing Lu. But, even we are ‘smarter’ this time, we didn’t smart enough to race against the time. Arriving there at about 4.30 PM, we have to manage ourselves to get back to airport at no longer than 6.30. So, we must take the bus at the latest is 5.30. It leaving us less than one hour to have our very late lunch, where our stomach already ‘un-controlable’. The only reasonable meals on our mind is fast foods since the Chinese foods usually took more time to chose the menu, to prepare and also to eat. So, what else beside McDonald inside the Bin Bin Plaza. We took ‘emergency’ meals due to poor language and the limited time on this crowded, hard to find a seat McDonald in the middle of Guangzhou city. Still, even we get smarter to know where the Beijing Lu this time, we could get to it and end up, again, at Bin Bin Plaza. Thank God, at precisely 5.30 PM, we get on bus to get back to Bayun airport, after buying a ticket at Airport express Ticket box, which we know exactly where, un-like the last time.
Back to the airport at 6.20, get on the plane on 7.30 and take off around 8.00. Arrived at Liuzhou airport at 9 PM, 15 degree cold weather awaits us outside the plane. Yes, for us 15 degree Celsius for us is enough cold to make our skin stand-up. Amazingly, still there’s a young woman who wears very short pans with mini backless shirt showing the backside of her black laced bra. Not only one wearing shorts in this cold windy night. I think Chinese woman is emphasize fashion, style, more than anything, even this shaky cold weather.
Get out from the baggage gate, a sign written “ROY, ANDIJAYA & DARWIN” welcome us. The driver, Xiao Liu, took us to our hotel, Liuzhou Grand Hotel *** known also as Liuzhou Bin guan. Along the road, we enjoying the beautiful modern-combined-with-nature view. All the lamp in the streets, buildings, river and even the mountains and Pagodas making us to agree one thing, Liuzhou is indeed, one beautiful city.
Junk Food day
Liuzhou Bin Guan is a fine hotel for me, although it’s only a three star hotel, it can be compared to, let say, Somerset and Garden Palace in Surabaya. Since it’s already late when we settled the Hotel check-in, no restaurant is still open except KFC and McD. Off course we’re not taking McD twice, instead, we’re have ourselves the KFC for the supper. After eat, we back to the hotel to get a nice sleep after a long fully traveling day.
In the morning, 7 AM morning sunshine awaked me, calling me to see what’s view do I get. I feel please to see the mountain and river beautifully decorated my 18 floor room’s window view. Although it is not the best view because too many tall building between me and the view, I’m happy to think that I can enjoy this view not only from my room, but I can go there. Just can’t wait to Saturday to come. Not to mentioned the sun rise which I’m sure will satisfied my ‘amateur photographer’ desire… Can’t wait to capture that yellow-red perfect shining circle arise from those admiring grey-looking mountains with my Sony handy-cam I take with me.
And again, before we arrive at the office to start work, we were served with this fine sights of bridge, river, pedestrian, and off course the mountains and the Pagodas. River and mountain has been the characteristic of this 3rd biggest city in Guangxi province. After work, we have dinner at Jin Long Jai restaurant very near the hotel. Is the same Jin Long Jai we ate at Guigang. The food is good, except for the Goose (not Duck) we ordered. Just to experience eating Goose, it came out not really good. “At least we’ve tasted” said Roy. That night, three of us go on walking around the Bu Xing Jie, where our hotel located. Just similar than the one (Bu Xing Jie) in Nanning, only this time we don’t have to travel far away to get the good quality reasonable price clothes. It really near us, in fact, it is in our neighborhood. “My target is to spend the whole RMB 1,000 I take with me” said Roy with enthusiasm.
The night was cold, but the road is busy. Being here, with all these people wearing Jackets and up-to-knee leather high heels is really make me feel like I were in the one of those Korean movies. Scene like this you can not see in Indonesia, because we don’t have any autumn season there. “Luar Negri banget !”
Tonight, I intentionally left my window open wide. To let the feeling of this romantic cold autumn night gently stay with me, stay inside of me. I miss my Natz. Wish you were here, baby.