Out of the three major cities I have visited, Nanjing is easily my favorite. (the other two being Shanghai and Hong Kong (though arguably that is not China, and I would agree with that)). Though it certainly does it's best to discourage me every time I visit.
This time, though I didn't lose my brand new camera (thank goodness), almost everything else seemed a challenge. Still, it will probably be one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
While the first trip to Nanjing was laid back, even restful, this one was a lot more hectic. I acted as a tour guide, since I kind of knew my way around. I ended up going to the Nanjing Massacre Museum again, though it offered a chance to take note on some things I miss and it's honestly the #1 site to see in Nanjing.
I really wanted to show them the top of the mountain, which had been gorgeous the first time around, but it was so foggy we could barely see the tops of the buildings. So, we looked for an antique market (which we didn't find) but I haggled for two gorgeous jade pieces, which I got down to 30% the asking price! I probably could have gotten down more, but I was so excited I just agreed. (All in all, ended up being less than $5 USD, so I call that a win.)
The shopkeepers absolutely loved haggling with us foreigners. Every time I exclaimed "tài guìle (very expensive)!" the woman seemed really excited and happy to haggle.
(Granted, not all the shopkeepers shared her enthusiasm. I tried haggling at a much more expensive place and the woman might as well have been stone.)
After a quick shower and rest, we went to the Fuzi temple, which was closed but the area surrounding it offered beautiful, colorful sites and shops.
The next day, I visited my favorite place in all of Nanjing and probably one of the most beautiful parks I have ever been to in my life.
So many people came up to my fellow teacher Emmanuel and me, it was like we were celebrities. Emmanuel got more than me and I had at least seven people approach me to take pictures.
And then the TV camera came. So there were like nine of us walking around the park and this guy and his camera man approached us asking for a boy and a girl to be boyfriend and girlfriend on camera. One of the guys immediately agreed whereas I kind of volunteered by just staying in the forefront of the group. (Not to say that I didn't want to do it, but I also didn't want to be like "MEMEMEMEME!")
We were given pieces of paper, were made to stand back to back and told to write down our favorite thing about the our significant other. Seeing as how we weren't actually a couple, this was a bit of a challenge. Finally, Hélène shouts to me what would be my dream boyfriend.
So we turn around, I showed him what I wrote ("He takes me dancing."). Now this is supposed to be a very touching moment where we (as a couple) are all lovey dovey, and guess what he says. "She's blond." Apparently that's my defining factor as person. Had he actually been my boyfriend, it would not have been a touching moment.
But then the TV guy told Armando that he had to say something else, that a lot of girls were blond, and he said that I was a nice person and that was pretty, etc. So yeah, got a good compliment or two out of it. ;)
All things considered, he wasn't my boyfriend and (as far as I know) I got to be on China TV. If I ever find the clip I will definitely post it here.
The rest of the day consisted of us trying to go to the Dr. Sun Yatsen Mausoleum (but due to an afternoon thunderstorm was closed), the adventure trying to get there in a taxi, drying off at the hostel before getting caught in the middle of flood trying to get to the bus station. The water was literally up past my knees. We tried to take one of the city buses but the traffic stopped because of the flood and we had to trek there.
We ended up missing our bus but were able to get tickets to the last bus to Wuhu (which ended up being a rest stop half way to another destination) that was supposed to leave at 7:30 p.m. but because of the flooding, the bus schedule was backed up for hours. Eventually we left around 8:30~9 and arrived safe and sound in Wuhu.
And that was Nanjing Part II.