So we get up at 6:15 for breakfast at 6:45. Breakfast room opens at 6:50. We are only ones there. We get to eating. Then go finish packing.
Checkout at 7:30. It does not go well. Attendant at front desk presents me with a bill for 1190 yuan for room. We already paid this on Expedia at the time of purchase. So then she shows us another bill for 595 yuan. 433 yuan for long distance calls to credit cards and mom after robbery. 160 for breakfast. OL goes to pay this.
But because they took a 100 yuan deposit on my credit card he gives her 500 yuan. Then they ask for my credit card and I’m like it was stolen. I don’t have it. I have to repeat this ten times because they don’t speak English. And the only girl that does refuses to wait on us. I’m done trying to speak Chinese since the front desk acts like my 8 years of college and grad school Mandarin are impossible to understand.
Finally, the only one that speaks English is forced to help. She explains that there was no charge to the card. Just a preauthorization. Ok. So we pay the extra 100 yuan. I don’t have that receipt since it was STOLEN WITH MY WALLET. Now we understand and pay the entire 595 yuan. Which is about $100.
We step outside to get our taxi that we arranged yesterday and the guy tells me we have to wait because he has to change cars. Then he puts us in a taxi with a new driver who drives us to the airport.
At least he uses air conditioning so we don’t have to endure the stench of Xian anymore. OL munches the last of his super minty candies. BTW, they are named Unick. Say it out loud. Made me giggle for a while. Unick candies in China. It’s so wrong.
He takes us to terminal 1 because our flight is with China southern. Evidently flights are organized by carrier number. CZ is at terminal 1. When we get there, the meter reads 85 yuan. But he charges us the price we agreed to with the private car driver of 130. Yet another fuck over in Xian.
We get out and cannot find our flight on the big board. OL asks where to check in. We are sent to line 5-10. When we get up there the attendant makes a call and then tells us we need to be at terminal 2. Ofc.
We ask if there is a shuttle bus and if it’s outside, she says yes yes yes to everything. I think she just wanted to get rid of us. We go outside and find the shuttle bus sign
And wait. And wait. No bus in sight. Family waiting with us gives up and starts walking. We try to hail taxi they laugh at us. Refuse to pick us up.
Finally a 3 row golf cart comes over and the family doubles back. We all squash in. Our luggage in the open bin in back.
Get to terminal two and check in. Turns out China Southern and China Eastern are sister airlines and co-carriers. But in different terminals. Yeah um zero sense there but it’s the norm in Xian.
We take separate lines and OL’s moves faster. We check in. Get 28h and j. Then we go to security.
The dumbass takes my purse and scarf out of the bin and puts them on the belt of the screener. Then I go through metal detector nothing goes off, but they proceed to put me on a pedestal and wand my entire body. Making me turn in a circle away from my stuff. Does that make any sense?
No. But this is just how stupid everything is there.
I go to grab my stuff and my purse isn’t there. I freak the fuck out. That’s the last of my cash and my passport. I’ve got nothing left.
It was in front and all my other shit is there. OL tries to calm me down, but I’m having flashbacks to the mall and underreacting. All OL’s stuff came through and it was behind mine. My voice gets loud and louder as I demand where is my purse? I am on the verge of accusing the guy in front of us of stealing it when another bin comes through.
I’m shaking from flight or fight reaction. We go put my iPad in my backpack and I am still shaken up. I fucking hate Xian. Everything and everyone one. HATE IT.
(Note: This may not be a logical reaction, but this is just how I feel at that moment. And this blog is daily record of my trip experiences)
On way to gate, i stop to pee. Western toilet filled with shit. Do these woman know how to flush?! Seriously?!
I take the dun de. It reeks of urine. I swallow the gag reflex. Several times. Luckily I have toilet paper in my purse. Then the sink to wash my hands. No soap. Ew.
We go to gate 17. Wait to board. There are pidgeons in the rafters chirping. And possibly shitting on us. Great.
They announce our flight is boarding but when go up they tell us nope.
I go to pee at dunde bathroom again. Almost walk in on woman shitting. Luckily her cary on luggage (giant cardboard box) held the door closed.
We wait. Boarding time comes and goes. Flight takeoff time comes and goes. We go up and they say wait another half-hour. Awesome.
Same line as Shanghai. Minus the typhoon. Uh-oh.
I pee again. Get a western toilet with incense coil burning in corner. At least I don’t smell piss for a change. Nice. Soap but security person is washing her hands for major surgery so I wait and wait to get the soap and wash my hands.
Around 11 am they announce in Chinese that our flight is boarding. We all rush to the stairs. Go down. Woman with tuberculosis seems to be behind us clearing her lungs. It’s beyond gross.
We board plane. It’s nice. Big, 2-4-2 seater. Clean. Bathroom does not reek of urine.super cool. It’s 11:20. We wait a long time on the Tarmac. Then get pork balls and rice lunch.
Beijing airport is clean. For some reason they put 5 flights on one baggage turnstile.
Our cabbie has no idea how to get to our hotel. The airport taxi attendant tells him.
So we get to the main road for the hutong and cabbie pulls over to ask directions from locals. One tells him to turn around, another says turn here. A guy with a broom and pan leaps forward and madly gestures and makes these wheezing maniacal sounds. He’s trying to be helpful but it comes off as scary squared.
I can barely maintain a straight face. Then the cab driver asks another question and the guy jumps in again. I look at OL and we are both struggling not to laugh.
This shit only happens to us.
We get to hotel, Far East International Hotel. It looks okay. Shabby but somewhat clean. Check in goes okay. They speak a good amount of English.
We get room 222. We go to room. Step off elevator and are enveloped in urine stench eminating from Ladies’ room on our floor. Xian kind of stench.
The door to our room sticks. Then when we open it the scent of must mold and human urine wraps around our throats.
We realize the must and mildew is coming from the ac vent and the closet. The urine however is coming from the bathroom. We open the door and it smells like a gas station bathroom in a big city. Like millions of people peed there and most missed the bowl. There is black mold along the floor tile in the shower and around the door jam.
It’s a Xian style stench. We close the bathroom door. The rest of the room is dingy. Here’s our view.
The carpet is matted, burnt, and dingy. Ew. The furniture is all knicked. The beds are okay. OL’s however is broken so when you sit on it the bed slides and drops tot the side. Kinda like a water bed.
This is the worst hell hotel ever. And we a here for 9 days. We go explore the hotel and find the hostel in the basement. Ew. See a nice bar down there though. Very nice.
We check out the restaurant where meals are 40 yuan ($7) for breakfast. Ouch pricey. Since our room cost $38.
We see where we can do laundry. Two machines in basement in shared hostel kitchen. Yuckie. This is where hostel guests get their hot drinking water.
We read about the hostel courtyard but have no idea where it is. Turns out it’s across the street.
We go back to room and decide no point in complaining since the whole place is disgusting. And compared to the hostel in basement this is better. But we decide to buy air freshener. Walk out to hutong and explore area south of us.
Rain begins. We find McDonalds and have dinner. Then have mcflurries.
Find a bakery and get a 3 bun treat for me. It’s red bean, coconut, and cream. And a coconut loaf. Get water at local market. Explored a bit then came back to hotel.
Used the lemon air freshener we got at the market. It helped for showering.
But falling asleep was hell. My pillow smelled musty. So I lay face up. I turn to the wall and must and urine stench ooze out of it. The blanket makes my skin itch. Ew. Ew. Ew.
I get up and throw scarf over my skin. Then lay down. Decide I have to switch rooms in the morning. If only I had my credit card. I’d leave and go to Marriott. I can’t take this stench.
Then it gets worse. I get stomach cramps and have to pooh. God help me. I gotta go into the urine smelling moldy bathroom. I pray that it stops. But it doesn’t. It’s horrible in there. Third worst experience of my life next to getting robbed and living through 9-11.
Even though I spray freshen before entering. The urine stench is too strong. Pooh odor cannot mask it. I’m in hell.
Ofc I get two bouts of diarrhea.
Finally, the urine stench wakes OL up. He’s lived in Yemen. And he says he can’t take it anymore. The stench is trickling out of the bathroom.
OL says he wants to go down now to front desk and change rooms. It’s 3am. I say let’s do it we can’t sleep here.
We get dressed. No one is at the front desk. So we go upstairs and call the help line. Someone answers and we tell them the smell coming from our bathroom woke us up. He send the maid who doesn’t speak much English up. She tells me she doesn’t smell anything. Omfg. I know Chinese are used to stench bathrooms but come on. This is horrendous.
She calls the front desk guy says the is nothing she can do. He asks to talk to me and asks what I want him to do. I say change my room. He agrees. Maid takes us to third floor. Horrible stench in hallway emanating from men’s room but our room had no odor. Fake wood floor. Bathroom has no odor. Still some black mold but I can use the toilet without wanting to vomit. Progress.
Then she tells me to get room card changed now. Go to front desk but no one is there but girl sleeping on couch. Wake her up and then guy comes out of darkened area at front desk. He changes are room. Seems pissed, but don’t put people in disgusting rooms that make prison sound pleasant.
I didn’t think things could get worse after Xian. But Beijing seems determined to prove me wrong.