Recap #1. Arriving in Chongqing.

I planned to start a blog about Chongqing the moment I returned to my favorite super-city. Then I got here and immediately got sick from all the smog. Then I didn’t have internet for awhile. Then I didn’t have a proxy server. Then WordPress decided it was going to time out indefinitely every time I tried to register a new blog URL. 

Those are all of my excuses. 

Now that everything has come to pass, I’m finally able to begin posting a nice, insightful (hopefully), funny, self-deprecating (definitely) account of my days here in Chongqing. Some things have been great. Most things have been great. Some things have been absolutely nightmarish. I expected both things to happen. 

When living in a foreign culture, especially one as totally different from my own as China’s megacity is to Long Prairie, MN, every experience seems to lean towards the extremes.  When something goes my way I feel ecstatic. When something bad happens it’s an absolute nightmare. The one saving factor is that even when things go bad I’m learning a lesson. Sometimes it’s a painful lesson involving urgent dashes for squatter toilets. But it’s always a lesson. 

First things first I guess. 

I arrived in Chongqing from Beijing with a huge, 49.9-pound bag, a laptop, a backpack and a camera bag all strapped in some way or another to my body. I hopped on the recently operational monorail that took me on a smooth trip from the Chongqing airport to somewhere further into the city. On the monorail I struck up a conversation with a guy who worked at an American company. I can’t recall the name of the company. He didn’t speak much English but we got to have a nice conversation about why I had so much luggage. The monorail was packed so I told him that since we were standing so close to each other we might as well become friends. 

I got off the monorail at the HuaXingJie station, I now recall. I got off at that station because I was standing near the door on the right side of the train and for the previous three stops the left side doors had opened. I was afraid I’d get to a station where I needed to exit or overshoot my target and would not be able to drag my massive load of luggage through the sea of sardines and out the other side. 

I got lucky. I exited, took a flight of steps up to the street level and found a bus stop. The first bus was going to ChaoTianMen, where my hostel was located. 

After riding the bus to ChaoTianMen I walked for what seemed like an hour and found my hostel. It was a cozy place with an outdoor, second floor patio looking over the river. There was a general meeting room inside, a washing machine and three showers at the end of the hall. The rates were around $6USD per night. 

It was a great way to start a new adventure. 

I’ll try to update often until I catch up to the present. 

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