We are lounging on comfy beds on a train to Qingdao (on the cost a couple hours East of Jinan). We took the 6 hour slow train over the three hour fast train, since the slow one got us on our way earlier in the day. Seats were sold out so we had to choose beds or standing. We opted for beds. We parted ways with Sonya and her family at the train station in Tai’an after they made sure we got seats (as we had, stupidly, not booked the train ahead). We had a couple of hours to kill after that. We wondered around a mall to keep out of the cold, and hit the jackpot on a floor called “Living Paradise” where we found massage chairs! We also found kitchen knives that looked like they came straight out of a zombie movie…
Well we wanted to pick up a bottle of wine for the train ride, but all of the wine in China is corked, and we didn’t have a cork screw… Instead we ended up getting a box of four bottles that came with one! Hopefully the wine’s drinkable. We had figured Larry would help us drink it, but we received bad news, Larry had had to return to Jinan. A firework had been set off to close to his work building and the building had caught fire!
Arrived at Qingdao around 8:30pm. Cab driver was really cool, knew some English and pointed out a church to us by making praying motions. Hostel had no doubles but didn’t lack for dorms. We booked a dorm for tonight, but managed to get a double for the rest of the week.
We showered, changed, and met at the bar on the top floor, the whole hotel is in an old observatory, so the bar has a spectacular view! There was a really cool mixed vibe of Chinese and European decor, with Chines umbrellas hanging form the ceilings. One of the coolest features were the walls of pictures that plastered a nook above a couch and hung from string above our heads. Nate was talking to a couple of girls living in Tainjin when I arrived. We shared stories and exchanged numbers.