No Hot Water Until 6pm - 142 kilometers Luoyang -- Sat, Jul 16, 2005
The day's biking summary is at the bottom of this post.
I definitely took the little things for granted in the US. You just never really think that a toilet might not have a seat or that hot water only comes on after a certain time (if you have it at all). But in China, these are things you quickly get accustomed to (or you complain way too damn much).
I left Ray Wen behind in Zhengzhou today so he could buy his cousin a bike. For some reason, I get more adventurous when I'm alone in China -- maybe not smart, but fun. I decided to look for a hotel a little off the beaten path -- one that you won't find in the lonely planet. Well I found it...
They had never had an American guest before and didn't really know what to do with me. They had to call the manager to make sure it was ok. We figured out how to fill out the paper work together and then they took me to my room. It is actually relatively normal and has a toilet seat unlike my hotel last night -- but I definitely wouldn't call it nice.
I was pretty happy that I had found a relatively cheap hotel (altough the difference between this place and a 5 star hotel is probably $10US) that a bunch of Chinese people were staying at (althoug they are in the shared rooms -- I thought about it, but with the bike... probably not a good idea).
But then the manager lady -- who was bossing the two fuwuyans (general helper/maids/attendents etc) around -- told me that hot water comes on after 6pm. Ah, I knew I should have checked for that. Not really a big deal, but after a long day of biking, a warm shower is really nice.
Now let me note for some of you that have been to China before -- yes 6pm is early, and I am lucky there was hot water at all... but you're in the know... Most of us still take these things forgranted and I was pampered at my university with my own hot water tank.
I had a realization though during my hot shower. My Malaysian friend has said that she would never date a Chinese boy because they don't shower and smell. Now although this is a gross overgeneralization -- I did come to the conclusion that if I had to take a freezing cold shower, I probably wouldn't shower that well either. Its an interesting in and out routine that makes scrubing difficult.
And the final realization -- ah that is the reason for the scrub boy... read the story at:
Today was the first day of real uphilll climbing -- it was a cool day with sprinkles throughout.