And now... it's time to play! WOO HOO!
On my way to Starbucks, I had a moment to reflect on the last five days. There is so much I could do to help elevate Qingdao to international standards. Not to become a Westernized city, but to be a Chinese city of international excellence.
There is a difference.
I would move here tomorrow if I could. Qingdao is a great city.
Beach house, anyone?
Johnny came by at 9:30am and off we went to Laoshan.
Actually I had to first get out and direct traffic!
Tons of cars were trying to enter the Carrefour parking lot, blocking us from turning onto the main strip. I couldn't take it any more, got out of the car, held up my hands, and made all the incoming cars STOP so we could maneuver around them. I even walked up to this one car, made the driver roll down his window, and told him to please just WAIT.
I am so not normal...
At the entrance of Laoshan where the tour buses line up, I filmed the women’s restrooms. Having to use public restrooms in China is one of my greatest fears in life.
We had fun checking out Laoshan and acted like your typical nutty tourists from America.
Mom was especially entertaining, or should I say, she was being her usual self. Here she is doing her "Obama thing", imitating the way the United States President exits Air Force One:
I was skeptical that the bubbles in this water well were really coming from the mountain springs. Meanwhile, Mom is heard telling the tour guide to find a net and scoop out all the money.
She then proceeds to bless our tour guide, our driver, and me:
Our tour guide was very cute. I bestowed upon her the English name, Susan.
I had this strange need to assign an English name to everyone we met. Not just ANY name, mind you. A good name. One that suited their personalities and that sounded as much like their Chinese names as possible. Mom found this extremely annoying.
Anyway, I thought I'd humor her a bit:
By the time we left Laoshan, stopped by Gupoh's neighborhood to take a quick picture, and got back to city centre, it was too late for Johnny to drive us to our next destination. Traffic was so bad that we had to drive along the coastline, although that didn't help much either.
OH WELL. That Johnny was able to take time out from work to drive us to Pingdu not once but twice was appreciated! Plus, he was unbelievably patient with us as we planned on the fly and didn't know exactly where we were going or what we were doing. He helped to make our journey all the more memorable. Nice guy!
The story continues...