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Did you ever wonder what $30 Cdn would get you in terms of hotel accommodations?  Well, I can answer that for you, ‘cause we’re “not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!!”

In Jiujiang, China, it gets you a filthy dirty, disgusting hotel room with two dirty single beds!

Backtrack to this morning.   Late last night, we checked into the Richwood Garden hotel and it was lovely.  They had given us two twin rooms, but both girls wanted me, so Danny got a room to himself and I had both kids in my room. 

Breakfast was awesome!  They had a huge selection of both Chinese and Western foods, so both kids ate really well, and were fully charged for the day.  Emily spent some time chatting with a 19-year-old girl she befriended on the bus named Carmen.  Carmen is a nursing student from Australia and Emily really took to her.  They chatted and chatted in the restaurant until it was time to say goodbye.  The bus tour was leaving and we were being picked up by Danny’s cousin.

He arrived right on time, in a hired van with a driver (mental image check—filthy old van, wheels barely still attached, driver of dubious qualifications).  The hour and a half drive passed uneventfully and we arrived in beautiful Jiujiang.  Even saying “uneventfully” is a localized term.  In places where they are repairing the road surface they just suddenly break open the middle section of a busy highway, and traffic is left to self-divert, often with three lanes of traffic consolidating into one single lane.  That single lane is often not a lane at all, but the pitted side of the regular road!  Exciting, yes.  Pleasant, no.  For the faint of heart or anyone with a pacemaker......NOT!

When we got to Jiujiang, we were immediately taken for lunch.  A huge big meal with lovely shrimp, chicken and veggies.  The nice side effect of their terrible economy is that food is plentiful and cheap.  Also, because our hotel rooms are so nasty, we do little other than eat, rest and eat.  Seems to be just one meal directly after another as everyone wants a little bit of time with us and they all want to host meals.

Danny took his mother and aunt to the cemetery in the afternoon, but the girls and I stayed back.  They were still exhausted from yesterday’s outing and there is nothing for them to do there anyway.  So, what do you do with two little kids in a filthy hotel room with no food or drink handy?  As you can see by the photos, one colours and the other uses my laptop to play on  Doesn’t leave much for me to do, so I pass the time with my Blackberry.

Dinner time seemed to arrive just minutes after we ate a huge lunch and none of us were even hungry, but Danny’s cousin had arranged a big dinner for us.  So, we went to another restaurant, ate some of most of the dishes and took Pepcid afterwards!  Emily found a little girl to play with and in spite of some language challenges, they had a good time. 

By bed time, Emily had decided she would stay in one room with Danny and I took Stephanie in my room.  Emily used the hotel computer to play and Stephanie monopolized my laptop. 

Danny said Emily finally collapsed at about 10:00pm and I had Stephanie tucked in by 9:00.  I literally couldn’t sleep since the bed was so filthy dirty that it was making me feel unwell.  I laid on top of the bed, fully dressed, and finally fell into an uneasy sleep some time after 4am!