We arrive at the hotel. And well, its pretty dire. We’re given rooms and dinner is literally given to us in a box.
We all eat in our rooms, there’s nothing on the tv and its only 8:30pm. So what do all groups of young 20 somethings do when its the first night in a new country. Thats right, hit the clubs.
Ahmad happened to know someone who knew Guangzhou and she suggested a place we could go. Yes, a plan. Next up, cabs. This turns out to be a challenge. Walking out of the hotel you walk straight onto the motor way. It was like having the F3 onthe door step. Lots of pointing and gestures happen with us saying the only word we know (Guangzhou) to try and find out the correct way to start walking. Eventually we find a police man who could understand us and explained in broken english that our best chance for a cab was down by the hospital. We start walking but a couple of minutes later the same police man pulls up next to us with a cab for us. What a nice guy! Problem though, the cabbie says he can’t take 5 of us because he will get a fine. The police man says something and suddenly its ok. The police man has just convinced the cabbie to break the law!!! Crazy, crazy country.
Half an hour later we’re still in the cab, and not because of traffic. This is half an hour of solid driving. Where the hell was he taking us? Small panic subsided when I remembered we all had room keys with the hotel phone number on. As long as we had them we could get back.
We pulled over by the river, opting for a short walk to the club. We were greeted by a guy on a bicycle, blaring out some disco who offered to take a photo of us and then sell it to us. We waved him off but I couldn’t resist getting a video of him.
Finally getting to the right address, we see the doors shut and the windows dark. The club is CLOSED!!! *&%$#^*&
Calming down we turned around and looked for another place we saw on the way. I’m the first to get there so I did what you do in Sydney. Got out my ID and gave it to the bouncer. He looked at it, looked at me and shook is head. WHAT?! I motion why and he calls out his boss. They exchange words, the boss asks “what country?” I point out that is says Australia on the licence I’ve given him and he shakes his head as well. Really confused and frustrated I turn to go when a waitress calls out to stop us leaving. She has slightly better English and explains that the bouncer and boss thought I was giving them a bank card. Apparently no ID was required and your supposed to just walk in.
Coming up in part 3, the club and the after party.