I won’t under estimate u, traveler…. But, for me, as i observed, i think it would be almost impossible to survive without Mandarin! The first time i got into the station, there was no single configuration of A-B-C, called words. Anything are simply Chinese character. I like to called that characters as “Gods’ written”, damn too difficult to understand!
So, eventhough i knew where i want to go, let’s say to Guangzhou city to Anxi, it is almost impossible to find which booth sells the ticket. There are good arranged booth to sell the tickets. I guess those glass windows are full with information about the destiny and buses, but……..too bad none of them are readable. If u managed to got the ticket, there would be no A-B-C in the ticket! Thanks God, they use 1-2-3 numbering, so u can read the departure time. Ok, after the- God-knows-how-to buy-the ticket, the next obstacle is, how to find the bus? The gate crew will yelling something, i guess they’re calling for the passengers, and of course not in English! If i was not mistaken, there was no single way to recognize the bus without mandarin! Oh God!!
I was totally lucky to travel with my sister, eventhough she is a bit grumpy sometimes, but she speak mandarin. She always handle the this bus catastrophe in China. But…. even her and her mandarin, she was not always been success though…. *devilsSmile* We got lost on Shenzhen!
I have been into 3 bus terminal in China. I went to one in Guangzhou, one in Xiamen, one in Shenzhen, and one in Anxi. The bad one was Anxi. well, Anxi is small town, though. Bad here means, the building was not good, small, the bus looks unorganized, that’s all. The others were good. Quite impressive, no one offerings ticket (calo in bahasa indonesia), no chaos, no bag grab, nothing but myself and those Gods’ written words. The booth tickets were good and organized. The bus schedule also reliable.
And…. the bus itself were good! Damn! Those bussed was 10 times better than busses in Indonesia! But, how to get into that busses…. that’s something else! Need big luck, like meeting someone speaking english in the terminal. Or…., i don’t know, I still figure out what tricks i might do for this situation.
The first night bus i took was sleeper bus. This is the first experience.
Nice enough, Air Co, clean…. as long as there were no stupid person peeing in the toilet without flushing, and let the whole passenger suffering from the urine smell! Bunk bed, of course. Bare foot is a must, they provide plastic bag on the door. So, bag-it, and get in. They provide us blanket, which is really nice. The driver drive quite well, not fast, and the most important is, they drive save. At least safer that Indonesian standard.
The bus stop somewhere for dinner. Dinner was included. The food was served in Chinese/asian style called sharing. I sat on the table for 7-8 person, with sisters, and some stranger from the bus. The foods served in the middle. So there i was… sharing the food with strangers…. The food was OK, but the bus crew gave us only 10-15 min to eat!! How dare! But, no one seems to complain, but us……
The restaurant was quite small, unlike those bus stop in Indonesia. When i got there, I was desperately need to pee. Well, quite on time…. But….. since i have read too many traveler guide, i had a strong feeling that public toilet in China would be a disaster. So… instead of looking for public toilet, i was wandering a bit….. I found a big-empty-total dark-park!! So, there i was, under the bushes, doing my little business *blushing* And it was a great decision! My sister also need to pee, so, she find the public toilet, and….. she had serious trauma! *devilishLaugh!!!* At the end, she went to the park also….