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Never have I killed so many, so many cockroaches in a day!
My very first impression once I step foot on the land of Guang Xi China was its scorching summer wave. To my disappointment there was no difference, if not worse than Malaysia where it is summer all year long.
My sweat kept flowing as I walked from the airport to the designated bus to the next location, puzzled by this troubling question, why are all the air-conditioners not working?
The disappointment resumed as we arrived to our accommodation. As per the staff in charge, the designated accommodation for us was under renovation and they were forced to let us spent our nights in the student dorms.
Despite all the complains, there were a few noteworthy moments that I did not see coming.
The campus area was so huge. As this was a collaborative programme among the universities, we spent a considerable amount of time in the campus area. Around a huge center lake, the campus was divided into several neighbourhood sized areas. Most of the students and staffs traveled around the campus using their own or rental bikes. I let out a long sigh of relief when we noticed that our activity area did not cover the whole campus.
FOOD! You got to eat no matter where you are. I was uncertain during our first meal here. The servings for each table for 8-10 pax were a far cry to where I came from. There were at least 8-10 varieties of dishes served for every table and we could barely finish half of it. However, instead of waste, I see the abundance of food as a blessing in disguise as we have the opportunities to taste and to try more authentic Chinese food. (which was really good!)
One of the highlights of the day was the visit to the Zhongshan street food night market.(中山路美食街). As the name implies, the street will dazzle you with a wide array of local delicacies. From on-the-spot made dumplings, grilled seafoods, youtiao (Chinese fried dough), to fried insects, you name it. It was definitely a must-go if you were to visit this city as not only the street food were tasty but also super cheap.
Back to the accommodation, the nightmare had just begun.
As we were ready to throw ourselves onto the bed after a long day of travelling, screams and shrieks were heard at the hallways at the dorm. There were at least one cockroach or spider or something else in each room of this seasoned building.
The reaction of the housekeeper did not make the situation any better. According to her, that was a totally normal phenomenon and instead of giving any practical suggestion, she urged us to lower down our volume and get to bed as soon as possible.
Leaving us with no choice, concerted efforts was needed to eradicate the pests in the rooms. As you might have predicted, the boys did most of the killing while the girls just watched and screamed. Although the eradication mission was a huge success, two of the girls were still reluctant to spend the rest of the four nights in their room as they really could not take it.
Seeing that there were no other choices, my roommate and I agreed to let them share our relatively clean room and sacrificed ourselves to sleep on the floor instead of the bed. It was quite packed in a two-pax room that contained four person. But I had nothing to complain about sharing the room as it was the ignition of many of the most memorable moments throughout the stay…
(To be continued)