The day The Ig and I reached Jiayuguan last January after restarting our trek, we checked into the Great Wall hotel, showered up and went downstairs to the hotel restaraunt. It was cold and completely empty, and the hostess led us to a back room, where we were shocked to see two foreign women eating at a table.
We sat down at a table, where I tried my hardest not to be Chineseey by staring at the foreigners. They were just as shocked to see us, however, and so they invited us to join them at their table.
It turned out this mother-daughter duo from Louisianna had seen us walking towards Jiayuguan earlier that day and tried to get their cab driver to turn around to offer us a ride. Dorothy, the mother, could think of no reason we’d be out there other than that we were stranded, and she pleaded with the driver. He was in no mood to pick up stray lao wei and, determined to stick to their strict itinerary, hadn’t even tapped the breaks.
Dorothy was in China visiting her daughter Meagan, who was teaching English in the southeast, and they were out in Jiayuguan to see the wall and other Silk Road attractions.
It was a fantastic meal and great conversation, and Meagan even taught us some dirty stuff in Mandarin…score!
A few days later The Ig and I flew outta Jiayuguan to Lanzhou, where we had a connecting flight to Beijing. As we emerged from the lower level of the Lanzhou airport I was surprised to see a familiar colorful coat with a foreign head sitting atop it. I yelled Dorothy’s name, and by Shibble, it was she and Meagan.
(Below; Dorothy, Meagan and The Ig at the Lanzhou airport.)
The Chinese have this weird idea that all foreigners know each other, and we had a laugh about having just reinforced the notion.
I then related the story of when The Ig and I were in a wang ba waiting for the power to come on when a girl who spoke a little English approached us and asked if we knew Sam from America who taught in Zhangye. When we said no she ran and grabbed his business card and physically described him, sure that we must all know each other. She seemed genuinely surprised when the description and his full name on the card rang no bells.
Tags: China, Gansu Province, Travel, Tag Index