I knew this day would come. I have been fighting off a cold since I left Hong Kong. Sad to say, the battle has been lost. All that remains now are the terms of surrender.
I was hoping to make it back to Guilin to catch a flight or an overnight train to Kunming so I could hole up somewhere warm.
It’s clear now I’m not leaving my hotel room, let alone Guanxi Province.
So this is where it goes down, in a room above the Rock ‘n’ Grill Cafe in Yangshuo, China.
I happened to walk past the cafe last night when I was looking for a place to stay. It looked like a swanky place, in a tiki-torch bachelor pad sort of way. I didn’t see name until afterward, which is good, because I don’t think I would have set foot in a hotel called the Rock ‘N’ Grill. (I have since been informed it’s owned by one of the world’s best rock-climbers, hence the name.)
One of the benefits of living over a cafe: good food is never far. Also, good music, which is pumped out onto the patio area just below my window. Nobody is ever on the patio. It’s pouring rain. But the music gives the illusion there is life outside.
Yangshuo lives up to all the recommendations. Quiet yet full of life. A beautiful winding river. Surrounded by steep hills that rise abruptly from the earth, lush and rocky at the same time. Pedestrian streets, international cuisine, and yet small-town feel.
I went out to buy kleenex and tylenol.
The Rock ‘N’ Grill’s water heater went out. They said we can still take hot showers, just let the water run for 20 minutes first. I’m not sure how this is accomplished. I suspect they have a hose hooked up to the hot springs at Moon Hill Cave.
Growing up in drought-ravaged California I have issues with leaving an unused shower running for 20 minutes. We used to be told to finish our dinner because there were children starving in China. Now I know at least they weren’t thirsty.
I considered switching hotels, but I have grown attached to the Rock ‘N’ Grill. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but what it lacks in hot water it makes up for in personality.
Fortunately, one of the tv channels plays an English-language movie now and again.
Unfortunately, that movie is Green Hornet. ):