2014 Hangzhou bicycle tour day nine – What happened after arriving in Lishui in the dark

Ok not sure about this post but here goes. My China adventure has taken a strange twist, I was not giving out all information yesterday about why I jumped on a train instead of riding as planned, the main reason was the lovely lady, Annie, below

who I had met briefly in Xin Ye Ancient Village, while she was on her first solo driving holiday, Annie invited me to her hometown. We had hit it off immediately, nearly had dinner together that night but her long drive back home in the dark prevented this.

We did exchange Wechat numbers and as I was deciding what to do on the morning of my change of plans/train trip, Annie confirmed the invitation and said she would give me a tour, so at the drop of a hat, Lishui it was.
You need this information to make sense of what happened after I got off the train in the dark in a strange town in a part of China I had not researched and even now barely know where it is. There was no sign of Annie when I left the station, but I was approached by hotel spruckers looking for customers, so I was confident of finding a room for the night.

After a while Annie arrived and said I could follow her to her friends place for dinner. So we headed off in the dark, with Annie leaving her hazard lights on so I would be able to spot her. This worked a treat until I caught the red lights. There was a few nervous minutes while I cycled with Annie no where in sight. A few Wechat messages helped me follow in the right direction.

We arrived at a dark alley, not quite hutong, but close, the alley was very narrow with parked cars to mannover around with deep gutters either side. Annie drove into a deep gutter and out again and did not blink an eye. I then discovered the friend lived on the 6th floor with no lift, so the bike needed to be left with some neighbours who had their roller door open. We climbed six floors with my panniers to find the friends place was more like a social gathering/party of her friends waiting to see me. One friend was quite drunk, but very funny, he has fixations on Hollywood, which he struggles to pronounce and Lady Diana. I then found out he had just directed a movie with Annie being the star. This was all a bit overwhelming in a way, after the catching the train, the train itself, the new city, the getting lost ride going to the friends place, but a bit of wine helped and I found the meal and jokes very entertaining. Annie’s movie is below.

As if this was not enough, five of us, Annie, Movie director, 2 other friends and I headed out for Karaoke. By the way Annie had booked a hotel for me but I had no idea where it was so I was a little trapped, but it all seemed to be part of the adventure so I thought what the hell. I then discovered Annie had made a CD as a singer and indeed she has a lovely singing voice. But the meaningful part was she sang with her emotion and heart, very moving. I tried a few of the English songs, but found they were all bootleg and seem to have different words too. I was hoping to sing David Bowie, China girl but could not find it.

So we headed home to find the neighbours had put down their roller door and so my bike was nowhere to be seem. We pick it up this afternoon, hopefully.

Today has been another adventure which I will post about next. I am having a Chinese day, I went to Annie’s work this morning, very interesting.

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