Odyssey to South of the Clouds ... (p24) - hello Kunming
it was almost 7am as i looked at my watch, and it was already bright outside. we were approaching kunming, and guess what? they turned on the aircond back. everybody already woke up, and some left the coaches as the train stopped at the small stations just outside the city of kunming.
and we finally arrived at kunming train station. as our coach among the most-packed ones as we had to share with the standing-ticket passengers, it took a while for us to get off. morning people...and after sleepless night, obviously crankier than zombie. anyway, it was such a relieved to leave the coach and the station. somehow, the fresh morning air of kunming spoke for its eternal-spring vibe.
we left the station and wandered a while, as trying to find the place to get the taxi. yeap..despite Lost Garden already gave us the direction if we wanted to take the bus, but with our condition that time, we both agree to grab a taxi. we saw few taxis queuing while dropping the passengers along the road in front of the train station, but all just turned down our request as we showed the address.
but finally, a guy who was standing next to the last taxi in that row sort of agree to take us. but we were caught in a surprise again as that was not his taxi. he asked us to follow while mumbled and pointing the direction towards the car park on the building next to the road.
ah..another freelancer! i couldn't remember how much we agreed to pay, but we made no big fuss as we felt it was reasonable. probably because we were too tired to further negotiate.
apparently our hotel - Lost Garden located quite far from the train station. it took a while for us to reach the place, and even we almost got lost as the hotel located a bit secluded from the main road. i had to use my phone to try to call the hotel, and let the driver spoke to the staff, asking for the direction.
as the car entered the street next to the main road near the Green Lale park, i saw some of the landmarks and signs which were same as what the hotel website showed as part of the direction to reach the place. i asked the driver to stop, and we had to continue walk for around 5 minutes from the street to reach the hotel.
Mei, a lovely and beautiful lady (yes... she is!) greeted us as we were dragging our bag, climbing the stairs to the receptionist. she told us that our room was not available yet, as it was still 10am and the current guest was yet to check out. she continued with the registration and told us that we could wait at the cafe since it is also a common area.
she gave us towel and told that we could use the common toilet and shower if we wanted too. ah..she was also surprised to know that we took the hard-seater coach for that long journey.
we were hungry, and instead of ordering something from the kitchen, we decided to go out looking for our brunch. i asked Mei whether she knows any Muslim's restaurant nearby the hotel, and she pointed out that there was one noodles restaurant that she loved to go which was nearby. she took out the map from the shelf and drew me the direction of the restaurant.
we walked, and were lost for a while as the map was quite confusing. despite Mei told us the restaurant just around the corner, and at one of buildings next to the main road, we were still lost and decided to turn back.
it took a while, but then we had to bear with each other. i mean both of us were hungry. hehe.
finally, we saw the restaurant! mee tarik!!!!...hehe.
somehow, as seeing us so excited to find the restaurant, we were warmly welcome by the staff. well...we ordered what looked good on the menu, and then let the main chef performed his magic....preparing the noodles. hehe. i even went closer and memographing the act, which apparently caught their interest to see the video and pictures. simple english enough to break the ice, despite our communication barrier. we had quick chat with the staff, and they told us they were from Qinghai (that if i heard it right).
i had a problem - i don't know how to use chopstick. all the while i had my plastic-cutlery with me, but i forgot to bring it earlier, and i had to asked from them the spoon and fork. but they only had spoon (for soup), and i had to use it with the chopstick. oklahhh....
we decided to cancel our plan to visit tourist attractions in Kunming that day such as the stone forest, the black dragon pool etc. as we only had half-a-day left, and i wasn't in right pace - physically to plan etc. due to the sleepless journey the night before.
we walked back to the hotel, and Mei told us that our room was ready. once checked-in...had a quick shower etc. , both of us went into our rem cycle .