After a long day visiting the Great Wall of China, I was super inspired to play some music in Beijing. I did not know what to expect and did not care either. This time, a loving couple, James and Reyna came with me.
As an avid and adventurous traveler, I am also analytical on how I travel. When we arrived to the train station I advised James to take a picture of the map you see at the train stops. He asked me why, I said just in case, you never know, plus it’s a great photo memory. As we arrived to the venue, we found out that the venue was packed and it was a college atmosphere! Several college students from all over the world as well as locals filled up the venue.
After playing a half an hour set at 10 pm. I was really happy and pumped. Reyna was happily wasted…
Even though we were having a great time, we knew the metro closed at midnight, so we had to leave. We made the decision to take a more direct route as the metro route we took earlier required us to switch trains twice.
The decision seemed pretty awesome as it was just one train ride, and about the same time to get to the hotel (30 minutes). Midnight struck and all of the sudden the train stopped in the middle of nowhere. We were told to get off. All of the sudden we were in the middle of the woods with a guitar on my back and a very happy girl…
I walked and saw a dirty road with several cars parked in a line. I assume this happens often and they pick up stranded people. I approached one guy and tried to speak to him in mandarin and he seemed to understand it, but I wanted to make sure he would take us to the hotel. Reyna kept on yelling out in English that we need a cab, ha ha ha There were no females around, only about 30 males looking at us.
I asked James to give me his phone so we can show him the name of the train station close to the hotel (see picture). He seemed positive to know where it was. We got into this car that was not a taxi and hoped for the best. My phone GPS was not working and the dirty road seemed to last forever. I felt the tension and the fact that random cars on the opposite side of the road would signal our driver with their headlights in a random suspicious fashion. That made the tension even greater.
Reyna was feeling sick and she wanted the driver to stop, we said no! Then ,she decided to open the window and throw up. The driver did not appreciate it, we said sorry and to keep on going. All of the sudden we knew Chinese. 30 minutes on dirty roads and no signals of a highway, James touched my shoulder like saying, we are screwed. GPS signal still dead…
All of the sudden we entered what it seemed an abandoned small town, and some hope was restored. 10 more minutes on the road, GPS came alive but without the map on screen. I kept positive this guy would take us there. We finally saw lights and highways; it appears we were really far from our destination. The GPS shows we are close to the station, I tell James and he is relieved.
James sees the building close to the hotel and tells the driver to stop, he stops we just give him 100 yuan and he was really happy. We were happy to be ok and to make it to the hotel alright. Reyna sobered up and we went to our favorite spot in Beijing, The Local! Scary and Happy times in Beijing! = )