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Sozhou City (pronounced: So Jen)

Suzhou Travel Blog

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This morning we took about a 2 hour bus ride to Sozhou City. To be honest today was pretty much a downward spiral. We picked up our local DM, Benny (picture Jill doing her impression of Elton John doing the high part at the end of Benny and the Jets). This place is supposed to be real pretty. It is on the Yangtze River.  I mean it was nice. It had a few river canals and some pretty gardens but I think we were all a bit salty because it was the hottest place I have ever been in my life. Our guide, Benny, said the temperature was 36 Celsius (That is about 97 Fahrenheit). I know what you are thinking; we have hot days in America, stop wining. Okay try 97 with 1,000,000% humidity, no breeze and no shade. We were beside ourselves with misery. I mean dripping sweat the second we stepped on the bus.

We toured around this Panmen Gate place but honestly I really don't know much about it because I was so miserable, there was no hope in paying attention to the guide. I even just had to look at my itinerary to see what the name of the damn place was. Again it was pretty and all but all I could think about was when can I get back on the bus. Our guide, Benny, took us to the top of this wall and wanted us to fly kites. FLY KITES?! You must be on crack if you think I am going to fly a kite in these conditions! First of all, there is no wind. Secondly I am swimming in my own juices right now. My bottle of water is hot and I feel like passing out. But sure enough, some of the kids attempted the kite flying. They were even running up and down the wall trying to get the stupid things up in the air. One girl did get hers pretty high but as her back was turned, someone snatched her camera. I feel so horrible for her because she is one that started a website and raised all the money for this trip herself. She was vlogging and documenting everything on her camera. Poor thing. I can't believe she held it together. I would have been crying.

So we finally found sanctuary on the bus for a few minutes before we had to go to the next place; Tiger Hill.

Here is a short dialogue I had with Benny on said bus ride:

Me: "Benny, when you say Hill, how steep are we talking about?"

Benny: "It is not bad, only a few steps."

Benny is a dirty liar. As we got off the bus he confessed that it was over 100 steps. Okay, okay, not bad, I know, stop complaining. But please consider this inhumane heat. We climbed Tiger hill to the Pagoda on the top and once again I have no idea about the background of this joint because my brain was not functioning enough to retain any of the blabber that Benny was rattling off.

Finally it was time for lunch and some nice AC. After that we were able to check into our hotel and take a much needed shower. The Glamour Hotel was none to glamorous but it did have good water pressure. The problem is that we were made to leave our suitcases in Shanghai and only brought our backpacks with enough clothes for two days. So after we showered we had to put on the clothes we were planning to wear the following day and just hope to God we don't sweat in them again. Jill and I each only brought one bra for the two days so the two of us were pouring baby powder all over our bras over the tub. I don't know what we thought that was going to accomplish but all it ended up accomplishing was that we both had sweaty, powdery bras. It was after the shower that I noticed my throat starting to get sore. Crap.

After dinner we went to a Ping Pong school.

We were supposed to play with the local kids but there weren’t a whole lot of them there. We ended up just playing with each other. It was actually a lot of fun. I got my butt kicked by Kitty and Cheryl. Jill and I were pretty closely matched but she got me in the end. The only people I was able to beat was our students!

Back at the hotel Jill and I were both grumpy because our AC wasn't working very well. Also one boy decided it would be a good idea to sneak out of his room after bed checks. Jill went to get his journal and he wasn't there. He had snuck out and started knocking on people's doors. I busted him downstairs trying to knock on one of the girl's rooms. Jill and I had him call his mother and I was pissed because I felt sick and had to stay up late dealing with this garbage.

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photo by: sylviandavid