and i said final goodbyes to whoever liked us enough to wake up at 8am to say final farewells. from our group only ken and cody came down to see me, sean, gandhi and matt off. dora and kat were crying saying goodbye to jessica. other friends were there too, even the korean girl, sorae (aka emily, the cute one). so everyone was hugging each other, so touching <3 our little group of 17 got on the bus and left, waving goodbye to everyone as we drove away. awwwwww
we had lunch at the hotel's restaurant. the food was terrible. it was potluck style and everyone had metal trays with compartments, like you see in jails or bad high schools or something. anyway, the food was gross and i barely ate anything. at that point, it was time to go back to the airport.
omg security was a bitch. not for me, but waiting for sean. he accidentally left his swiss army knife in his backpack along with lots of other things like chargers which the machine picked up so he had to take almost everything out of his backpack, and he was carrying a really heavy backpack jammed full of crap. he had to go thru the security line all over again. i was also cramping by then so i was not a happy camper. everyone also had to do patdown, where you have to stand on a platform and the woman pats you down with her hands and her metal detector thingy. kinda embarrassing and invasion of my privacy bubble. =/ ugh 8:30am leaving our friends, and our dorm, the beijing campus, and finally, finally at 3p we departed beijing. took fooooorrrever to get out of there.
lol we played mahjong! on a proper mahjong table!! we felt so lucky! hehe. the table could also be plugged in and the middle of the table would pop out and you could shove all ur pieces in and it would automatically shuffle!! alas, we couldnt figure out how to make it work for us. the table was too high tech for us and there was no instructions. i had to fish out the tiles from inside the table. i had small hands, they said. but really, if we figured out how to work the table, it woulda been soo epic. automatic shuffling and lying out the wall for you, plus blinking lights and rolling dices in the middle, drawers on each side for stashing ur gambling money. oh man, woulda been so sweet.
the next day, saturday, we first went to take pictures at the iconic gates of the city, named jade rooster and golden horse gate. 10 years ago, they did not exist, let me tell you that. lol. ive been on this exact literary before, 10 years ago with family. so everywhere that we were going to go for the next 10 days, ive already been. ok, so after that gate, we traveled to the stone forest. we rode thru the scenic rural countryside, it was a looong ride. the stone forest was actually pretty cool. the area used to be the floor of the ocean millions of years ago and the rock formations, which used to be at the bottom of the sea floor survives today. this was a karst type park so the rock worn by time, weather, all that good stuff formed some pretty interesting stuff to look a