Thursday, October 18, 2012

American Tour Group Goes Rogue in China

It was a first in China - an American tour group went "rogue" and broke from the schedule the tour guide said had never been broken in the many years she had been doing tours.
 Above Photo: Our hotel in Shanhai, the Renaissance
 Above Photo: "Tiger" and "Dragon" aka Shawn and Dietre on our tour using their Chinese birth years and Kung Fu poses...even the Chinese were giving 'thumbs up' to their performance
Above Photo: Michael Fjetland on Tiananmen Square, full of cars - the same spot I posed in 1982 as a young Fortune 500 negotiator - in front of an empty square.

It came on perhaps the 3rd or 4th day, when our group had had three meals of Chinese food a day for days on end.

We had been going for days - leaving our hotel to get on a bus at 6:30 a.m. (meaning we got up EARLIER to get ready) and often did not get back to our rooms until 8:30 pm - then do it again the next day.  The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, the Heavenly Palace or whatever it was - soon it was all a blur of stops between yet another bus ride and another Chinese meal - in gridlocked traffic and amazing sights.

Ordinarily I LOVE Chinese food - and Mexican, and Italian and American etc - but I don't eat the same thing every day for every meal!

Apparently our group of 20 Americans were in the same mode - it turned out to be one of the most FUN groups I have ever been with. A couple young guys were doing "Kung Fu" poses in front of Chinese sights, to the point where even the Chinese were laughing and giving them the "thumbs up."

But then one of our member got sick and we faced yet another long bus rid of 2 1/2 hours to reach yet ANOTHER chinese meal (much like what you get in the U.S., by the way - except they kept serving us on the smallest plates - the size of a salad plate).

Then it happened. Our team leader had the interpreter take a "gift" to the driver, and after several minutes of "persuasion" he consented to take us straight to the hotel so our friend could go to bed and the rest of us could hit the nearby Pizza, KFC and McDonald's that was rumored to be next to the hotel. It turned out to be a block away, right under a huge WALMART (see photo).

We had a wild rogue night of eating PIZZA and drinking Chinese beer and doing a lot of laughing and kidding one another.

The tour guide was asked if this had ever happened before. She said that in the 5+ years she had been doing tours, NO American group had ever done what we did.  That has to be a first!

More on this amazing trip and the amazing things I saw - and how it relates to America's future, coming up...Click "Follow" or "Subscribe" to get the rest of "Tiger and Dragon" etc from china...

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