Finally together with my brother in Guangzhou station, China

Finally together with my brother in Guangzhou station, China

 

Guilin to Guangzhou

We left the hotel at 9.30am to catch a 12pm train to Guangzhou Nan (south) station to meet my brother Mark. The journey to Guilin Bei (north) from Yangshuo took about 1.5 hours. We grabbed a chicken burger from one of the station outlets and waited for the train.

All the explanations of why the train was stopped were in Chinese so we had no idea what was going on.
Again the station was split into lounges (only two in this one) and then splits off into platforms from there. The train left on time but then stopped for around 40 mins at the entrance to a tunnel. All the explanations of why there was a delay were in Chinese so we had no idea what was going on. All I knew was this was bad news for meeting my brother at the station!

Late arrivals

When we arrived, 40 minutes late, we hung around the arrival gate waiting for Mark. No sign, so we tried calling him, to no avail. I walked to the end of the station (and the station is HUGE) to a McDonalds to see if they had wifi we could use.

“Mark is worried he can’t find you at the station. Can you confirm which station you are at?”
No luck there either, but as I walked back to the arrivals gate I got a text from my mum saying “Mark is worried he can’t find you at the station. Can you confirm which station you are at?” I ended up calling her in England, getting a few numbers for Mark to try and she was emailing him what I was I saying. We eventually got a phone number for him that worked and I spoke to him. He was on his way back to the station.

After 2.5 hours waiting in the station to meet him he finally arrived! He had arrived an hour early and when we didn’t arrive and had trouble getting an explanation from the information desk, he had to leave because he had to go to work. He thought maybe we had changed our minds or missed the train! He had tried to get someone to come meet us but that didn’t work out so we ended up waiting until his class was over. Feeling frazzled we got a taxi back to his nice spacious flat was in a beautiful building in Foshan. The weather was noticeably hotter than where we’d been previously, and I felt grateful we had started North and worked our way down to acclimatise.

New friends & authentic experiences

Mark kindly gave us his bed for the night. Staying with him were Alicia from Gloucester and Joan from Guangdong. We sat down and had a beer and chatted with him and Alicia, then got a quick shower and went out to a restaurant with them.

The restaurant was completely Chinese with no westerners there at all. This was a great experience that I had been looking forward to.
The restaurant was completely Chinese with no westerners there at all.  This was a great experience that I had been looking forward to, as up until then we had been forced to stick to the restaurants with English speaking waiting staff or at least pictures to point at. Mark could speak Cantonese so we were in luck!

Delicious and authentic Chinese food in Foshan

Delicious and authentic Chinese food in Foshan

 

After an amazing meal of crawfish, tomatoes and scrambled egg, rice and other delicious food, we caught a taxi to a small club called DJ’s. There was a real expat vibe and most of Mark’s friends were there. We chatted to them about how long they’re in China for, what they do, where they’ve been etc. and had too much to drink. It was a fun and very late night by the time we got back.