any questions in which direction to go? where you are?
there is one major challenge when wandering alone through a chinese city: how to come back. the namecard of the hotel is a lifesaver, so i always had two in my pocket. but not every taxidriver has good eyesight and/or knows the way. to make it more difficult, nanjing for example had 4 nanjing hotels, and it took me a while until i knew to ask for the jinjiang nanjing hotel. and even then: the hotel was in a corner of a block and had 3 entrances, looking all different. people you ask in the street don’t speak english and/or don’t know where they have to send you.
so once i left the shuttle bus to walk the rest of the way late at night, got the wrong direction and landed in a cul-de-sac, which fortunately turned out to be the end point of a bus line. showing the hotel name card, i was sent from one bus driver to the next and motioned into a bus, where a lady of maybe 25 year in white cotton gloves started to maneuver the bus through the nightly streets. after 20 minutes of silence she suddenly gestured to show the card again and urged me to get of the bus right there. so out on the street i was, and after several tries to get information from the rare pedestrians, i finally got a cab. this cab drove the street for 150m, turned around, went back again 150m, entered through a gate and after another 100m dropped me – in front of my hotel door.