26.07.2012 - 26.07.2012
Thursday, July 26.
After exchanging 500 Canadian dollars for 3900 Chinese Yuan (aka Ren
Min Bi, RMB for short) and buying some water and snacks, Jeremy, Mingsi and I left Beijing in their Suzuki SX4.
We travelled south-west through Shijiazhuang towards Zhengzhou and eventually stopping in Kiafeng
We passed hundreds of fields of corn, lots of extremely large electrical transmission towers ( most of them very new) supplying power to large cities and several new developments
The temperature reached 36 C (97 F) with extremely high humidity and we were happy that the car had air-conditioning.
Road tolls were plentiful and at one point Jeremy found himself going 140 km/hr in a 120 km/hr zone so he started to slow down, but not before one of the many traffic cameras snapped his picture. When we were almost at the exit toll booth for the Hebei province we had our picture snapped again but we thought nothing of it until the police at the exit toll booth pulled us over. They informed us that we had been speeding and told Jeremy to pull over and go into their office. They showed Jeremy a picture of him speeding, asked him some questions and eventually informed him that he needed to pay 100 RMB (~$ 15). When he returned to the car, I asked him if I was in the picture and if they got my good side, Jeremy insisted that he has never gone that fast before and the one time he did, he got caught....and Nicole (aka Mingsi) snickered.
We arrived in Kaifeng at 7:30 pm and proceeded to look for a place to stay. After settling in to a hotel room we went out to get some supper. We had checked out a local street market while we're looking for a room and I took a picture with my IPhone but it didn't turn out very well because of the reflection from the lights. For supper we went to another street market and Nicole and I tried some of the dishes such as a fried bread kabob, crawfish, a cooked noodle dish ( although it didn't look like noodles) and a fish kabob. Jeremy had the local beer.
The market had all sorts of fruits, vegetables and 'unusual' dishes ( for North Americans) such as deep fried grasshoppers and silk worms, as well as some less 'unusual' dishes such as fried fish ( with heads attached), clams of all shapes and sizes and fried chicken. There were a few dishes that I did not recognize at all.
Tomorrow we will be checking out some of the sights in the Kaifeng area.