Sunday, 7 April 2013
07.04.2013 - 07.04.2013
View 2013 Sydney to Beijing on greynomadm's travel map.
Another clear dawn this morning and a surprising amount of traffic on the road considering it is a Sunday. According to the 'hostess' today is treated as a normal work day because they have had three days of public holiday. It certainly looks like the place is in full swing.
Caught up with Natalie on Skype and tried to allay Jenny's fears of travelling to South Korea, not sure that it worked.
Walked with Jenny to the local Catholic Church for a 10:30 Mass in English. I wandered on to the next major intersection and turned Left, continued on like that until I was back where I started. Even within that city block there was a variety of neighbourhoods including medical facilities and official looking buildings. A shop-front car wash service and a small park where men brought their caged birds. There were high-rise apartments and some derelict vehicles that looked like they were used for the homeless to shelter. In many ways a microcosm of the whole country.
We had a simple lunch of noodle soup and I set off to exchange my surplus local currency back to US$. First I tried the front desk, that's where I'd changed US$ a few days ago. I was told they were unable to sell US$ and I must visit a bank. There's a bank almost adjacent to the hotel so I tried that, yes they exchanged money but my receipt was in the name of 'Bank of China' and they were the 'China Development Bank' so they were unable to help me.
The nearest 'Bank of China' building is just 5 minutes up the road. Walked into this place and I'm swallowed up in a huge five floor atrium with sculptures, marble and decorative pools. One of the guards directs me up to a mezzanine floor where the receptionist punched a machine and I'm issued with a number and directed towards a semicircle of tellers. Within seconds a voice announces in English that customer 220 should report to teller 54. That was me and I fronted this teller who was about half way along the semicircle. My local currency was counted and in due course I was presented with US$ 92 and some small coins of local money.
By the time all this was done, half the afternoon is over and it is time to start sorting out the luggage as we have a 06:00 checkout in the morning. Had our last 'happy hour' and bade goodbye to Fiona. Will post this entry and finish packing.
Next stop is Seoul and I have no knowledge of Internet access so this could be the last posting for about a week. Thanks for following, hope you've enjoyed the ride.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link. Recent Images on 365
Cheers ... Tony