An International Game of Poker/A Brief Update
Our last night in Tianjin, after we had our going away dinner with all of the Chinese students, our group wanted to head back to the karaoke bar for a final party. Unfortunately, all the rooms there were taken up, so we fell back on Plan B and once again cruised over to Ali Baba's. Shortly after arriving, I bumped into a guy from Turkey who I had met before at the bar, and he invited me over to a game of Texas Hold'em that was about to begin off in one of the corners.
The experiences I have in that bar never cease to amaze me. I found myself seated at a table, in China, playing a game of poker with people from Turkey, China, Ireland, and Mexico. It's weird being in a completely foreign country, on the other side of the world, conversing with people from so many different countries not in the local language, but in English. That really helped to put it into perspective just how much indirect influence the United States swings around.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay as long as I would have preferred. Everyone else was taking off for a club that was just down the street, and they wanted me to tag along. I pushed all-in on a 4/6 off suit for my last hand, lost what I had invested, and walked away with no regrets to finish up our last evening in Tianjin.
Yesterday our bus showed up a little late to haul us all to the train station, and the delay wasn't helped with our goodbyes to all of the Chinese students we have befriended, but we made it to our sleeper cars with a few seconds to spare. Alas, not all of the suitcases survived completely intact from that mad scramble, but all the luggage made it except for a bag handle or two and a case of water.
We arrived in Shanghai all in one piece, got bused to our hotel, took a much needed shower, ate a more western style breakfast, and began our tour and exploration of the city. So far we've only gone to a Jade Buddha Temple and one of the main shopping streets in the city. A few other people split off and did their own thing, but now we're all trickling back into the hotel to wait for dinner. Tomorrow we journey to Suzhou, which I've been waiting all trip for and hopefully it will live up to the anticipation. It's hard to believe we have just a couple of days left here in China.