On the hunt for a cafe… and eventually getting lost.

After spending the whole day with Angela hopping on and off the metro, I figured I was ready to give it a go by myself to a new place I’d never been to before, with 2 transfers in the process. Having Google Maps in my pocket with a working GPS helps like no other, but relying on it too much is what eventually caused problems.
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The dark blue seats are priority seating. All of the metro cars are so clean and shiny.
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When I mentioned before that there were bikes for days, this is what I meant. Don’t mind the dogs, they were on a leisurely stroll.
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Decided to take an alternate route to the cafe and found this mural and tiny garden behind a private(?) school.
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I reached Insomnia Cafe with no hiccups but it wasn’t until I was inside that I realized I had no idea what I was doing. This cafe was in the middle of an unknown neighborhood, where I didn’t even know if their menu would have English translations or words in it (most places do). It was empty except for a couple sitting at a corner table when I walked in. I went to the counter and they just stared at me. I said the only beverage I could think of that didn’t need much explanation: americano. They motioned for me to go sit down and I found a corner table overlooking their outdoor patio space. They served me some water in a wine bottle and I was set.

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Best americano I think I’ve EVER had.

I  ended up hanging out at the cafe for a few hours, trying to type up the previous blog posts, skyping with friends and family, and getting distracted with Imgur. What’s new. Eventually the cafe started getting full and I felt like it was time for me to head out. I watched people for a while before noticing that they just sat, one of the girls would take their order at the table and they would pay at the counter. I went to pay and then realized that I had no idea how much I owed. They mimed the amount with their hands and the transaction finished.

I knew I was near a few places I’d found before coming so I went to hunt down a bar/restaurant… aaaand it was closed. Damn.
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Instead of going the most direct route back to the hostel, I looked down at my Google map and decided to take some random street that would eventually meet up with the main street I needed. Before I got to the end, I was distracted by large crowds of people I spied on the parallel street to mine, mine was more of an alley with homes opening up to it. I walked down a perpendicular street and ran into a sandwich shop, Panos.

When I saw they had a chicken and jalapeño sandwich I was sold.

Another dilemma. I walked in and motioned to see if I had to seat myself or if I had to order at the counter. The girl gave me this ID looking thing and motioned me inside. I’d noticed people putting these down on a card reader to pay for their food so I at least knew what I needed to do in the end. I waited for a while and flagged down a guy who pointed at a DIFFERENT counter. I eventually ordered the chicken and jalapeño sandwich and a fresh guava juice.
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There was a giant counter in the middle of the restaurant where I decided to sit instead of taking up a table by myself. There was also a giant fake tree at one of the ends.
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The outside of the place, which turned out to be a Belgium franchise.
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When I walked outside, I saw a small crowd across the street and realized it was a place I’d only seen on Instagram, 8% Ice. Such a random (and slightly surreal) sight. I got a small cup of their blackcurrant rose gelato. By now I was feeling a bit more confident in my ordering skills. It also helped that the guy at the counter knew a bit of English.
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Wandering back to the hostel, full and content, I ran into a Hello Kitty ceramic tile shop.
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I also ran into what looked like a fair, but turned out to be the Huashan Culture Park. There were a million Rody horses around the area as well. So strange.
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I’m definitely going to check out this exhibit before it ends.
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I got back to the hostel around 8:30pm and knocked out 20 minutes later. Early night for me.

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