escaping the ghetto

While we sleep, J’s lawyer contacts our client and reminds them of what our contract stipulates as far as housing.  Miraculously, this phone call results in two rooms suddenly opening up at the main resort hotel.  Hallelujah!  We’re moving on up!

But first, a trip to the breakfast buffet, where I grab an apple for later and a large plastic cup full of Nescafe’ to take on the drive to the park.

We discover that some of the tombstones have fallen over during the night because of the aforementioned hill.  Additionally, one of our mausoleums has gotten a little wobbly overnight, which is…odd.  J decides that we need to ask for dirt to be brought in, and we’ll pile that in front of the tombstones to keep them upright.

Dirt is actually being brought into the area several times a day because there are lots of palm plants being placed along the sides of the road.  There’s also a lot of welding going.  I’m still not entirely sure why…but it’s pretty to watch.  (Not pictured is the welder behind this gentleman that’s using a piece of cardboard as a welding mask.)  (I wish I was kidding.)


When J and the guys try to ask our helpers if we could have dirt to line the hilly roads with, both for tombstone support and to make the area look more like a cemetery, we are told no.  No, dirt washes away.  But they will bring us leaves.

Um. Won’t leaves blow away?  The boys pick up leaves and puff on them, blowing them to the ground. Won’t this happen?

Not with these leaves.

Um.  If the leaves are so strong, can we put down leaves and then put dirt on top of the leaves?

No.  Leaves will be enough.  They will not blow away.

(I ask later if the guys could please find a reason to discuss blowing with the Chinese fellas every day, because this has been by far my most favourite moment of the trip.  They, of course, ignore me.  Alas.)

Besides leaves, they bring us ancient animated figures to use along the pathway.  These things are so old that, when we touch them, clouds of latex dust puff out into the air.  Considering that the park has only been doing Halloween since 2011, I’m really not sure where these figures came from.  But they definitely need some work.  Still, we really didn’t bring enough stuff to do everything we’re now being asked to do for this attraction, so any additional stuff is Of The Good.

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Now, I’ve talked a little about my Very Glamorous Job on this trip.  Frankly, I’m used to being a jack of all trades…I’ve done pretty much everything except design a maze.  But on this trip, my tool of choice was not my DeWalt.  It was…a glue gun.


And my expression shows exactly how I felt about that.  Not pictured are the numerous hot glue gun blisters and burnt fingertips.  My job, in part, was to put together 12 custom costumes for the zombie attraction.  One of those costumes had a tear-away arm, which was…challenging to figure out, and probably took longer than it should have.  But success was mine!

At some point during the day, the thrill of sitting on the cement for hours on end gluing stuff together loses its appeal. (I know, hard to believe, huh?)  My sense of direction, which is never great at the best of times, gives me reason to get well and truly lost in the park when I venture out in search of a ladies room.


…oh, HELL no…

While looking for a toilet that includes a bowl, I get to explore the park a little.  Every day, new Halloween stuff was making an appearance, and it was…kinda cute.  The actual Halloween event is scheduled to start October 15th, so this is all a week or so early, but there’s clearly a lot of Halloween decorating to be done.

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And, of course, there’s just the park in general.  (I took pics of the dancing troupe because they were almost wearing Tardis dresses.  Or maybe I was just hoping really hard that that’s what they were wearing. Also?  YAY PIRATES!)

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The haunted house shipment arrives as we’re finishing up for the day.  We don’t have an opportunity to go check on the shipment – though we’re hoping like heck that the haunt fared better than the haunted trail props did, because wow was there a lot of broken stuff to fix in that first shipment – because we have to go back to our home in the ghetto, pack up as fast as possible, and get back to our driver who will be waiting to take us to our new temporary home.  It’s almost as if we’re staging an escape from a hostage situation.  Our clothes are barely fitting into our bags.  I personally leave some clothing behind – and really, I’m fine with that, even now.

go go goC’mon, teddy, let’s get the hell OUT of here!

(Side note:  The backpack is what I wore every day to carry my tools, paperwork, etc.  Much thanks to my dear friend Mandi for giving me said backpack!  It was perfect.  Also?  Yes, that is my Scooby Doo-esque suitcase.  Yes, I was teased for it.  Yes, we could ALL find it at baggage claim.  And yes, Mandi, your painted skulls are still on the front of it.)

This pic shows piles of stuff on the curb because…you probably guessed this…our driver does not in fact wait for us.  J is back on the phone with M, trying to get another van to come out and get us.  Meanwhile, we all take turns running across the street to a small convenience store to pick up sodas and – at least in my case – a Hershey’s bar.  Oh, Pennsylvania, I love seeing evidence of you in China!

Waiting for a ride does turn out, in fact, to be very very very very worth the wait.  Behold the lobby of our new hotel:

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I turn to J and ask, “Where the heck have they been hiding this place??”

We check in and are told we can eat for free at the buffet…which scares me a little, considering what the last buffet was like.  Still, we go up to our rooms – which are friggin’ amazing!! – and then walk down to the White Tiger restaurant.  (I did say that this place has more white tigers than anyone else in the world, yes?)

Sorry, buffet is closed.  Try the Butterfly Lounge.  Which isn’t covered by our hosts, of course.  Still, we’re starving, so off we go in search of this other source of food.  And?  It’s totally, totally worth it.

coffeeThat is seriously the most beautiful cup of coffee I have ever seen.

C orders quite a bit of food.  J and S decide to go for the pasta, pictured below and (I’m told) very edible indeed.  After some hesitation, I decide that it only makes sense to order sushi in Asia, so I opt for that.

spaghettiBut we’re all still a little unsure about mealtime.  As C’s first course shows up, J can’t resist making comments…because he can’t seem to resist making every meal a nightmare..

J:  What’s that?

C: Curry.

J:  When I had a cat, he made things like that.


J:  His steamed like that, too.


J:  Everything over here is made of grisly fingernails or goes squirt….

My food comes last, because they bring the wrong thing out a few times.  I could probably just make coffee my meal, but C offers me some of his third course – a sushi sampler platter – as he dips a bit into some wasabi.  Which is clearly stronger than American wasabi.  He kicks back from the table, clearly in pain, and I am absolutely not exaggerating when I say that at least one member of our party (me) almost peed from laughing so hard.  And because they keep bringing the wrong dishes out?  We keep getting more and more wasabi.

owWe may have tried to get him to eat all of the wasabi.  We may have failed.

Next it was off to the hotel’s main lobby and the bar therein.  Where there was a cover band singing disco.  Which OMG TOTALLY MADE MY NIGHT and had I had any money whatsoever, I would have tried to ask them for a CD.  Because really, hearing them sing a Bee Gees song was just about perfect.

Instead, it was back to our rooms to rest up for the main event…haunted house set-up!



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