Our first day in China. We’d finally made it! I woke up and stepped out the door to find a truck graveyard. Yes, a truck graveyard. The motel was literally built around scraps of old trucks. It looked less haunting in the sunlight. Almost like an art installation, actually. But last night, the sight could’ve inspired the scariest horror films.

After the oppressive Burmese heat, 17° was such a relief! Clear skies and bright sunshine filled me with hope. It was gonna be a good day, I could tell.

We had to complete a few formalities with the traffic police. This left my brother and me, guardians of the cars in a Chinese parking lot. Luckily, since we were at the border, my Myanmar sim card still had service and Internet. Facebook wasn’t banned in Myanmar. I felt pretty badass at that point but it was bittersweet, knowing it would be short lived. As I scrolled down my facebook and Instagram news feeds and checked Snapchat stories one final time I suddenly felt confident in my ability to live without social media. “I can do this”, I told myself. Repeatedly.

Once the traffic police work was done, we decided to take cabs into Ruili city for lunch. The cars would receive clearance to drive only by tomorrow. The difference between the Burmese and Chinese side was remarkable. Wide smooth roads, landscaped public spaces and large shopping centers greeted us on the other side.

As we approached the restaurant, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Dico’s was a Chinese version of McDonald’s. I was going to eat a burger for lunch. With fries. And maybe a softie. I deserved it. Ordering wasn’t too difficult and the burger tasted just as I expected it would. Good ol’ comfort food. Unfortunately, there was nothing on the menu for the two vegetarians on the crew which made me feel a little guilty for enjoying lunch so much.

I saw something interesting on the menu. In China, when you order a drink, you must specify whether you want it hold or cold. Ladies and gentlemen, orange juice is served steaming hot and it is cheaper than its cold counterpart.

We left for the hotel soon after lunch. As I turned the corner, I was hit square on my back with a water balloon. I forgot it was still the last day of the water festival! Once this registered and I recovered from the first attack, I looked up at the sight before me in horror. The hotel was still five buildings down and there were people lined up on either side of the road, water guns in hand, just waiting for me to pass by. I made a dash for it. These guys have had two days of target practice. A water balloon whizzed past my ear, missing by an inch, before I r an into a store for cover. It was a warzone out there. Somehow, I made it to the hotel lobby without getting drenched.

Now there was no way i was going back out there since all my clothes were still in the car. The hotel beds were so comfy and the wifi wasn’t working in the room so I thought I’d just lie down for a bit. I woke up four hours later. What can I say? They were really comfy beds.

My laptop died just in time for dinner. We set out, unsure of what kind of food to expect. We ended up eating some noodle soup at a street stall and whoever once told me Chinese food was bland needs to get their taste buds checked out. By the end, I had a runny nose and watery eyes. After dinner, the topic of my hair popped up somehow and the next thing I know, I’m getting a fringe at the hair salon next to the hotel! New country, new me? Let’s see.