English Version 17
Xiangfen 17.00 oíclock
Itís raining a little this morning, I roll on, donít have to go through town, cause the road crosses the river and continues on the other side. It starts to rain more heavily and just when I enter a gas station for shelter a heavy shower starts. It rains for 15-20 min and then stops as quick as it started. Itís like in the tropical zone. The sky looks unchanged, will there be more?
I dare leave and have no more rain this day.
Itís looking greener de last 4-5 days. When I cross over the railway and can see far away there are for the first time green fields as far as you can see. It cheers me up.
I am beginning looking forward to see the blue sky south of Xiían, I donít think it will be before then.
Just as Iím on the bridge a train passes and I get the opportunity to count how many wagons an endless good train carries: 62 Ė filled with coal Ė and only one engine.
The dust in the road has turned into mud for the next kilometres, but the surface is all right. In the end a man with a fruit cart turns up and I buy 3 bananas.
Iím conscious about eating sufficient and varied. I can do one day on water and bread alone but in the long run itís no good.
Today I add some Chinese coffee chocolate I bought in the supermarket in Pingyao. When I passed it by accident I had to go inside, because in there I can get everything, I thought.
I went around for 15-20 min without finding ANYTHING I could use. At last I found some bars with nuts, I hope resemble those I bought in Beijing.
I see a wash basin at a gas station and ask if I can wash my hands? Yes, of course. She pours in some more and adds some hot too. And thereís soap. Thank you, so much! Since yesterday I canít touch anything without getting dirty.
At another gas station I find an old towel all wet after the rain.
Perfect. I start cleaning the bike. I spray the chain, itís been too
noisy lately. During the process I find out that the front mudguard has
come loose. A nut has disappeared. I ask with gestures a girl at the
station if theyíve got one? Meiyou! They havnít. Shortly after another
girl has arrived. I ask again. More people have arrived, I often attract
crowds. She seems declining too, but then a man stands up and says: run
over to the garage, theyíve got to have one. I canít naturally
understand it, but I have no doubt thatís what he says, and she gets the
bolt and returns soon after with one. I have the unbraco for it butÖdamned,
the adjustable spanner is at the bottom of one of the rear panniers. But
they immediately produce a spanner that fits. She must have had it with
her from the garage. I totally forget to ask if it costs anything. I
donít think it does.
The city of Linfen I never see. A by-pass has been constructed with 3 lanes and a shoulder in each direction divided by a planted verge. Some have the means.. For the first time I see commercial signs by the road. Whatís in peoples dreams here? Cars! Honda Civic and Nissan.
I easily find a lŁguan for 50, but then itís without private shower and toilet. There isnít even a mirror, so I can see what my face looks like, the trousers doesnít look good at least. I did borrow a brush this morning, but itís more than that to make them look good, and now theyíre all muddy up to the knees. When I get to Xiían Iíll buy another pair and THEN Iíll wash them.