English Version 2
Iím sitting eating breakfast in the restaurant at Far East. Theyíre not very quick here. I woke up 01.30 a.m. and thought it was morning. It was bright but apparently afternoon? Realized it was just the light that was on. I myself had gone out like a candle, before I put out the light. Iím soon awake Ė too much awake. The day had been so intense. I lay there living it over again. Cultural chock and jetlag I think. After two hours I fall in a heavy sleep again and feel refreshed when I wake at 8.30 a.m. Itís a cosy restaurant. Itís naturally a backpackerís paradise. You can have English, French or Swiss breakfast. And some more. I ask for Chinese? That they donít have. What does she eat herself? Tofu and something I donít understand. Nuddles? No, definitely not. I choose the Swiss one. Iím not going to The great Wall today. I need a day to get accustomed and for shopping. I have to learn to find my way in this city. Soap and toothpaste are the most wanted things on the shopping list.
The table Iím sitting at has a transparent top. Under it former guests have placed pictures of themselves, comments, coins etc. The wall is draped with brown pieces of paper with greeting. Many Danish ones. Among others Vestfyns Handelsskole og Gymnasium. Soft western music is coming from the loudspeakers. From time to time the singer is singing in another languages than English. Chinese I think.
Two Spanish speaking guests have arrived after me. They show to come from Equador. One of them from an Indian village Iíve never heard about speaks NO English. The other a little. If I understood him right they Ďre going first to Shanghai and afterwards to Amsterdam and Denmark. Going back to Equador the 5. of may. Unbelievable they make it with so few language skills.
My camera has died. Maybe I should have bought a new one at home. Itís from 2002 and has been repaired once. My plans may have to be changed. Everything takes longer and the impressions are overwhelming. Iíve been for a little walk to buy soap, toilet paper and 1.5 l of water. Iím back in the restaurant waiting. Suitable time for writing. With all my waiting my writing will end up as a novel.
Positive: the internet is functioning smoothly, I just have to learn a few things regarding when the keyboard pressures turn into Chinese characters and when they turn into letters. The keyboard itself looks the same as usual. But a press on some keys can give a surprising result. I also have problems using Pathfinder to transfer files from the PDA. The library structure is in English. But I know that when I right click at Start the pathfinder is the second from the top Ė here too.
Messenger works fantastic. Have communicated with several already.
Must buy a headset today so Iíll be able to talk.
There arenít hours enough in the day. Iím sitting here havnít had supper yet and I have to get up at 5.30 a.m. to go to the Great Wall. And I want to do a hundred things tonight. But I try not to get stressed. What has happened since my last writing?
I thought my camera was dead and was almost going to buy a new one. It showed it was my rechargeable batteries that were the problem.
From hell I ended up in heaven Ė again.
The batteries doesnít play with my charger Ė apparently.
And then I made a fool of myself. Who said again?
I went to buy this headset for communicating with home. Was spoken to by a Chinese girl, who was studying English and wanted to practise. Not surprising Ė Iíve heard about it before. Helped me very well to find one, fine. I also bought underwear, but only one set Ė I found it too expensive. In the mean time her girl friend joined us. Spoken only a little English. They suggested we went to have tea together. That was OK. They took me to a place that looked a little expensive and into a private room, the kind they have here, with a hostess who made tea, or actually made some kind of tea-show. Whoís going to pay for this I asked. A reasonable question. We split the bill they said. And this is where I failed, because I forgot to ask in which proportions. If they can pay 1/3 each it canít be THAT expensive, I thought Ė but it was. 930 RMB, maybe a fraud. Maybe they cooperated with the waitress - if so, they were very clever playing their roles Ė they probably were! Anyway one of them (the English speaking one who came from a poor farmers family in Inner Mongolia) could only pay 100. I refused, by referring to our deal, to pay 700, so the other agreed to pay 430 and I got off at 400 (280 d.kr.), which wasnít that bad, because the whole show was genuine and told about the Chinese culture with tea, superstition, customs aso. I felt stupid on one hand and in the other not.
When the other one was going to pay she didnít have enough cash Ė it LOOKED true, and had to go outside to pay with a credit card. But if she paid or not, I didnít see. The teahouse was genuine and certainly expensive. And I was left one experience richer. And maybe a little wiser.
An interesting detail: when you know their habits with traffic itís a little absurd, that a policeman stops you when you try to DRAG your bike into the walking street Ė or what?
It has been another emotional and interesting day Ė I can hardly wait for the continuation. Goodnight.