English Version 30
Iíve been in China for 30 days now, half of the time. Only HALF.
Ningqiang never became my favourite dish. A hotel with 2 stars and the hot water only gets lukewarm. A kettle with a cord of 10 cm. I search everywhere for the extension cord Ė itís not there. But thatís not new. They understand NOTHING, donít posses the ability of communication.
When I downtown ask for the post office by showing a postcard and point in different directions, everyone comes running and want to see it. Ooh, itís from BeijingÖ I have to find the word for post office in the phrasebook, you ji, Iím lucky there are Chinese characters too, because they pronounce it you jie. Point down the street.
When Iíve gone long enough I ask again. The other direction, back again. At a side road I ask again.
No, go on. I pass the place I first asked and go on. At last I find it by myself.
Also the visit to the wangba is a failure. A hawk-like lady survey every single of my presses on the keyboard, apparently itís interesting? Normally itís very un polite to read over ones shoulder? Also though she doesnít understand a thing. Itís this personal space. Weíre used to certain limits around us. And when they are crossed we find it unpleasant. I do in this case. And irritating, especially when I take up my USB-stick and she almost cross herself and waves preventing. No, no. Last time the computer wouldnít let me install Irfan View. Now itís the hawk.
It is like every single truck in town has been loaded this morning and is on its way out of town in my direction. The town stretches a long, long arm out in the direction of the highway, and theyíre building a new piece that shall connect Ningqiang to the world outside. Until then Iíll have to follow the trucks.
Itís a long dusty and dirty arm, which is stretched, so my laundry stays where it is for now.
A tunnel turn up. At first I think it is 2 km, but it shows just to be 450 m.
After a couple of more small tunnels Iíve gone 30 km already at 11 oíclock.
Three Chinese cyclists with a minimum of luggage pass in the other direction. They salute.
Iím a bit confused according the map and have to withdraw some of my words.
There is a finished highway on the map, but in reality itís the one theyíre building. The road Iím travelling is a kind of motor traffic road. It has crash fence all along and you can only get on and off at the exits and the entrances. When a farmer is bringing fx. timber to town. (thatís what I see), you screw off a piece of the crash fence and put it on afterwards.
This road hasnít so many climbs and descents, but it carries a lot of traffic.
Mingyue Gorge, which is marked on the map, is magnificent. At first a narrow gorge which the road has to climb up above, then a broad canyon, where the river has dug into the rocks at the bottom and a spectacular waterfall from one side and a minor river from the other meet, to send on their waters in the direction of Guangyuan.
In the north of Guangyuan the road turns into a highway that crosses
the river on its long legs heading southwest, and I roll by a bad road
the last kms into town.
And then another of those small miracles, there seems to be so many of here. Roll around town to find a suitable place for the night. Decide itís now to ask. LŁguan?
Yes, right there. He points and I misread his finger and walks into a restaurant, but they can also offer rooms sometimes. No rooms they donít have, but I can eat there! And then suddenly a woman says: Can I help you? Yes, mam, actually you can.
Itís Diana (her English name) who runs the restaurant with her husband.
She doesnít speak much English, but I just need a little to get things SO much easier. She walks with me and have me set up in a room for 30 RMB. I hadnít found it by myself up all these stairs in the alley. All problems are solves by her small amount of English.
Itís without private toilet and bath but thereís CCTV9.
After two cups of tea I hurry out to find a supermarket, a bookstore and a internet-cafť. I find it all, and only misses to put my converted pictures in my e-mails. Crtl-V doesnít work in live mail. But maybe youíll get some pictures soon anyhow.
Now Iím sitting in Dianaís restaurant. 20 oíclock would be the best, she said, then theyíre not THAT busy. Iím glad I didnít come earlier! But itís the first of may! Earlier at the bookstore there was fireworks like a small war.
When Iím about to leave, Diana wants to show me, how to go tomorrow. She just has to change her shoes first. I look at them and think they look all right. When she turns up again she wearing those coloured ones with a medium heel, which the girls apparently HAS to wear. I liked her sneakers better. Itís a hot night. Itís 23.45 before Iíve finished my diary.