English Version 47
A long quake during the night while it rained though not as heavily as predicted. As it woke me up I thought about my situation once more. Most people don`t understand, I didn`t go with the helicopter at once. I discussed it with Xia Wei. He thinks I should have left too. He also thinks the road south to Chengdu will be dangerous even if it`s cleared and I agree. I would prefer to pass the point up north where you only can pass on foot dragging a bike? and then picked up by a car that can take me to Jiuzhaigou where there is air connection with Chengdu. That must be a problem for the embassy?
When I was awake I realised it was only in the evening at home, so I managed to speak on the phone for almost an hour I think. The longest call was via Skype for me, so it doesn`t cost much.
My pen is soon finished so I walk the street to see if I can by a new one. In one of the small shops I can, but just when I`ve paid there is a quake which makes the house producing sounds, and everyone included me RUNS out in the street.
For the first time during my one and a half month in China I`m upset. While I eat breakfast suddenly comes a new "contact person" and tells I have to come along NOW. It`s very dangerous here! The helicopter with wounded people is already waiting.
I insists on packing a few things in my backpack. I insist on phoning the embassy but can`t get through and what is packed I`m not really sure - no clothes at least. I do not say goodbye to my Chinese brother and only shortly to class 4 who has taken so good care of me. I am REALLY upset, but lower my voice some. Shake hands with he I think is the headmaster (he`s normally more or less invisible). When I in a police car reach the meadows with the helicopters all the other foreigners are there already.
It`s 11.07 when we take off. Before that a Chinese journalist asks me my opinion of the goodbye and I willingly tell that there must be a conflict between the local authorities and the central government that has made this happen, but when he asks my name, I answer that I prefer keeping it to myself and when he asks for nationality I won`t tell him that either, but afterwards I hear him asking one of the Chinese Americans and she tells him I`m from Denmark. Or I`m not sure, I just think I hear the word Danmai and later "he speaks a little Chinese". Sure stupid bitch. Why was that. You heard me saying I didn`t want to tell!
Besides we foreigners there are wounded people. Some are carried others can walk by themselves. We are told not to take pictures in and from the helicopter, but the others don`t respect it.
When we have to go NOW, it`s because the weather is getting worse. It wasn`t the heavy rain last night, but it`s probably going to come.
That was a bad ending to my stay in Maoxian.
I`m at the end of the helicopter and can only see mountain sides, but when we approach Dujiangyan I see one one the bridges missing a part. The big dam is still standing and Dujiangyan looks OK from above. Only once I see something that could have been a crashed building, but it`s very little I can see.
When we`re through the mountains the helicopter flies more stable, it follows the main road I was on last saturday to Dujiangyan. No - it`s the highway I see, then the main road is right beneath. It`s burning hot but I`m glad I put the cycling jacket on anyway, else I wouldn`t have it with me.
I receive a SMS from Christian during the flight. He couldn`t get through but was able to send a SMS?
I wonder if Danish journalists are told anything by the Chinese
authorities? I`ll find out. I don`t want to talk to any of them.
It`s going to take about an hour I can see. We`re not going to the normal airport south of the city, to a hospital maybe? There`s at least one destroyed house in the northern part of Chengdu. We land at 12.05.
After the landing we are waiting for something, it`s the camera crews from CCTV and someone to carry the wounded. Those that cannot walk are just lying on the floor.
Just now after 5 min`s he stops the rotor.
So instead of being carried down at the back which would have been better, they have to be taken out of the door at the side, but it apparently looks better on TV?
When we`re out nobody cares about us. After having waited a long time, we start walking out of the military airport, maybe somebody asks for permission I don`t know, we just walk anyway. Goodbye. Before we get to a big road a Chinese van stops and we are offered a lift to Chengdu. It`s very tight in there but Chinese people are friendly. We`re dropped between 1. and 2. ring road I think and some of us takes a taxi to Mix Hostel, where the others have some luggage, and I have planned to stay.
I ask for a vacant room and there is, but don`t check in. I`d better wait to hear if the embassy wants me to go home as soon as possible? I feel a need of "ending" my journey in some way. Now I didn`t go to Qinghai Lake which was my wish, I want to do something else.
I answer all Danish and foreign e-mail friends. They`ve of course been very worried about me. I do a back-up of the latest pictures and then the consul arrives. He`s been on his way from Chongqing the last couple of hours.
We sit at the river and drink tea for hours and I`m speaking all the time. This travel that has been so intense, I havn`t been able to speak about in Danish until now. So I have a lot to say.
Then we go to Plaza where he stayed while they were looking for me. They`ve been as far as Dujiangyan and as far as they could get up north. They`ve been to all the hospitals in the area and talked to all kinds of Chinese authorities. Without knowing I started something! I`m offered medical assistance but the only thing I need is a shower and Plaza is just that kind of hotel I havn`t tried yet in China.
Then we go out for a luxirous dinner (compared to my usual meals). Peking duck: small pancakes in which you put sliced vegetables and pieces of duck that are cut so that it`s almost only the skin and which you dip in a black sweet sauce. It`s delicious! And paid by the Danish government I hope?
I`m taken home and we`re a bit late, cause a call from Denmark I`ve been waiting for is coming through, before I`ve said goodbye to the consul. I do not thank in the proper way for this excellent treatment I`ve been given, but the program for the day is hard and I have to let "my China" out of my mouth one more hour into the phone. It`s not difficult.
When I wake up at 3 there`s just one more call for Denmark I HAVE to do and then I sleep until 6.30.
It was another day I`ll never forget.