I wasn't that tired yesterday, so I paid for a computer here.
The room rents have gone up since last time, there is really nothing positive to say about "The Hump", except that it's not so far from the railway station and that the guy in the reception is nice - and you can have your laundry done like at Mix, where you put it in the machine yourself. Here you just hand it in. "Is it 40 degrees", I ask, stupidly. "Sorry, we only have cold water", is the answer.
When I went to bed after midnight yesterday, there was only one. Another had gone out at 21.30, luckily I never heard him return.
It was hot and the blanket thick, but I found out I'd better cover my body as much as possible. Mosquitoes or something similar buzzing around stinging. And the door to the balcony can't close properly - wonderful! A choice between mosquitoes or unbearable heat. I chose the heat, but didn't sllep all too well.
At 7 o'clock I decided to wake up everybody. No, of course not, but I got up and as quiet as possible I unpacked my backpack to collect the laundry. It will hopefully be dry by tomorrow night when I according to plan go back to Chengdu by the train.
I hand it over and while I eat breakfast and come to talk to a dutchman it's finished and I hang it to dry in the balcony.
When I want my new room it's not possible. Yesterday the guy said I couldn't pay in advance. I had to first check out today and then pay for the new one. Now there's no reservation? Damn! Another mosquito night? I'll have to avoid the blanket and only sleep under my linen. And keep my head hidden.
I withdraw money just to be sure. It's still only the mastercard that works. Only too late I see an ATM where it clearly says that VISA is accepted. I would have liked to try that...
I take the bus to Sophia. Our appointment is at 11. She has no lectures this morning, not until 14.30.
I think we have some, to me at least, very interesting conversations. I explain what I mean to have understood of the chinese educational system and she confirms that they don't learn to cooperate, not learn to take desicions on their own and that there's much competition even up in highschool.
I happen to mention what happend in Beijing in 1989. "We're not allowed to talk about it", she says. "It's not in the books". Her father was a truck driver at that time and drove around the country and hear a lot, which he has told about. She seems to be well informed, our knowledge about it is identical.
Now she thinks the education could have been different when she went to school. I ask if she also thought so then. No, nobody asked questions then.
They also evaluate the education at the university, but if the teachers are critizised, they don't seem to understand....
And there are still these Kongfucius' divisions in society which are SO well learned. It's gonna take a l - o - n - g time.
I tell about Denmark and our way of making democracy. And we mustn't forget that there ARE more parties in China. Maybe they're not so important now, but they ARE there. But of course there are boundaries they cannot cross.
We eat in the university canteen. It's big and works efficient and elegant with electronic cards you can "tank". I'm not allowed to pay for my lunch, which is very good.
We part for now and I go back by the bus. A lady I think is older than I gives me her seat in the bus. She gets off soon after, so that was allright I think. But the young people doesn't seem too eager to leave their seats to older people. I think it was different two years ago.
I pick up my train ticket in the reception, so now I'm ready to go back to my
bicycle in Chengdu.
Tomorrow I'll rent one, if I can find a proper one.
I talk with two of my room mates, a french girl and an english guy, who are travelling together. When I talk to others here I can feel I have a lot of knowledge about China and a lot of experiences of what and why. But that's not so strange I suppose?
Later I ask the guy in the reception, what to do all day tomorrow until my train leaves. He suggests a trip to "The West Mountain". That's the one Sophia has talked about. She's been hiking there with class mates. I thought it was farer away, but it's actually possible to go there by bus. No.73 from here and to the lake, and no.94 further on to the mountain - or whatever it is. But there's a fine view over the lake. I've actually got pictures from there from Sophia.
My clothes have dry now and are folded and ready for use. I've felt a bit like a vagabond the last days, where I've had to wear what was "least" used. Fortunately I've been able to walk bareefooted in my sandals today (not many does that), so all my socks are clean.
I've found out how to close the doors to the balcony - as good as it gets and there's only a narrow crack and a rather thick curtain in front of it, so maybe most of the mosquitoes can be kept out? Anyway I have to use my linen. It's gonna be hot.