A lot has happend since I posted the last mail.
I just had to take bus no.3 to the railway station and to makee it short, I didn't reach the train. Why not? I made assumptions on my own - you shouldn't do that. Take NOTHING for granted. I know where the station is. So I take no.3 in that direction and when it makes a turn to the left doesn't worry me. It goes straight to the station and ends there, I know. So maybe it goes a detour first. We also gets to the Beijing Lu as expected, but time passes, it's still the rush hour here at 19. Unfortunately we go the wrong direction but also this has a solution. A few turns and we go the right direcction, but time is closing in. It'll soon be 19.29. There's still a hope when the bus (a lot of cursing) turns right instead of going straight to the station. At this point I give up. There's no time for a taxi. Time is up - and the train too. Right then I see I'm back where I started - going the other direction though. So I get off and walk back to The Hump asking what to do.
Sorry - there's nothing to do. The ticket's been wasted, but they can book another one. Well, they better do, and I call Mix Hostel to postpone my reservation another. I also send a sms to Sophia telling what happend and that I'm here still.
A little later a sms ticks in. She thinks I can have the ticket altered. No, I write back, the hostel says no. Sms's go back and forth, then a new one: "Until 2 hours after the train has left. It's a governmental rule." They don't know anything about this in the hostel. I take a taxi to the station and in no time my ticket is changed for tomorrow instead.
When I take a taxi back I'm taken a long way and have to pay double. Very instructive ride. In the future I'll bring up my map when I enter a taxi and not only explain with my hands. Beijing Lu! Point ahead. Jin Bi Lu! Point to the left. It ought to be easy even we can't speak.
Beijing Lu is blocked in that direction for all other than busses! And it's probably right, when we went the other way, we had to go in a lane for the oncoming traffic and there was only one lane left. But he uses this detour to take us astray. And suddenly he heard Jin Bi Lu as something else I cannot even pronounce.
He ends up excusing all over and only wants 20 even the meter says 22,40. That's bad buisness for him? Unless it's maybe his own car?
In the reception I demonstrate how my ticket was changed and asks them to cancel the new one. But that cannot be done that easily. But tomorrow they might be able to sell it to someone else and then my problem is solved - hmm, maybe. Unfortunately I've already paid, but I'm ready to do a lot to get my money back.
The reception doesn't book the tickets at the station. As usual lots of people can make buisness on this. They buy them in an office of some kind. And when the office already bought the ticket? It's hard to look through. But in the future I buy my tickets myself - and I don't go by taxi without a map.
When I want to thank Sophia a sms for the informations my phone is out of money? I can neither send a sms nor call. So I have to use the "real" all of chine simcard.
In between all these troubles Sophia has asked me if I wanted to join their class today, and as I don't have a plan for the day? I can? She thinks so, and that might be very interesting.
I succeed eatting breakfast, take a shower, check out, hand in the luggage and reach a bus no.98 AND be at "Di Tai Si" before 8.40, when we'll meet.
As usual she turns up from another side as I expected. She's already been to the reading-room to read.
I talk to the boys from the dinner before the teacher arrives. The room has more than 100 small boxes with headsets and a kind of computer. There are around 30 students when the lecture begins. I tell the teacher I'm not a native english speaking person and doesn't have special knowledge on english litterature. She doesn't have to worry about me.
The teacher talks without interruption for 40 minutes until now. She asks som retoric questions from time to time, that not nescessarily need an answer, but to which some students quiet responds. She brings her lecture on a USB stick and uses a presentation programme. She also has a microphone and an amplifier at her disposal.
One of the boys take photos of some of the plates with his mobile.
After 55 minutes she for the first time makes it possible for someone to make a
comment. She succeeds actually even nobody is very eager - to put it mild. And
then after a little more than an hour, we take a break.
When you're sitting in your own little box you can hardly see anybody else and when one - like now in the end says something, it's hard to hear for the others. In other words: this construction is thought as one way communication.
Now in the second half I'm glad I'm not a student. Now the churning microphone makes me want to sleep. Even I understand the words all these theories about author/reader are JUST about too theoretical.
After two and a half hours the show's over.
I DID stay awake, but it was hard. Now one of the students has
invited the teacher and me and Sophia for lunch. She is actually one
year ahead but participates apparently sometimes.
This time it's so to speak 'single pot'. We get each a small gas cooker and a pot. The dishes are brought to the table, it's very thin lamb, beef, fish, tofu a.s.o. which we cook and dip in some bowls we've mixed ourselves at another table. Nothing is very strong, it suits me well.
Afterwards Sophia leads me to the bus, I hope this is the last time we part (on this China trip).
I go to the M-zone with my sim card. It's been drained and cannot be refilled in Yunnan it seems. So now I have to change my number.
I have a refund for my extra ticket, it's been sold to someone else. In worst case I could have 80% back at the railway station, says Sophia.
So now I'm just, for the second time, waiting to get to the train. I'll take a taxi today. One and a half hours before time, so I can walk there if nescessary.