It`s nice to be back in Maoxian. Next to Mix Hostel this is my home in China.
I have a feeling like disasters follow me here. When I returned there was a new earthquake and now the english teachers youngest is in hospital again and his wife has gone to Chengdu. It`s my third visit here and she`s been gone every time.
After messages one way and the other we agree to meet at the gate like last time. So in the evening I spend my time there while his oldest daughter practises on the piano. This time it`s "Frolicher Landmann", that I also played as a child. The world can be small - in spite of it`s size.
I take a walk to the center and that`s quite far, because the northern bridge has been removed recently, in fact it was already decided it should be rebuildt before the earthquake. But it doesn`t make things easier for people. So now I have to walk all the way south to the footpath bridge and then all the way north to the center, it`s at least 2,5 km. I don`t find a bigger supermarket, so I have to do with the Wu Market, but they have green tea and I buy one of the noddle boxes you just have to pour hot water over now I have an electrical kettle.
When I return home I find out, that there is one picture more on the box. It resembles a chili surrounded by flames. Hot stuff! But as all except the noodles are in small bags inside, I mix my own not too spicy sauce.
Afterwards I walk to find the place where I stayed the first night after the quake two years ago.
I can hardly recognize it. A wall has been built facing the street. And the
vegetation inside has been changed. But the house against the mountainside
opposite is still there. Where the people lived that constucted a tent next to
Then I look for the meadows where the helicopters landed. I find it only to find it`s gone. Aha, that`s where all the temporary houses have been. There`s still around 400 left. I see children and old women, so it`s probably people from the villages around that`s still living here. For the rest of them only the concrete rectangles they`ve been placed on are left.
I walk in the direction of the gas station the other side of the river, but a new bridge is under construction and the road will be changed, so there`s now a fence on one side of the road and mountainside on the other. There is a sign telling you not to enter I think, but who cares in China? I do. I don`t want to be squeezed between two trucks.
So I find a taxi. I want to go 3 km, and I point in the direction.
We go, but when he reaches the end of town at the other side of the river, he stops at two policemen and there is a bit of discussion.
We go on but he turns the meter off. We get to the gasstation and I take some photos and a little ahead I find approximately the right spot where I was when the earthquake started. It`s hard to recognize as the trees are all gone and the field is under water. But I get at least two photos. It`s almost as dusty as at that time.
We go back, but as he turned the meter off it is a situation of negotiation. But I have already decided what I`ll pay. So when he writes 30 on the windscreen I say 20 and he`s quite satisfied. It MORE than fair.
Back on the hotel at 17.07 it happens. First a faint shaking and then the doors rattles and the floor moves for 2-3 seconds. I`m alert at once. Ready to do what? But it`s already over. When I show them what happened in the reception, they tell me not to worry. I send a message to the english teacher. Yes, I`m right, it was an afterquake. So now I don`t need to ask him when the last one was. And it`s two YEARS back now!