I have to be at the Han Tang Inn at 9.30 and it won`t take me a quarter of an hour. I check out and place my luggage. The one in the reception is annoyed. Nothing to do with me - just generally. It`s a bad place. Never again I promise myself - but the aircon was working!
I`m going with a canadian couple to the Hanyangling Mausoleum - it has several names, a bit confusing.
We wait and it`s now 10.15. A Buick arrives and a man steps in, but continues into the house. We go on waiting. The girl in the reception excuses that the driver is in a traffic jam. Ten minutes later the man from before appears again - he`s the driver all right and we`re going in the Buick.
It the most obscure driving I`ve ever seen. He accelerates, brakes and - shift one gear up. From time to time it`s like he`s going to stop in the middle of the road, but he just lower the speed apparently to let othersb pass. In this uneasy way we head on.
I haven`t been up here to the north before, they building as crazy. On a vast area at least 25 skyscapers are under construction, each for 4.000 people,I guess - that`s 100.000.
When we reach the highway towards the airport we`re alone in the road - a 4-lane motorway.
Different from the Terracotta Army where at least the first pit was a covered excavation we here steps into a building and proceed down underground. The light is VERY limited, it`s just a few photos I`m able to take without flash, which I prefer.
These soldiers, a bit younger than the others, are of a different type. They have had wooden arms, which are all rottened away and they are just 1/5 in size. It looks like a pile of dolls - you wonder where the bunch of arms have gone? There are also pigs, dogs, cats, goats aso. They have been dressed but also the dresses have gone through time.
After having seen all the rectangular excavations we end up at the cinema. Next show will be in only 15 min. We have headphone on with english speak.
This show to some extend saves the day. Up goes the curtain for a scene with some of the excavated items and a tiny man in a light blue suit enters and start to tell.
He`s moving in and out between the artifacts and is soon followed by dancers and the emperor and his empress. It`s apparently a holografic film, it looks amazing - extraordinary.
But there`s not enough action to keep me awake in this dim light in the long
run, so after the first 20 min I`m fighting the sleep. But it only takes 30 min
so I survive.
Then we go for short to the museum. It`s like the Terracotta Soldiers. It not the same to look at them in the their montres, as when they`re standing down in the ground. It says that the entire grave field covers 20 km2? I can hardly believe it.
The driver has changed completely. He`s obviously on his way home for the day? Or to earn more money? Racing like hell down the road. Luckily we`re alone for the first long distance, but in town?
He`s driving in an uneasy way in and out he overtakes. Much too fast from time to time. I have the honour to sit in front. I have tightened the safety belt!
When we stop for a red light, he`s out in front to look under the car. Did he want to see if there was a pedestrian?
We get back safely. The promised cup of coffee we`re still waiting for, I asked the driver: "no, coffee?", when we started going back. Now we agree to ask for it in the reception. And we get it.
The canadians have been gone for 3 weeks and will soon be heading home. His parents are from HongKong but living in Beijing. Their home is in Toronto. We`re back already at 14, so there`s lots of time.
In "Global Times" I read that a transistor has been constructed with 7 atoms in a silicium crystal. Another step into the super miniature world. Back in my former hostel I have to replace the sandals with the boots, at least until I`ve boarded the train.
I walk right across to get a 611 instantly. Just when I`m standing there thinking that one of the younger persons ought to offer a seat for an elderly gentleman with a big backpack a lady taps it. Another ladyb is getting ready to get off and they seem to find me worthy this seat. It was just a gesture I needed. I smile grateful to them when they get off. I am after all a kind of retired.
So now I sit here writing. The rows for K1032 is long taken - and the departure isn`t the first two hours, but I found a place to put my backpack up against the wall - at least. Unfortunately this row is also the way to the toilets...
Here nobody leave their seats...
A lady with a megaphone comes along the row. My guess is that she tells about a pay waiting room which is more comfortable. There was at least in Guangyuan. Shortly after the man on my left side gets up and leave and I`m quick to get down to sit on the floor.
A little later the entire group in front gets up, grandparents, mother and child. We are a few that fight for their seats. That`s exactly what the old man needed...
And here the air is, like a miracle, moving. On a day which is hot and damp. The rain will probably start at night, but then I`m all gone...
It`s 20.20 and I`m in the train, where more of my fellow passengers already have gone to bed. Darkness has come and we`re on our way south, that much I know, while I sit eating "White rabbit", and inevitable come to think of Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane on Surrealistic Pillow, where she sings: "Go tell Alice, when she`s ten feet tall...". There`s also some wonderland about this. Even I don`t think there`s more to these mint sweets. Goodnight.