It's time for thoughtfullnes and consideration. One of the goals with my travel was to find out how things were in Maoxian, and why it's been so difficult to find out and get in contact with the english teacher. This has been answered at least partly.
As far as I remember it was in the last seconds before I was forced into the car to be evacuated, that I asked some random students the name of the school. Fi Tian Zhong Xue was what came out of it. And from this I tried to get in contact. But it wasn't right. It was highschool not middleschool. So when Sara from the danish consulate tried to help me and returned with the message, that there was no Xia Wei at the school and that there were more schools with that name, it was true. There are (at least now) 3 middleschools in Maoxian.
So we were chasing the wrong school.
According to the phone numbers I tried, I now hear that "the numbers are changed", which I guess means that people have been given new numbers during the reconstruction of the system.
About the internet connection Xia Wei IS connected, but it's very unstable. When I visited him he was offline - as usual, he said. He used it quite seldom actually. But here we enter an area that is hard to look through in China. You are always so polite. You're not direct, you move around the topic, if it gets too personal/unpleasant. I really don't know about Xia Wei. The night two years ago when we sat drinking "bei jou" talking about our lives I think I was behind the "curtain" for a moment, but it's still hard to get straight answers. Like when I ask him how he got my bicycle? "I made some phonecalls and then..." What's behind when he wanted me to take it with me immidiately. He's definitely put himself at risk to do me a favour.
I explained about the problems with the email server with the address ...@163.com regarding sending/receiving mails from China and he didn't seem quite uninterested when I told about Messenger (that also operates in China) and Skype.
I go to find a bookstore (I have a mark in my map).
|Some try to protect themselves in the traffic||A traffic guard|
I leave my bicycle at the parking guard outside and enter. It's big and all is
in Chinese so it's hard to find ones way. But here my tiny knowledge of chinese
helps me. You just need to know the keywords. In this case the word for map: di
tou. I can actually say: "Wo xiang Chengdu ditou", I would like a map of
Chengdu, but "ditou" is sufficient. Then the lady says "san lou", second floor.
Well, "san" really means three, but they count the ground floor also. This
bookshop isn't just big, it has three floors. But in the second I find the map
part quite easily. A map in a scale so I can see the airport. One day - in a
long time - I'll have to go there by bike and the road the bus took was a toll
road where I can't go by bike. And I would like a map showing more than the ones
they have in the hostel. With a bike I have
the possibity of going far away. I look at MANY maps and by combining them I find one where the airport can be seen and that is quite detailed. I don't see the word for airport because it's just in chinese, but I know it's there.
I talk to Laura, who tells me about a tour tomorrow, to the countryside. I think it sounds nice and deccide to participate. And when I join it turns out to be free. So tomorrow I'll be gone for most of the day. Maybe I'd better do my laundry today? I only bring clothes for a week, but it's been "streched" a bit.
|Waiting for the green light||Waiting for customers|
A bit about traffic will fit here. The chinese traffic is a "weave-traffic".
To put it straight people go in all directions among each other. No, not
completely. There are actually traffic lights, but they are used in -
from a western point og view - alternative ways. The car drivers have
their set of rules or interpretation, mopeds and bicycles theirs. You
always turn right whether there's a red light or not. But when it's red
you weave in. For the cars there's often a green arrow to turn left and
when the oncoming traffic has stopped it's no problem, but when it
changes... You push "taxi green" to the limit. Even the light has gone
red a long time ago the last ones are turning. This way a long tail of
cars are turning left while the oncoming traffic has started. Here the
weaving system is tested severely - and another important chinese way:
giving in to the neighbor. Here
nobody claims his right and shouts. If the other has gone far enough you let him go first.
Another principle is the one about survival of the strongest, but that mostly can be seen in the countryside roads. Under all circumstances you'd better watch out - in all directions at the same time!
Cyclists and mopeds overtake and undertake each other. If you can't go one way you go the other. This requires you don't change your lane too quick, and that's not always the situation. But during my days in Chengdu I've only witnessed one accident. It was today where a girl was sitting beside her fallen moped and a parked moped and a man stood at her side with some spectators and a police officer.