Archive for the ‘China’ Category

The third and last part of my little film…


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The second part of my little film…

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The first part of my little film…

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The train

hide and seek professional

It took about two hours to cross the Chinese side of the border, then another two on the Mongolian side.

I’m starting to worry about how well I’m going to be received here. During the border crossing, a Mongolian bloke from a compartment further down the hall came up to me and shouted “Whites no! F@#k you!”. I wasn’t expecting that.

On the other hand, I think I may have made a friend for life. A little Mongolian girl two compartments down from us. She copied everything I did whilst laughing her head off and we passed the time with several hide and seek marathons.

When we finally arrived in Ulaanbaatar, I got off the train so fast that I didn’t have time to say goodbye to her.

I didn’t even ask her name.

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Goodbye Beijing…

My little hutongFriday, 15th May

I’m leaving for Mongolia tomorrow morning at 7:45am.

Some bloke in shabby clothes and a worn out dinner jacket has just stopped in his tracks, looked at me as I walked towards him, pointed at me and with the biggest smile you can imagine said “Hallo!”, pointed again, smiled and I think he gave me a thumbs up. I smiled, said hello back and kept on walking.

He’s the second person to say hello just to say hello (and not want to sell me something/con me/chat me up). The first was the first Chinese person I met here. I don’t even know her name. She just chatted to me in the bus queue and told me where to get off.

It’s my last day in Beijing and that smiley man has ended it perfectly.

I’m walking down my little Hutong, back to the hostal to pay the bill. It’s probably the last time I’ll do it. Past the constanltly burning food stalls, past the big pile of rubble with builders buzzing around it, past the two old ladies who sit and chat on the corner, the market with a thousand eggs out front and the woman who is constantly throwing out gallons and gallons of dirty water. Round the corner of the Chinese lady’s miniscule vegetable garden that she looks after as if it were a child with a look of enormous pride on her face,. Past the brill grandad fixing his bicycle/trailer contraption and painting it green with his wife standing behind him watching with a big smile on her face, and now I’m nearly back, I just stopped to write it down.

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The Great Wall

...tower number 17...Thursday, 14th May

I’m sitting at the end of my part of the Great Wall of China having just downed two bottle of ice tea after shaking my head and wagging my finger at about thirty different men and women trying to sell me beer, water and t-shirts along the 4 hour trek. I mistook a ticket checker for one of them and she had to come running after me shouting “ticket, ticket!” at me. I made up with her afterwards and showed her my Lomo camera.

I took too many Photos. I had to look at my feet a lot to avoid breaking my neck on the 45 degree sloping steps.

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Another night out…

...more pretty lights...Tuesday, 12th May

My french companion and I decided to look for “the most difficult bar to find in Beijing”.

It took us two hours, endless dead ends, pitch black back alley and stumbling into god knows how many peoples courtyard to decide that the bar had rightfully earned it’s title. We never found it.

We were desperate to find the place to try and wash away the bad taste that the Beijing Opera had left in our mouths.

What we saw was a cheap, watered down version in a hotel full of large flabby white men and their respective twenty-something Chinese girlfriend.

We found another bar between the Drum and Bell towers. We sat on the rooftop and drank strong caipirinas satisfied that we’d salvaged something of the day.

(…the day after I had a two hour foot massage. Complete with firey jam jars and little rubber hammers. I didn’t get a photo unfortunatley. But I sympathised a little more with the flabby white men from the opera…)

(…..the following day I went back to the same place for a full body massage. See-through paper pants and she massaged my arse. Once again, no photos.)

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