A week of travelling has passed and I have, as usual, too much stuff I want to tell and to bad discipline to get it down in text. My original plan was keeping daily or bi-daily updates, and I could probably have pulled it off if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve been so cold that picking up and writing on an aluminum laptop just wasn’t an option. But let me tell you about why I was so cold.
I arrived in Guiyang late evening, checked in on Shu hostel and sat down in the common area to pick up on some work as well as planning my days in Guiyang and beyond. As I was working I was challenged to play some board games with a chinese girl volunteering at the hostel. After being beaten a couple of times she asked me about my plans for tomorrow and as I din’t really have any yet she started giving suggestions. All I really knew about the region ws that there should be some minority villages that are worthwhile to visit, but it seemed like quite a hassle to get there. So when I was offered to join her for a trip to Kaili and the villages around there I accepted, and we decided to leave two days later.
Still had a day of tourism in Guiyang though. I was given directions to go to the old rebuilt town of Qingyan, 30 km south of the city. As I was changing buses by the Guiyang wetland park in the city center, I said hi two kids hanging around. When they realized I spoke some mandarin they started bombarding me with questions and remarks, of which I didn’t understand half. But they were fun and when I picked up my camera they told me that they should show me what to photograph in the park. Kids can be really amazing, these two, later joined by another brother, were so filled with energy and I couldn’t stop laughing at their curiousity with my odd apperance and lacking language skills. The smal girl was really pedagogic, truing to speak really slow and clear. She put much more effort into me understanding her than most adults I’ve met. Half an hour later I left them with their mother and with a smile stuck on my face went to find out which bus I was getting on next.
Qingyan was my first real touristy experience. THis old town had both historic background from earlier dynasties, as well as for being a hiding place for some communist party members in the middle of the 20th century. I was the only foreinger at the place, and for some I was probably as much an attraction as the place itself. The town had a bit of the tacky toursism feeling, but the original architecture and windling alleyways were quite nice to see and I had a pleasant time walking around. At one time I was approached by a group of four teenage girls, who really wanted a picture with me. As I’m such a poser (?) I accepted, and they were really happy about the photoshoot. Just a minute after I’ve left them one of the girls came running after me asking me if I wanted to try a game with them. I didn’t really understand what it was, but sure, I’m not doing this trip to say no to experiences. I was taking through the minature version of your classic amusement parks haunted house, and doing this with four overenergic 18-year old chinese girls was quite an experience in itself. Afterwards they took me for a classic lunch on pig feet (and were nice enough to order a side of fried rice for me, without me asking) and I hang around with them for the rest of the afternoon. Surely made my Qingyan visit a lot more memorable!
I spent the evening with a few of the other hostel guests at a nice restaurant downtown. A nice dinner that was served at the price of 13 yuan (~18 kr). I love China.