Guangzhou and Zhongshan
19.03.2012 27 °C
The clock is ticking, it never stands still. The time is running, it has got legs, and I? ... I’m just watching it, forgetting that I have got legs too, and have to run along with it. We are almost half through with our internship...!
Just in time we arrived at the train station in Changsha on Friday afternoon. Our train was leaving in 48 minutes to be precise. With our bags in one hand and the ticket in the other, we were figuring out the clue behind bunny woops. For those who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry, you will not get to know it anyways. And for those who know, you might as well know how annoying it is. However, we were not able to solve the clue, and an obvious show off made us realize how little people are observing or listening. Bunny woops has a great psychological aspect; we tend to focus more on our selves than on others. Our basic thinking is: the world and its people surrounds us, but we are the centre.
The train wasn’t a second too late, we weren’t either. Slowly it rolled out of the station and into the city. Within a couple of seconds it reached a speed of 300 km/h, and the city was left behind. We came through fields and green land. The soil was fertile, the trees green, and the air humid. I close my eyes, am back in the moment. My fingers touch the keyboard, different letters are formed on the screen.
We are going from temperate climate to subtropical climate. We are going from one city to the other, from one province to the other. We are going from Changsha to Guangzhou. The speed of the fast train keeps on rising, 312 km/h at the most. I plug in my earphones. Reggae beat, Bob Marley. A pre taste of the summer.
The pointer of the clock shows 9 pm. We are driving in a taxi, hands, arms and head out of the window, breathing in the sweet smell of warmth and humidity. Our cloths get sticky, our body too. Everything is covered in a mist, magical. After nearly half an hour the taxi stops at a tall building. A locked gate blocks the way. The side street is silent, the main street not. We call the hostel, they guide us to their place. We enter the apartment complex, take the lift to the 7th floor and go out in the hall way. One of the apartments is the family hostel Sun Flower. It’s a nice place, with an amazing few. Cozy and basic, and the staff speaks English! Such a place you would never be able to find without the internet. Bless the internet.
A couple of minutes after we leave the apartment, take the lift downstairs and enter the street. The street life reach its top. We take the taxi to a fancy club, it’s called true colour. The true colour is however white and black. Everybody is dressed in white and black. Even though our cloths are in true colours, we feel a bit unseemly dressed. A mix of backpacking style and casuals can’t be spot in the bar. At a small table other foreigners are standing; wait, I know those foreigners! Our friends from Beijing! Hugs and stories are shared, wine is spilled, cognac fills the glasses till the edge. Cognac and ice tea are mixed, dice games played, and on the stage we go. We dance and sing, we drink and have fun.
The crowd is big, the crowd is growing, the crowd is huge. No air, sweat trickle down my face, I can’t breathe. Fresh air! I’m longing for fresh air. We go outside, stand there for a while, and decide to get some food. We end up in a place across the street after wandering the streets for half an hour. The food is good, the bar is good, the people are good, and the night is good. But sleep calls, and another day is waiting. We take a cab back home, stumble into the beds, and fall in a deep sleep. The next morning we have another visitor. One of the peoples didn’t book a hotel, and stayed over in our hostel. Later on we got to know that a couple of others had spend their night on the street, trying to sleep at the bus station. Maybe it’s a good idea for next time, to book a hotel in advance? Just a suggestion
And again we can be found on the train station. There are people everywhere. It is crowded and the crowd grows. My blood sugar level is low, it is hot and the crowd make me grasp for air. “Stay calm, stay calm, soon you’ll be on the train.” I keep on telling myself. And after thinking it long enough the thought becomes reality. We are sitting on the train, with a McDonalds takeaway in front of us, the smell of chips in our nose and the beautiful fields once again passing by outside the window. A kid is curiously looking at me, at my golden locks and my purple eye shadow. I look back at his black, soft hair and his dark brown eyes.
We arrive in Zhongshan, we arrive at the hotel and we arrive at Jerry’s. And woops ... another 15 people join! Around a 30 people all together met this weekend, and it was incredible to see everybody again! We went out for a hot pot, and soon after left to a German bar. It was not only a German bar, but the people who owned it were German as well! I couldn’t resist, I had to speak a few words of the most amazing language I know about. It’s strange, but I miss Germany more than I miss my own country. Well, I can’t really say I have a home country after moving around quite a bit.
The talk goes easily with a shisha, bottle of wine and some tequila shots. Mc fries and bottles of beer is pretty much our night filling. At midnight we go off to a club, and dance, dance, dance.
We dance, we drink, we chat. That is what we do.
And on it goes, it reached the top, and off it goes. The moon is smiling, its telling us good night.
The sun is tenderly touching my face. It wakes me up. “Early in the morning, up with the rising sun, three little birds, pitch by my doorstep, singing sweet songs ... “
The sky is blue, and it’s a beautiful day. No jumpers, no trousers, only skirts and shorts. We decide to go to the park, after an amazing brunch in a Greek restaurant. Imagine; real bread, real feta, real olives, and the real taste of south European food! There is nothing in the world that tastes better than a fresh Greek salad, trust me!
At one point we reach stairs, and soon we enter a tropical park with palm trees and banana plants. The sun is burning our skin. It’s amazing! We sit down, listen to Bob Marley once again, pumping up the base, taking pictures and chatting once again. Soon it’s time to leave. Again hugs and stories are shared, this time the hugs and the stories that comes with good bye.
The train is on time, we aren’t. We have to run, and just on the second we manage to catch the train back home. 3 hours later the wind makes us shiver, the rain pours down, and the grey buildings surrounds us. No palm trees, no sunshine, no rickshaws... welcome to Changsha.
The weekend was amazing!
Here is a short summary of previous week, after a long update about the weekend:
Another birthday was approaching, and on Thursday morning gifts and a homemade poster of our Changsha family was given, and a birthday breakfast was eaten. After drama class we went out to get a massage, and thereafter dinner was waiting at the Japanese. Earlier that day I had my demo lesson, and all the staff in our office, plus the leaders of the school were observing my lesson. I was about to faint when I started, but after I opened my mouth, the nerves calmed down, and it went all well. I didn’t even notice the audience at the back. Positive criticism and a birthday to celebrate made the day!