Tuesday, 10 June 2008

traveller's tips, by ceels (or, "no, mum, it doesn't rain in china")

Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: traveller's tips, by ceels (or, "no, mum, it doesn't rain in china")

Not only does it rain in china (four of the six days so far) but it snows. And if you pack toilet paper on the outside of your day pack and forget it's there, it goes mouldy (yes it does) and if you pack 'feminine hygiene' products on the outside of your suitcase, they will get wet and, well, they're not much good after that are they?

China is great. China is wet and cold and to quote a great philosopher, China is very Chinese. The food is Chinese, the supermarkets are Chinese, the language is Chinese and the traffic is Chinese.

I have decided against buying a bike in Beijing until I have had at least six months to study the traffic. We gave an English lesson on the Bund in Shanghai and one of the 'typical Shanghainese' students reckoned that if the traffic stopped in Shanghai it would stop for good, so no one stops (not for traffic lights, pedestrians, bikes/cars)

I am gradually getting used to the Chinese junk food (no tim tams, and the chocolate? I don't even want to talk about the chocolate) and I am endeavouring to reconcile myself with the lack of bread as I know it.

I have eaten loads of things the guidebooks say you shouldn't and the closest to death I have come is slipping over on the snow. I know three times as much Mandarin as when I left (thanks chris chris blair bec alex, I know that 3*0 is still zero,) and picked up a little Cantonese and Shanghainese (which I’m sure I will promptly forget).

Next stop is Xian where I am going to shop myself silly and will give you an update on some of the people in the tour (and tell you about my great plan to become a tour leader with intrepid and sail the seven seas).

loads of love
ceels (the intrepid explorer)

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