Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Da Li

I know I should be telling you about the majestic pagodas climbing up into the sky. And how I caught the cable car up Chang Shan [mountain] to see the view out over the city and lakes (I didn't). But instead what I am doing is talking and eating and meeting people.

Chinese is fizzing and buzzing in my brain. Words are coming back to me and I am learning new ones. As I bust out my wobbly Mandarin to help other people on the trip they are impressed, which makes me feel clever.

The food, once you get out of the hotel and if you don't go into the westernised restaurants, is China-awesome.

We went for a massage last night and, once I'd explained that the guy I was with was not my husband and we got separate rooms, the girl massaging me and I spent the time communicating, showing each other how we'd done our hair (mine was twisted with a metal chopstick, she had hers twisted around what looked like a metal shell) and giggling. I think maybe she was deaf because it was all worked out with gesture, touch and my phrase book.

Another thing I am really enjoying is pilates. My pilates instructor released a DVD at the end of last year and I've brought it with me. I had been doing some by myself each day. I mentioned it to one of the girls (Orla) who joined in Luang Prabang and she started doing it with me. She mentioned it to another girl (Irina) who joined in Luang Prabang and now the three of us are finding a bit of out-of-the-way corridor each day to lay down a towel and do some.

I have been listening to Marcus tell me what to do a couple of times a week for several years now and it is enormously comforting to hear his voice.

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