China was not on my travel plans, but it was on the way from Indonesia to Kyrgyzstan. The country is huge, which meant very long train journeys. I tried to book well in advance but still couldn’t manage to get any sleeper.
Apparently sleepers are like jobs in Spain, to get one either you need contacts, a lot of luck or s*ck c*ck. When you spend a full painful day sitting on a train you will realize the one-child policy was not such a bad idea as there are not that many little devils around compared to any other Asian country.
One thing that makes difficult to travel the country is the language barrier. English speakers in China are like girls at my University, almost do not exist and if you are lucky to find one better keep your expectations low. Trying to learn even the basics in Mandarin is hard work, if you don’t say things in the right tone they won’t get it. Even if I tried to repeat what they said it was wrong. I wasn’t even able to learn the numbers. I sticked to survival basics: ‘Are you Jackie Chan?’, ‘is your friend Jackie Chan?’, ‘is that guy Jackie Chan?’, ‘where is Jackie Chan?’. As well, when they asked questions my answer would always be ‘yes’. If they kept looking as it wasn’t a ‘yes/no’ question I’d say ‘Jackie Chan’.
And people just don’t get body language. You may be at a restaurant pointing at someone’s food and they won’t get you are hungry at just want the same that dude is having because it looks delicious. The waitress will keep asking you a lot of questions while you insist on pointing at the food saying ‘this! this!!!’. By the way Chinese food is amazing, only Tai can compare.
During my time in China, I couldn’t update this blog as WordPress is blocked. Facebook is blocked as well which was a key factor in Chinese economic growth during last years as people at office actually do work instead of posting what they eat. I understand they decided to block some pages as FB and wp but Pornhub… nazis!
All around the place you can find the portrait of chairman Mao at houses, cars, money… as well as statues
There are lots of people everywhere and many huge cities. And they are building lots of houses and other stuff. Sometimes you will see them constructing in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know what they intend to do but looks like they have a big plan.