A massive culture shock, 2 fights with local Chinese people, a very nice ice sculpture festival, spitting people all around me, and the impressive capital Beijing. That’s more or less how I can describe my first three weeks in China.
Travelling in China
Harbin was my first stop in China coming from Russia. It’s not a distinctive city, since it was founded by the Russians, but it hosts the world’s famous Ice Lantern Festival. I’ve never seen such a spectacular event before. Just have a look on the Harbin photo page for an impression of the festival and the city.
Beijing is a city were I could spend many weeks, since it’s full of beautiful parks and lakes, such as the Summer Palace and Beihai Park. Definitely this city surprised me. I thought of a smoggy, gridlocked, and very busy city. Afterwards I went to the nice and small city of Pingyao. From here I cycled to the country side for a taste of the ‘real’ China. Then I continued to Xian which is famous for Mount Hua Shan and the Terracotta Warriors. I didn’t really like the city, so that’s why I continued to Luoyang. The Caves are really famous and were nice to visit. Then I looped back to Beijing to finish my first stage of travelling in China. A period of getting to know some strange custom with many strange that happen.
A day on the street
Here in China you can hear and see people spitting all the time. It doesn’t matter where: on the street, in the train, or even in restaurants. They just don’t care and are disgusting as hell. So, one time a yellow spit landed on my shoulder. When I did the same back to this woman she got outraged and started to hit me with the lady who was walking next to here. I pushed both of them with force against the street fence and walked quickly away.
In Xian a girl tried to steel my camera out my pocket; of course you can regard this as a suicide attempt. Also this girl I smashed against the wall of the pedestrian tunnel. I’m just mirroring their behaviour, but it still leads to these kind of confrontations…
A day of using transport
If you get off the metro you’re likely to be pushed back, since Chinese never wait for passengers disembarking the train/metro/bus. The only way to get off is to keep your elbows in a straigt position, so you’ll hit their faces. Once one person got knocked down by me, but it’s China; all this is necessary and allowed. I don’t give a shit about them.
Most of the time they also use all space on the pedestrian paths, unable you to pass them. The best technique is increase your walking pace and look the other way. Then a massive collission follows resulting in the Chinese person usually get hurt. Also this is quite normal. To be honest, I love it… I haven’t tried it running, but I really should try that one. Probably the person will end up in the hospital.
A day of eating in a restaurant
When you order something be prepared that al waitresses will stand next to your table watching you eating as soon as you get your food. Sometimes even making fun of you. If you’re really lucky as me you’ll find yourself next to a chicken-eating person. It happened that the person spit out the bone which landed on my table. My first reaction was to do the same with a piece of tofu. Unfortunately this wasn’t appreciated… can you believe this? I continued with some bean spitting in the direction of their table, but they called the waitress to complain. After an argument I left the place leaving one big yellow snotty spit in the restaurant. It was the first time I was glad to have a cold.
Yes, having read this you must think I dislike Chinese and China? Well, you’re right. Probably I won’t ever get used to their culture and custom, but at least I hope to see the best of the southern part of China. Also I have seen already some nice places.
My travel plan
22 Mar – 6 Apr Mongolia
7 Apr – 5 May Beijing – Chengdu – Lijiang – Dali – Kunming –
Guilin – Yangshuo – Macau – Hong Kong
6 May – 2 June Stage 3 of travelling through China