Pingyao Travel Blog› entry 11 of 27 › view all entries
China Railways should rename the "hard seat" to "hard to sit". I was the very last one to board the train wagon and a quick look into the wagon told me that it was packed with heaps and heaps and even more heaps of Chinese. OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD and OH MY GOD how do I reach my seat raced through my mind. After securing my backpack I make my way to claim what is rightfully mine and no Chinese will stop me from my mission. After dodging all the Chinese, I see that my seat is taken by a young Chinese couple, I show them my ticket and they reluctantly give up "my" seat. Now all I have to do is; to go "in" again to get my backpack. Finally I can "enjoy" my hard seat for the next 12 hours while my left neighbour thinks that my shoulder is his pillow. My neighbour across me thinks that she can put her feet next to me with her shoes off so I could smell her "fresh" feet scent with every breath I take.
One of the things I was looking forward was savouring me in the mouth watering Chines cuisine. In every province I tried to eat as many local specialtities and I have eaten specialties; sizhuan style chicken, hotpot, pollo, ganban, noodles, rice dishes things that tasted funny and looked out this world (I still don't want to know what I ate) but the best dish I had in China so far is the Banana Pancake in the Harmony Hostel in Pingyao. If there is a food god, if memory serves me well it is Bachus, he would come down from his thrown and awe at the banana pancake. I liked it so much that I would have eaten it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack were it not that I was lacking cash funds.
Anyway, while enjoying my breakfast I meet Klaartje and she had booked an alternative city tour of Pingyao meaning that we could actually meet some local families and look in their houses. That sounded sooo cool to me that I wanted to join and soon we had a party of four; Klaartje from Utrecht, Anat from Israel, Chandlee from New York and Hyo from Rotterdam. After this fun tour we take Chandlee's advice and go to the Qiao's Family Courtyard House. At this courtyard Zhang Yimou shot his masterpiece Raise The Red Lantern. As I had seen this movie I was really looking forward because the "movie village" was just awesome.
Not with pain in my heart but pain in my stomach I had to part from Pingyao and leave the delicious banana pancake and seek some new adventures in Datong. When I was departing for Datong, Chandlee was departing for Beijing so we kept each other company untill my train left. I was not the only foreigner going to Datong as there were also three lovely Spanish chicas boarding who needed some assistance in understanding the train ticket. Not suprisingly I was willing to help them out; Yep... I'm a sucker for lovely Spanish chicas.