Lost Entry II

China Travel Blog

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Coconut Milk Pond
Lost Entry II (must be 2-8-06)

We have been traveling so it is hard to access the one computer available to everyone in our hostel. Anyway, we went to the Great Wall of China, the Simitai section which was a much more challenging part of the wall. That was actually the third day we were in Beijing. Lisha’s friend Daniel in Beijing hooked us up with a driver so we wouldn’t have to take a 2.5 hour bus to the touristy part of the Great Wall which I have heard since is shite. Lisha made it up to tower eight. I stopped at six. Riding her bike around China has done her legs well. Walking up and down the wall day in and day out has done the two old ladies that followed us the entire time very persistent. With them they carry these spine ravaged books with little information about the wall in English. I don’t think the stairs do as much for their book sales as it does for their thighs of steel. I almost felt like buying one because of their effort but opted to tell them they should just wait at the bottom as part of the hungry gauntlet you must attempt to pass without getting saddled with so much as an overpriced postcard. Of course she didn’t understand this and wouldn’t take bu yao for an answer. If I hadn’t listened to Lisha’s trepidation, I would have flown to the bottom over this frozen lake on a zip-line they called the Flying Monkey just to get away from them. Nevertheless, for some desperate reason, I thought there was some special force field at the gauntlet that would not let them come any further down the wall. Nope. Not for nothing though, I now have a short video clip of me and Lisha being chased down the Great Wall by women 30 years our senior.

At the bottom, we tried to buy our driver lunch but he refused. Come to find out, he would have lost a lot of face with the people at GM if he agreed to let us pay. If you have never had lunch with someone that speaks a different language and all you have is a language book, you are missing out on one of life’s more amusing and humble experiences. This night we also took advantage of the 5 quay beers at our hostel and the knowledge of the Chinese imparted to us by our friendly bartender Yao.

Like I said before, we have been ripped off a couple of times since I have been here but we didn't take it from the taxi driver in Sanya. At first he said he couldn't run the meter because it was Spring Festival, bullshit. In the end he did turn it on but when we got about 100 feet from our hostel and 6.60 into the cab fare, he shut it off. When we got out I gave him 7 quay at which he threw a fit. We asked for a reciept to prove he should get more and he started chucking other people's reciepts at us. I took my 7 back because if he didn't want that he could take nothing as far as I was concerned. Lisha on the other hand must like giving her money away because she thought a ten would be better than 7. Needless to say he was still bitching as we walked out of his life and into our hostel.

We laid out on the beach yesterday at edge of the Da Dong Sea and broke open our own pineapple and peanuts. For a snack we had fresh sugar cane. We went to a bar called Rainbow where a Phillipino band played American covers. Phillip is this somewhat creepy American who has been in China for a few years. The other couple that went with us to the club consisted of a pregnant Chinese girl with her English baby’s daddy who said he made money singing American covers. I don’t know how. He is terrible.

We have met a bunch of fun Canadians, Germans, Chileans, etc. etc. at our hostel. (Misha, Ximena plus one, gay German girl, tall blonde ocean swimmer guy, Christian German, glasses German) Vinnie, pronounced Winnie by some and probably in his early twenties, is the only flaming gay Chinese guy I have seen. As we checked in the first night a cute guy bought a beer. From behind the front desk Vinnie told the guy his new haircut looked good and he was even more handsome. After Vinnie told him the bottle opener was on the door of the cooler he still couldn’t find it. In his defense we didn’t see it at first either. Regardless, when the guy left, he knowingly looked at us and laughed, “Why are the handsome ones always so steeoopid?”

Today we went to these hot springs east of Sanya where there were about 35 pools. All of them were different temperatures and colors. One was the coffee pool, need I say more? We tried some fruity nut tonight that the locals use as a mild drug. Peter, the other desk manager at the hostel, who is also awesome, speaks good English and explained to us last night about this mild drug the Chinese use. Although me and Lisha walked around downtown and successfully found it on our own to try, when we got back to the hostel after the hot springs, Peter had bought some for everyone who wanted to try it. It is called Betlenut. It was the worst tasting thing I have ever put in my mouth. It didn't do much for me but put a lump in my chest and make my ears hot. You eat a leaf that has been spread with some mysterious white paste, then folded into a triangle with a quarter of this “nut.” You chew on it somewhat like you would tobacco but you swallow all but the first bit of spit which stains everything red, including your tongue and teeth. We ended up going for something a little stronger and in the meantime finding out that yes….indeed Phillip is a little weird. Hopefully we will be able to scuba dive before we leave.
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Coconut Milk Pond
Coconut Milk Pond