Jiayuguan Travel Blog› entry 19 of 24 › view all entries
goodness' knows. I've lost track. Whatever, it was pleasantly uneventful. A mere five hours, which has become chicken feed in the scheme of things. The ventilation worked nicely, my seat neighbour was pleasant enough (if it wasn't for his habit of slurping melon slices) and the bloke behind didn't hawk and spit into the communal bucket that often. The spitting thing seems to be even worse than I'm used to, in this area. It's not so much the actual spitting (though it's far more horrible than anythign you'd see at home) - it's the truly horrible noise they make in their determination to get every bit of gunk out of their lungs first. Really really awful.And of course they clear out their nasal passages in simlarly horrible fashion. Stop in the midde of the pavement, close one nostril with a finger, and explosively clear out the other on to the paving.
Anyway, as I say, the journey was fine. We stopped ten minutes from Jiayuguan to let someone off. She went to get her stuff from the luggage compartment and as I was gazing out of the window anyway, I watched. Now I'm about the only person on these buses that has anything approaching actual luggage. Everyone else has bags and sacks of stuff from the market...melons, potatoes, grapes...goodness knows what. So I wasn't at all surprised when this young woman's 'luggage' turned out to be two huge sacks. The sacks though, had some holes in. A horn poked out of one...some fur from another. It dawned on me that they both contained sheep's heads. Who the heck makes a ten hour return journey to buy sheep's heads? I mean, they are a delicacy round here, and most of the stalls seel them in some shape or form. But yuck. I hope that luggage compartment didn't get too hot.
I needed a very quick snack when I got off, so nipped into Dico's - the equivalent of KFC. I ordered half a dozen chicken sticks and two sweet potato fritters. Both arrived flavoured with...maple syrup. It's very difficult to figure out the Chinese snack thing. It makes shopping for a bus trip really difficult. That nice cake ends up tasting of garlic...while the bread tastes of sugar. The chicken's maple syrup flavoured, while sweetcorn and red kidney beans are sold as pudding. And nothing is like the picture on the packet. I bought some biscuits. The picture showed some round oaty biscuits, with half the area covered in chocolate. "European flavour" the packet trumpeted. I got them back to my room, to find rectangular wafer sandwich biscuits.
My hotel is awful. I thought it was the only affordable one here, so checked in anyway. But really, it's grubby and manky - the lightshade has comepletely come away from the wire frame and there's a huge water tank thing over the shower that looks rusty enought to fall on your head. The towels are getting nowhere near my skin. Fortunately, the bed sheets at least look ok. While exploring the town I found a better place though, so will check out first thing tomorrow, and move in there. Then I'll email Lonely Planet Guidebooks and tell them their recommended hotel is awful!