Time for a bit more sightseeing
Jiayuguan Travel Blog› entry 20 of 24 › view all entries
I was up early, checked out of my dingy dump of a hotel, and checked straight into a nice one in the centre of town. As I was checking in, the assistant manager asked where I was from. When I said, she asked if I could help with something. She went and fetched an immaculately dressed woman, who greeted me warmly and asked for my advice on some English wording. It turned out that she was the owner of this hotel, and had recently acquired two more. She wanted plaques on each hotel to say what group they belonged to, but wasn't sure of the wording. We debated what she wanted to put across, and how to use capital letters, and the upshot of it all was, that her plaques will now say 'Ziyu Hotels Management Company' rather than 'Managers company Of Ziyu hotels'. I was quite chuffed to have played a part, even though, as a fan of Chinglish, I'd be sorry to see it disappear.
I do find it odd that even huge companies put out English stuff that makes no sense at all. You'd think they'd run stuff past some sort of English editor after their Chinese staff have translated it.
Having checked into somewhere bright and clean, I got a taxi to Jiayuguan fort, and to the Great Wall. This is the most westerly portion of the wall. Basically it ends (or starts) here. Sadly though, it was a bit of an anti climax, compared to the bit of the wall I hiked on in Beijing. it's been recently restored, and in the local adobe-ish stuff. Which might be authentic, but made it a rather bright sandy colour.
When I got back to town it was lunchtime. I let myself be persuaded into having a canteen type Chinese lunch on a tin tray. I don't have the first clue what I was eating. One dish was a very bony fish dish, another was an unspecified meat, and there were two veg dishes as well as rice and a bowl of clear soup. At a cost equivalent to 60p. I'll put up one of my famous 'this is what I had for dinner' photos, whe I can get the uploader working again.
I then treated myself to an ice lolly. I managed to resist the pea flavoured one, with its wrapper photo of frozen peas. Oh...and another quirky thing. Next to the ice lolly shop was another, with Santa decorations up. I'd noticed this phemomenon already on this trip. People round here seem to really like Christmas. And they don't care whether it's the season or not. They wear Christmas scene T-shirts. There are lit up Christmas trees along the Jiayuguan streets at night. There are Christmas scene posters up here and there. And you hear Christmas songs playing as background muzak. It's all a bit surreal in August.