Friday, July 18, 2008
Astrid writes: For 2 days, we have seen only 1 white person - an American - except each other. My eyes are amazingly blue all of a sudden, and we are the tallest people on the planet. Today we arrived in Wuchang/Wuhan by train. I slept all night, but Anders had some trouble sleeping - partly due to bad dreams about Chinese characters (which we enjoy) and partly due to increasingly stomach problems. Wuhan is a city of about 12 million people in the mid south (still the only white people). The city is located om the Yangtze river. Upon arrival, we were met by a huge construction site, forcing us to walk for at least 20 minutes around the train station (entrance on one side - way out on the other!) in 35 degrees C and extreme humidity. The ticket office was on the front side of the building, outside, of course. We bought tickets for Shenzhen for the same night, and checked in to the closest hotel to take a day off. (RMB 85). After sleeping for a couple of hours, we headed downtown to get something to eat. We took a cab to Snack Street, a street filled with snack bars and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Actually, the entire city (at least the part we saw) consists of hole-in-the-wall places, offering chili, foodish stuff, pots and pans, and everything else that anyone could possibly buy. We did not go to the city centre, though. We seem to have gotten a two-bed coupe for tonight, which we are very happy about. Today, we actually managed to buy the tickets we wanted, without any English (not entirely true, since a helpful woman in the line did assist us a little bit). Chinese people are extremely kind, helping us getting cabs and being very understanding about our general level of confusion. Taxi drivers, however, are not particularily fond of foreigners... Many refuse to take us.