Travel notes. Days 36-40.

5 DAYS IN BEIJING


Morning 36 days of travel. I throw things at the hostel, which is located in the heart of the historic part of Beijing on the street Yes Ja Lan, throw glance at the map of the city and solve some exercise after an overnight train and wander around the city today aimlessly. Gradually moving away from the tourist area, I wandered into a real underground of the city. Here smells, here is dirty, there is no duplicated in English plates, here quite differently. I like these places feel like there are actually people live. Usually I go to some local diner and try to eat what to eat local. I may not know the name of the dish is not only that it, and its composition. Sometimes it is better not to know. At such moments to absorb the spirit of the local. And like on you is not seen as an alien. Something to tell you, you do not understand, but nods. Each time at the end of the meal a surprise – “Guess how much what you just ate.” Always deshego. In places where they feed on the local no English menu or pictures. Therefore, the first time I find myself in an unfamiliar catering, see what others are eating and order the same thing. I love Asian cuisine. Including Chinese. Contrary to popular belief, not all the dishes in China is made from meat, not everywhere even eat rice, not always sharp or fatty meals, there is almost always something vegetarian.
A little more about the unusual Chinese food. Street food in China developed as elsewhere in Asia. In tourist areas sell different national snacks and exotic. Many different kinds of food on a stick. On sticks sell fresh fruit, frozen in ice, fruit, fruit candy, caramel insects (often looks the same as the fruit), all sorts of fried sausage, squid and meat on sticks. And my favorite – fried scorpions on sticks, fried spiders, huge deep fried grasshoppers, Scolopendra, caterpillars and other rubbish. In that single moment when I gave up the slack and was going to try to eat a little fried scorpion, huge thick yellow larvae and hairy caterpillars around him began to stir. Impressed by what he saw, and did not dare try anything exotic here.
After wandering through the remote areas of the city, I went to a huge temple complex, where he spent the whole day shooting video, relaxing in the park, exploring one church after another. Home was getting the same road on foot and in total was 20 kilometers that day. Easter all the legs, tired but happy had a great evening in the bar of our hostel in the company of Danish, Dutch, American, Scottish, Mexican and two Germans. From dancing on the tables, all as expected =)
I planned to take place in Beijing, 3 days, see the wall and the main attractions in the city, such as the Mausoleum of Mao and the “Forbidden City”. But with tickets on trains all going very sad. The fact that the Chinese celebrate October 1 National Day of the People’s Republic of China, which continues the celebration officially 7 days. This week in China officially weekend, nothing works, all in a hurry to visit their relatives and the load on the already loaded rail system increases to the limit. So I had to extend their stay in the capital under the heavens for another couple of days and slightly adjust the route to China. So as a result I minuyu Xian without stopping and sent straight to the south, the capital of Sichuan – Chengdu.
I try to wake up early every day. So that the hours of 8 am to start a walk on some tourist spots yet no one. Because the same place at 8 am and 14 days looks completely different because of the crowds of visitors.
In the evening, after dark, since the 18-hour bar becomes tight. At the heart of many tourists. In our “home bar”, where I spend every evening contingent is constantly changing, someone comes, someone leaves. Meeting people is very easy and relaxed. And on the second day you are familiar with all of your future conversations with new friends nodding backpackers heart.
“- Hi how are you?
– Where are u from? – Wow, wow! – My name is ….!
– It has long been in Beijing? That has already managed to see?
– What are your plans in China? And after China where you go? ”
Although a couple of guys with whom I met there were very interesting. Here in Beijing I realized that the same travelers like me hundreds, if not thousands. Many even route coincides with my interest to 80%. We sometimes change contacts that may meet somewhere in another city in China or in another country in a few weeks. By the way, with their French, with whom I met in Russia, I have not crossed, apparently. Sebastian connection is lost, because we were the only contacts from FaceBook (which does not work here), and the second pair of the French from the island of Olkhon, stayed for a couple of weeks in Mongolia.

POLICE IN BEIJING


The police at every turn. In angliysi not say. However in Harbin concentration ministers about the same was very great. Mobile police posts in the central part of the city are at a distance of 500 meters from each other. Sirens on police cars, motorcycles, bicycles, electric cars have always switches on and flashing clock, thereby indicating their existents. If the evening somewhere in the center of the city is going to more than two or three police cars, you will see this picture the first time, you might think that something happened. Flashers osveschschayut all around. No one responds.
Despite the constant presence of local politseskih cunning Chinese tourists are finding ways to raise money. The other day my nodding took a small amount from an ATM in the city center. Half of the 100 yuanevyh bills were fake.

ON ECOLOGY IN BEIJING


With environmental problem here. At the summit devoted to this issue in 2009, China is clearly given to understand that it is time to reflect on what you have going on. Not sure, but I believe that as a result – the whole Moto Transportation in Beijing – electric.
But after the summit adopted measures proved insufficient. Smog is very strong. Sometimes the visibility drops to 300-400 meters. When you look at the sky you can not understand now is cloudy or clear. Because of the smog is not visible even clouds. During rain is also not visible.

About culture in China


Tezisno: smoke everywhere. Spit at every step, even very young pretty girls can pass to a stop public transport services otharknut, heartily smornutsya, burp and more. Note that this is not a lack of culture. Just culture here is very different.
Men do not shake hands, often roll their shirts as topics, thereby exposing the stomach. Shorts even in warm weather, almost no one wears, as well as slates.
Children often schagolyayut bare ass. They are some special pants, apparently to wear papersy over trousers.
Every second Chinese hanging on his arm a special bottle of green tea. Its here too drunk everything and everywhere.
Some Europeans familiar gestures Chinese often simply do not understand. For example, there is a custom to show numbers from 1 to 10 fingers only otdnoy hands. When you show two hands – they do not understand. And as Zamon show from 6 to 10 fingers of one hand I still can not. “Six” – a stretched thumb and little finger. “Seven” – three fingers together: the thumb, index and middle (do we do when we are baptized). “Ten” – show in different ways, either as a fist, or two fingers crossed as the Roman numeral 10. So if dislodging discounts Chinaman shows you a fist, it may well mean 10, and not what you think.

TRANSPORT IN BEIJING


Morning 40 days of travel. I still food on the train on the way from Beijing to Chengdu. At one of the overnight stops in the next compartment came a young family with a small child, the roar of which the whole car and I woke up. Look out the window – complete darkness. Judging by the clock has already started 10th in the morning and sunrise usually around 6 am. Then suddenly becomes light and I realize that the last few minutes we went to the tunnel. My eyes opened a crazy view. Per night landscape has completely changed. We are in the mountains somewhere in southwest China near Tibet. The train rushes across a small bridge at an altitude of 300 meters above the abyss. There at the bottom of the river, rice fields, road junctions, which look like a toy. Again darkness. The next tunnel. We drive further 5 minutes in total darkness. Feels a little pawns ears. The child continues to yell at the whole car, probably due to pressure differences. From time to time the train for a few seconds comes out of the tunnel, and every time I open a crazy mountain scenery, it is clear that all the mountains izsverleny similar tunnels, somewhere above or below are other trains, riding cars. Remove the camera really does not work because most of the time, that’s been going on for at least a couple of hours, we go in the tunnel and only occasionally train vyskakievaet from darkness to please another peyzhazhem, so different from the previous one.
As I pass the time on the train. The road from Beijing to Chengdu takes almost 30 hours. Just like the last time I was the only European in the car. Just like last time absolutely nobody speaks in English. Youth smoking breaks during vosmestnyh very inetresuetsya, impatient to talk to them. I told them say something in English, they gave me something in Chinese. Absolutely nothing is clear, but fun. In order to somehow understand each other, I invented several ways to communicate. For example, I need to know what time the train is in the city of Chengdu, because the ticket specified time only poisoning, but not the final station of arrival. My phone has English-Chinese translator Pleco, which translates phrases in one direction only. To translate from Chinese need to either be able to draw them or know how they are pronounced correctly and write to Search result transcription, and then choose from a range of program characters. It’s too hard =)
That’s the first time I’m writing in Chinese. Based on the construction of sentences as in the Russian language, simply hammered into the translator in turn individual words or simple phrases and get something like “how much time go by train to Chengdu City” characters. Strarayus draw each character very carefully. As I was glad when I found that it works. All whom I showed this phrase clearly understood it and wrote me a piece of paper in which time the train pribyvat on my stop.
As I later realized is not necessarily to know the time in which you come to the desired station. Guides to wake you in advance if necessary. How do they know that at what station I go? When you sit down in China on a train conductor takes a ticket, and instead gives him a plastic card. Ticket he puts in a special booklet, which is sorted in a station which the passenger exits. It is very convenient. The main exit of the train not forget to exchange back plastic card on the ticket, otherwise not be able to get out of the station building. By the way, in China without a ticket you can not get into the station building, only odelny terminal where the cash register. Sometimes together with a ticket asking to present a passport. Inside the station “clean zone”, as the airport. All that you can not carry with them on the train asked to leave before they miss the station.
Much more difficult to communicate in a smoking room when some my question formulated by the above method the Chinese began to answer back. I gave them my phone number and they wrote in English transcription according to what they have to say. Each transriptsiya has about 10 different versions of hieroglyphs, they show me exactly what they mean, I memorize the English translation of the word, and we move on to the next. The rate of this interpretation is small and the end of the phrase I’m starting to forget what she started. However, this method works! And in an emergency, they can always use. When the Chinese people had gathered too much and everyone wanted me to say something with just that we invented the method of translation, I realized that I had to go slowly begins roof and have to come up with some alternative method.
First 2 hours we played “tic-tac-toe”, then in the “point”, and then in turn gave to listen to Durga other different tracks from their playlists on the phones. For this type of communication was enough two or three simple gestures. So we pass almost half way.
A little more about the free transport in Beijing. In comparison with Moscow, public transport costs are cheaper here: bus 1 yuan (6 rubles), Metro 2 yuan (12 rubles). All modern. For the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing city equipped accessible environment for the disabled. In the underground there are restrooms and elevators. All labels are duplicated in English, navigate easily. Interesting idea implemented in the Chinese subway tunnels. Between some stations installed throughout the tunnel monitors, the picture which moves with the speed of the train. Thus, during the movement in the tunnel the train window into large screens and instead of darkness broadcasting a variety of advertising.

How I lost my contacts in China


More from daily overcomings: Immediately after I crossed the Chinese border I stopped working a Russian SIM card megaphone. As it turned out, in order to make it work here need to advance personally with a passport to come to the office of MegaFon in Russia and activate the extended roaming. There is no other way. And now the phone does not work even on the receiving SMS. And it is very cherevato. As I mentioned earlier, in addition to lack of access to internet banking at once all its three banks, without confirmation by SMS operations one-time password is not possible to recharge medzhunarodnye phone and Skype, make online payments, corny check the balance on the map. A week’m about this conversation with a megaphone, but have not been able to agree.

Conclusion


5 days in Beijing flew by. I have not looked at it and the tenth part of the city. Accept that and see all the sights still will not work, and one day frankly just horsing around. Now the fortieth day of travel. 3 hours later I arrive in the city of Chengdu, in the vicinity of which is going to spend about a week. Plans to visit the largest panda reserve in the world, visit the tea ceremony in one of the tea houses Chengdu, climb the mountains in Eymeshane and stayed there all night in some of the local churches, river rafting to the largest Buddha statue in Leshan in the world. And of course, visit the famous national park in the north Dzhandzadze Sichuan Province. And all this for one week. I’ll try to have time;)

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