Sore bums.

Trip Start Oct 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2009

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sam:  Hello! In our new hostel in the centre of XI'AN now, its very very nice. Our room is like a plush hotel! For 16quid a night. I already prefer it here, it smells less and seems more... ... advanced! Spent our last day in Beijing exploring the forbidden city (the tomb and palace of a guy who made china a communist city, and still has his face printed on the money) It was lovely to begin with. The most intricate beautiful temples and architecture but after temple after temple it all looked the same. Went to a Beijing nightclub that night with some people from the hostel, which in hindsight wasn't the best idea as the 12hour train journey we had to do that night wasn't the best with a hangover! The train journey was bloody awful!!! There were only hard seaters left when we booked it which wasn't great but thought we could handle it. It was like being cattle crammed into a tiny tiny space right next to the toilet and surronded by chinese peasents, who were looking at us like we were criminals. Didnt manage to get any sleep (maybe cause i was scared for our safety!). We were sitting right in the middle of a mongolian family (about 8 of them) who actually turned out to be quite sweet. They shared all there food with us (against what we wanted!!) They made me eat an apple which made my throat itch!. Managed not to drink anything at all so didnt have to use the toilet, caught a glimpse of it though and it was basically a pigs trough. Anyway enough moaning, much better now after sleep and a shower. Im still craving marmite toast but made do with a KFC tonight which was surprisingly comforting. Plan to take it easy for a few days and see the terracotta army and go on a panda tour. We had a walk around earlier this evening and saw a disabled man lying on the street being ignored by everyone as they walked over him, this man was lying outside a Mcdonalds and starbucks which for me is the way i feel about china- Contradictory and a bit mixed up. Also saw women selling small puppies out of a binbag. Persuaded Giles not to touch them! xxx

Giles:  Well, it's been quite advenurous over the past few days - Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven Park, a train journey from Hell, sore bums (from the "hard seats" we were on on the train), worst hangover I've ever had for a while.  Didn't get round to seeing a few things in Beijing, such as the Lama Temple and Summer Palace, guess I can do that sometime in the future - I have to say I was a fan of Beijing despite the smells.  Just something quite amazing about a massive 5-lane highway cutting through the hutongs where poverty was in ever corner.  Not much to say about the Forbidden City and Park, the pictures say most of it, although the one odd thing about the Forbidden City, recently opened up to the public, a playground to some of China's most prominent emperors... now has a Starbucks slapped in one of the halls.  Just have to also comment on the peasants we were sitting with for twelve hours - yes they were polite and smiley (some were anyway), offering cigarettes, food, etc, but one of the younger guys woudln't take his eyes off me for long periods at a time - even when I made eye contact and smiled he didn't blink and continued to stare at me - I must have insulted him somehow, I wouldn't have been surprised if he was thinking of ways to kill me.  Unfortunately no pictures of the train, was more concerned about our own personal safety than letting you lot have a glimpse into the conditions we were in!!  I also ate a couple of eggs...  vacuum packed and very intriguing, one was actually brown, hard boiled and brown, the other, well, I don't know why anyone would eat it, the yolk was just a sack of vinegar and salt.  Not the best taste to have in my mouth for a long arduous train journey.  Still, I'm not afraid to experience the cultural corners China has to offer!  Speaking of which, we dined exquisitely in a KFC earlier tonight, hard choice between that and McDonalds.  Anyhow, the Terracotta Warriors and pandas await us at some point, for now it's just a chillout and unwind in the hostel.  50p bottles of beer here (600ml, over a pint!) and it's going down well.

Much love, Gam and Siles xxx
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mumdadjosh on

Train journey and KFC!
Sounds fun!!
Maybe the peasant recognised Giles from Songs of Praise? ha ha
Sam - well impressed at your bladder control...what on earth would I have done?
At least you experienced an authentic chinese train travel experience...roll on the 27 hour journey!!
Great to hear from you guys,
All our love,
Mum, Dad, Josh, Roofie xxxx

redwine286 on

Oh how we laughed....!
Oh, how we laughed at your train journey story! Sounds...well....interesting! And I thought my train journey in India was terrifying, but nothing compared to that! So glad you found a KFC (as I've said, don't be ashamed about eating in one!).

Keep those blog entries coming!


mumdadjosh on

Train Staring!
Staring at people with big noses .... I better avoid going to China I wouldn't be left alone .... I'm sure though it was just a Chinese gaylord who took a fancy to you Giles! ;-)

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