International Bodyguard to the Stars
Trip Start Nov 27, 2010
22Trip End Feb 12, 2011
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Where I stayed
Basically during the war with Japan and after the fall of Wuhan Chiang Kai-shek decided to burn the entire city because of a lack of confidence in withholding the city. The result of this fire made Changsha one of the most damaged cities during World War II, alongside Stalingrad, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Over 90%, or 56,000, of the buildings were burned. Prior to the fire, Changsha was China's only major city that had not shifted its location over a 2000 year period. The fire, however, annihilated all the cultural accumulations that the city retained since the Spring and Autumn period. Historical artifacts above ground were completely wiped out, causing immeasurable loss of cultural heritage and damage to archaeological studies.
Any way enough of the depressing history lesson
Changsha is fantastic, and absolutely having a great time. The crew I'm hanging out with are all artist/media types so has been really interesting. Did my first photo shoot as a "bodyguard" for an absolutely beautiful Hunan girl, she told me that Hunan girls are about number 3 in China for beautiful girls, with of course Chengdu been number one (which she seemed surprised that I already knew). Everyone I've encountered has been super friendly and haven't had any problems at all with the language barrier. Have decided to start applying for English teaching jobs here which seem to range from about 4000-10000 rmb per month (Shanghai,Beijing and Guangdong are higher).
Everyone I've met are all heavy smokers and it's been difficult to cut down like I planned, but oh well.
Had my first experience with Police today as I needed to register my CS address. Was funny just hung out watching Basketball and they thought it really cool I was chewing on the local Betel nuts. Went for a walk down the river and through the back streets of Changsha just checking out the local life. I Honestly haven't encountered any of the grossness that a lot of other people always talk about but I'm a pretty cruisy guy and am just taking everything in my stride.
Got another photo shoot coming up where I play a demon with a mini-gun fighting five kick arse models so you know life is pretty tough for some!!! Hahahahaha.
Ok, so if your NOT staying at a hotel, guesthouse or hostel you need to register your address at the local police station (hotels, etc do it automatically)
Is ridiculously cheap usually 10-15 rmb. Hunan is a spicy style and it has a tendency of randomly attacking your nose or throat so make sure you take a tissue with you. It is however absolutely delicious and everything I've eaten has been fantastic. Beer is usually 3-4 rmb for cans and about 6-7 for bigger bottles (more expensive in restaurants). Make sure you don't drink the local water but noodles etc is all good. If your worried just use a tissue to wipe your cutlery and most of the chopsticks are all one use style.
Beautiful and very friendly laid back people. Very curious about westerners and even the shop keepers will practice (very) basic English on me which is pretty funny. Got stuck somewhere and had to ring my CS buddy to get directions. Just used a shopkeepers phone (pointed at it). Offered her 50 cents but she wouldn't take it. I always say nihow to her now and she always gives me a big smile.
Learnt an absolute gem of a trick today when I bought something from a shop. Motioned with my finger counting and he used 3 fingers (3 rmb) and five fingers together (50 cents) so I knew the drink was 3.50. Works a treat so use it to buy your food and beer etc with locals. A calculator works just as good but you don't really need it.
Will be hanging here another week before I head on as I'm having a great time!!!