KTV & Open air dance lessons

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Monday, October 15, 2012

PanZhiHua is a fairly industrial town, some roads are black with coal and the road in was full of road works and heavy traffic.  I’m not staying at the fancy hotels in the city, instead I opt for a cheap place on the road out which is great, a big double bed, en-suite, TV and computer with 24 hours internet access in other words, everything you could want.  It’s a nice family who run the hotel and I find the owner funny, everywhere I want to go he literally takes me there.  When I arrived he showed me a good place to eat and even sat at a table in the place talking with the owners until I was finished, then walked me back to the hotel, he’s lovely.

So my purpose here is to extend my Chinese visa, the owner takes me to the nearest Public Security Bureau (PSB) who point us in the right direction for visa applications, we jump a taxi there and fill out the forms etc however as I have a couple of days left I would rather use them than lose them, and the officer agrees I can come back and apply the day before my visa expires to apply which was great.  

I have a couple of days of just chilling out, pottering around sightseeing, catching up with washing, drying out tent, re-packing, giving bike the once over and enjoying the nice weather.  There are some lovely parks here, and I enjoy watching the goings on in them from the dancing to the gambling, they are always busy which is good to see.  

In the evening a place across from the hotel does ballroom type dancing, the whole square is packed with couples all ages taking part which they take very serious.  A bit further on and it’s a more modern type music but the dance seems very traditional Chinese with it’s slow deliberate movements.  This would never work at home, could you imagine the ripping you’d take… I don’t think it will catch on in Glasgow.  On top of their dancing the Chinese love their KTV, the louder the music the better however, I find quite often its Mr or Mrs Outoftune singing which just makes it all the funnier, but they love it.  I have to say they are a very confident bunch and stuff like that just doesn’t faze them at all although I do wish their manners were better, the hawking and spitting wears thin after a while to the extent that I’m boaking listening to them.

I need a few odd jobs done for example finding a hardware store and a tailor, the owner takes me to a market underneath the square that everyone was dancing in, I never thought of anything being below it because we’re near the river.  Anyway the walk in takes us through a load of butchers, they’ve all sorts of cuts of meat or birds ready for the pot, people are handing them and there’s not a fridge in sight.  I get a good offer of a plucked goose with neck, head and all still attached (which I declined) but I love the way they display them with the neck hanging over the counter.  Next it’s cooked foods then fruit and veg, followed by hardware section where I pick up a few items then the tailors, where I leave a pair of shorts to be taken up and collect them in the afternoon, (costing 50 pence) I was very impressed with the quality of work. 

Meanwhile I headed off to the visa office by bus but the looks I got were funny with one young girl in particular taking pictures of me with her phone (although she was too scared to speak to me).  I suppose I am the only 'lai wai' around, I don't think they attract too many tourists so I must look strange to them (it seems to be the freckles).  When I arrived at the office my passport with new visa was ready and waiting for me which means I've another 30 days in China.  So with that in heand 
I decide to head off to Shangri La for a few days leaving my bike in PanZhiHua until my return, and I must admit I had a ball.
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