In Yangshuo -by Sukriti

Trip Start Mar 29, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Buckland Hostel

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

04 Apr 2010 - 10:32:54 am

Ni hao! 

After a twelve hour flight, an hour long ferry ride, and another short flight later, Prabhjyot and I arrive at Guilin in the Guangxi province of Southern China. A placard supposedly reading our names is held by a man, who we acknowledge and follow to the car. Little is said, but we trust. Dreaming of a very comfy bed in the car and a long sleep we receive a call from Greg who lets us know about our early start the next day (bubble one bursts).

We reach our destination at midnight, a quiet and dimly lit side street, in the small town of Yangshuo. We are escorted to our rooms on the 3rd floor, a basic hostel like accomodation, our home for approximately two weeks. Our first day starts with a knock on the door. I open the door to a girl named Testah who has been appointed by Greg to take us to Guilin by bus for a medical examination so that we are able to apply for a residence permit. Our bus journey lasts an hour and a half during which we watch a chinese movie that guarantees to wake you up through the medium of violence.

Our medical went well, although apparently Prabhjyot is two centimeters taller than me! Yes I like being the taller one. After our medical Testah treated us to Guilin's speciality, rice noodles. Our breakfast for the next couple of days. Lunch and dinner as well. But i don't mind, for me, food is food and always welcome. 

  Over the next couple of days we explored and re-explored West Street. A popular tourist attraction just twenty minutes from our hostel. At night the whole area is swamped with people being dazzled by the lights and being pulled towards the music. There are hundreds of bars, shops and restaurants including KFC and McDonald's offering English menus, and not giving us a chance to practice our Chinese. However, in the day, the atmosphere is mild and seems like it's recovering from the night before, or may be that's just me.

The hostel we are staying in is part of a college offering courses to learn English. Student here are normally graduates who are looking to improve their job prospects by being able to communicate in English. The teachers here are roughly thirty years of age and are supported by foreign teachers who have retired in their home countries. At our first breakfast with them, we were constatly told that we looked very young (and beautiful), guess estimate of 16 or 18! Wahhayyyy! I think we are in the right place!

Yangshuo is full of friendly people, who love to speak to foreigners so that they can practice their English. If you want to sit in a pub and watch Manchester United play Chelsea, it's not going to happen. You will be surrounded by locals who want to chat, share beer, and play dice with you.

I'm enjoying this experience so far, eventhough:
the weather is not what we expected or prepared for;
we haven't received any teacher training yet;
people like to spit a lot, loudly, and;
it is impossible to find shoes in size 6!

BUT it is amazing that I'm here and experiencing it first hand.
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