10.06.2012 - 12.06.2012
Day 139 – Sunday 10th June
Got up at 5 today, not on purpose, but we had a little issue with the alarm going off at the wrong time! Unfortunately I couldn’t really get back to sleep so it was just a long 2 hour wait to when we were actually supposed to get up. Today we’re going to the dragon’s backbone rice terraces, I’ve wanted to go for so long now, there’s an amazing picture in the front of the lonely planet which I see pretty much every day, and now I’m finally on my way. We went to the bus station to try and make it there by public transport, but as with anything touristy in China, that’s no easy feat and the bus we wanted conveniently went from the other side of town, and due to the fact we would have to get there, then change buses and all that jazz it wasn’t worth the effort. So instead we paid a minibus driver to take us, well played China you win again! It took a good 2 and a half hours to make it, and after paying more than the entrance fee to the great wall just to get in, we eventually made it. We were in a bit of a rush due to the need for getting back around 4 to get a train, so we quickly headed up to the top to get the best views, and despite the horrendous humidity and the seemingly common occurrence now of arriving somewhere completely soaked, it was fucking awesome. The views were incredible, not sure if it really comes out in the pictures or not, but this is just a ridiculous feat of farming and something that is just nowhere else on the world on such a scale. Unfortunately after about 10 minutes the mist came down so fast and we couldn’t even see 10 metres in front of us anymore, let alone any of the rice terraces. Fucking typical! So we thought if it comes that quick it should go quickly enough so we just waited it out and eventually the view did come back, and the sun even came out, but by then we were on our way back down and it was the last thing we wanted. So we made it back down and hopped on our 2 O’clock bus back to Guilin. Once we got back, Adam rushed off for his train to Kunming and I went and had a shower in the hotel. I’m really having second doubts about going to Shanghai, don’t really know if I want to spend that long with this girl, and I just really don’t feel ready to get on a train at 7. So I check my emails, hoping for anything, and there it was, yesterday her boyfriend managed to pick up one of my messages, and he was flipping out, and she was like ‘call me asap, there might be a problem’ but I had no phone and she wasn’t online, so I just took the decision to cancel my train there and then. Once I cancelled my train I felt a massive sigh of relief, and headed to my new hostel for tonight, which was really nice. Once I got there I gave her a call, and guess what she was on the fucking train! Bollocks! So she’s stuck on a 27 hour train to Shanghai, and I won’t even be there so you can imagine how pissed she was. So I convinced her that it would all be alright and I would see her in another life. Then I sort of looked at a map of China and my only next logical step is Shanghai, and now that I’m not on the train, I sort of regret not getting it, and I feel properly sad for her. No idea what the hell to do, except buy a few beers and sleep on this.
Day 140 – Monday 11th June
Got up relatively early today, went to bed super late contemplating what my next step should be, then I couldn’t really sleep just thinking about it. So once I got up, I had a call from little bear and we worked out that I would just stay in Guilin for a bit and sort out my visa here, because I’ve heard it’s relatively easy and doesn’t take so long compared to Shanghai. That was good, didn’t really have to make a decision on what to do next, so I went down to the visa place paid a fortune to get passport photos, filled out all the forms and then they told me I needed to go to a police station and get a written note or some shit, then they closed for the day! After having to pay for a cab there and back, get the photos and be told that I was just like ‘fuck this’ I’m going to Shanghai. I can’t waste time sitting around for a visa here, I’ve got less than a week left on it, and knowing Chinese police I really didn’t want to get involved. So I went to the station and bought another ticket for Shanghai, exactly 24 hours after my original one was supposed to be! So the last day has been completely wasted, and it now means I will be on the train and miss the England came tonight, all this just told me I really should’ve gone to Shanghai in the first place. So I got on the buzzer to the woman and told her I was coming, and I’d meet her tomorrow at the station, and all would be well. I then sat back and spent the rest of the afternoon just waiting for my train, the weather here is shocking so I can’t really do much else unless I want to get soaked or struck by lightning. After a good few hours of procrastinating in the hostel I got on my way for my 20 hour train to Shanghai. As per usual I opted for a hard seat rather than anything more comfortable, in order to save those pennies. I seont the first few hours finishing off the moonstone, the book is by far the longest book I’ve ever read and it’s taken me ages to finish, but it was well worth it, I can really see why it’s such a classic. After that I watched a film, then around 2am I eventually fell asleep.
Day 141 – Tuesday 12th June
So after a 3 hour delay on the train, I eventually made it in to Shanghai at 4:30 this afternoon, feeling very worse for wear. My arse was in total agony, sitting down on those seats for so long is just downright painful! On top of that I really didn’t sleep and the train was hot and sweaty, so I just wanted to get to the hostel and have a shower and go to bed. On top of all this, I was still very unsure about what I was doing, I mean this girl is desperately in love with me and the feeling isn’t entirely mutual, on top of that she pretty much has an arranged marriage on the way with this boyfriend of hers and she’s missing her graduation being here. So if I do anything wrong, for example pull a runner, I would very much look like the bad guy! Anyway what could I do, I was here now, and there she was waiting for me on the platform all dressed up. We quickly rushed off to the hostel and after a ridiculously long check in due to the guy being completely incompetent, I finally got to the room to have a shower and the fucking thing wasn’t working!! After that disaster, we headed out for some really tasty dinner, and then came back to the hostel just to spend the evening relaxing, I was properly knackered from that train as you can imagine. Luckily in the room, the sky box on the TV has films on demand, and loads in English as well! So we sat back and watched Jerry Maguire, classic stuff, then I booked my flight to Bangkok, will be leaving from Macau (the place just next to Hong Kong owned by Portugal) on the 4th of July, can’t wait! So that gives me a good 3 weeks here in China, hopefully it’s not all spent with this girl as I think she would drive me insane eventually, time will tell. Gonna go and try and sort out this bloody visa extension tomorrow, but for now it’s time to hit the hay.