16.06.2012 - 19.06.2012
Day 145 – Saturday 16th June
After my late night yesterday due to the England game, I was allowed a lie in today, thank god. After packing up all my stuff to change rooms, we were told that we wouldn’t have to, which was fun to hear, at least I’m not paying for any of this. I still don’t even know the name of this guy, I spend all day with him and he buys me everything I feel awful! I guess he doesn’t speak any English so I don’t really have to address him or even speak to him ever. We first went to a Japanese war museum, during the war, the Japs attacked the city of Nanjing as it was the then capital of China and basically murdered 300,000 people, unarmed soldiers and civilians. The whole thing was pretty horrendous, lots of graphic photos of burning bodies and things like that. The whole museum was very interesting although all I had in the back of my mind the whole time was that this was just propaganda against the Japanese. It is the first museum I’ve been to in China which was actually free for a start, on top of that the whole museum was really well done. The funniest part was the epilogue at the end, which basically said that China need to learn from the past and take the lessons in to the future and live in a world of peace where there are no unnecessary killings. There should’ve been some small print at the bottom ‘except if you bad mouth the regime, then you’re fucked!’ but all jokes aside it was a very good museum, if not a bit morbid. The worst part was all the people who took photos in front of the most inappropriate statues. You’d see these Chinese girls standing in front of a statue of a woman holding a dead baby and screaming, really doesn’t seem right. I’ve banned all cameras on excursions as I hate the Chinese way of taking pictures every 2 seconds, and the stupid poses and faces they always have to make, I thought girls in England were bad, but it’s just ridiculous here. Although it does mean there won’t really be any pictures to put up on here, I can safely say it’s worth it because little bear drives me crazy enough as it is, let alone if she had a camera in her hands. After the museum, Mr Generous then took us out for some food, and said goodbye as he had to spend the evening having dinner with his girlfriend and his family or something. So we just headed back to the hostel, and I went straight back to bed. When I got up, I cut my hair, and then we went out for a little walk. Nanjing is a really cool place at night; all the boats have lanterns on them and just go down the little canals which are all lit up. It’s all a bit trashy and touristy but it does look nice, unfortunately to go on a boat tour is ridiculously expensive, so we just got some dinner and went back home.
Day 146 – Sunday 17th June
Got up bright and early today to go meet up with this guy and see a couple more sights before getting on our train outta here. So we met him at his house, dropped off our bags, and then went for a walk around the lake which was pleasant. As I’ve already mentioned, Nanjing is home to the longest wall in the world, 40km, yes the great wall would be bigger had Mao not destroyed most of it, and now the longest section is only 30km rather than the original 200+. This wall is still in really good nick, and it’s bloody impressive, it’s fucking huge! The best thing about it is that every brick has the name and location of the brick maker inscribed in to it (just in case there are any issues, and that person has to be punished). So we walked around on that for a while taking in all the sights, and Little bear had stolen the other guys camera so she was catching up for lost time I guess, and took about a million pictures which I’m guessing would all look terrible. After that, we got a cab back to his house and sat down for some lunch, which his girlfriend had seemingly spent all morning preparing. There was so much food; duck, beef soup, an array of different vegetables, more beef, and some other stuff which I just can’t remember. All in all there were about 10 different dishes, and of course he gave me some beer, he opened 3 straight away for no apparent reason. It was midday and we only had about 40 minutes to eat, yet he opens 3 big bottles when he doesn’t even drink. So after forcing down 2 in a rush I had to leave the last one and then we got going to the train station. She only got the tickets yesterday so we didn’t have seats, which is normally not an issue as they restrict the amount of standing tickets sold for safety reasons. Unfortunately on this train that wasn’t implemented and we had 2 and a half hours of literally not being able to move a muscle as it was chocker block, going to the toilet was completely out of the question and whenever we stopped at a station, people trying to get off literally had to crowd surf their way to the door, it was nuts. Anyway, we eventually made it a little worse for wear, and then we had to get on an hour bus to get to Xitang. Xitang is just a little old town on a river, as if I haven’t seen enough of those, but it’s not in the lonely planet, so I was quite literally the only white person in the village. Luckily I have a Chinese person walking with me at all times, so it sort of puts people off asking to take pictures with me and just staring at me, which is nice. Once we got off the bus, the weather was torrential, so we quickly found a hotel next to the river and dropped our stuff on and dried off. There wasn’t really much we could do in this weather, so after having something to eat, we just sat watching TV in the room and went to bed relatively early.
Day 147 – Monday 18th June
Got up very late today, I really needed a long sleep, not only that but every minute asleep means one less spent listening to her (sorry that’s a bit harsh, I retract that!). Luckily the weather wasn’t as bad today, so after making it out of bed we went for a walk by the river, and sat down for some food in a really nice restaurant right on the water. Unfortunately, as his place is a complete tourist trap you get ripped off if you want to sit on the river, so after finishing our food we got our money’s worth and just sat there for a while talking. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned her naivety is driving me nuts, what started off being cute has now just turned into feeling like you’re babysitting a child. Just talking about the government and other topics which require some intelligence, she just says I don’t know, being ignorant is much better. Yes to an extent it is, but it means I can’t have a fucking conversation with you about your own country as you don’t know jack shit! Moving on… after leaving the restaurant we just walked around a bit, not a hell of a lot to see here, it’s just a fake old town on a river, and I’ve seen enough of them, and it’s just annoying that every other shop is some stupid tacky tourist shop which every Chinese person seems to think is the best thing ever (mine included) I don’t get how they can get excited about the most ridiculous things, not to mention how absolutely useless they are. For example, a toy pig which squeal when you squeeze it, those sort of things draw a crowd for Christ sake. The worst thing is that the trend here in China is that couples have to wear matching t-shirts, and if they’re really in love they’ll wear matching everything (including shoes) the whole thing just looks hilarious and makes me laugh whenever I see it. Guess who thinks it’s the best idea, as if I would ever wear matching t-shirts with you, all my dignity would go out the window, and I’m the bad guy for saying no, come on they’re absolutely retarded! The rest of the day was spent just milling about the river and seeing the nice lights at night. Not really much more to note, just had some food and got to bed early enough as we have to leave tomorrow.
Day 148 – Tuesday 19th June
Due to the late posting of this blog, I thought I’d give you guys an extra day to make up for it, sorry, just been very busy. So we got up and got packed this morning in order to check out and get the hell out of this hell hole (bit harsh) but I’m just so bored of having to force my way down a narrow street as there are just swarms of tourists. So after getting some breakfast where the staff literally sat around our table with us staring at me, and all took pictures with me, ah the price of fame, we got to the bus station. Didn’t have to wait too long before a bus to Shanghai turned up, after 20 minutes we stopped off at another place and a woman came on saying she needed to get this bus as she had to make a train and she would give someone her ticket for a bus in half an hour and pay 100 yuan to whoever offered. So we took her up on that and got off the bus. Unfortunately she only needed one ticket, so we should’ve really split up there and then (which would’ve suited me) but that was obviously out of the question, god forbid we don’t spend every second with each other! We got back on our way after about a 30 minute wait, and eventually made it to Shanghai, where the weather was no better. After picking up her ticket from the station (she bought it online) we headed back to the same hostel as before. After dropping off all our stuff, we went and got some dinner, where she reveals to me that she changed her ticket and she’s no longer leaving tomorrow, but actually the day after, brilliant! I deserve an Oscar for how I received the news, inside I wanted to pick up the table and throw it out the window, but I managed to keep my composure and pretend to actually be happy. After that bombshell, we went back to the hostel and spent the rest of the evening watching a film. I then stayed up till 3 to watch the England game, which on the surface definitely wasn’t worth it, but we qualified top of our group which is more than good enough for me. Eventually made it to bed around half 5, long day!