Day 16 - Saturday June 14, 2008

I packed most of my stuff last night; this morning after breakfast (they had watermelon for the first time in two weeks - at this hotel!!). We left early with Chunhong for the train station. (As we drove there, I realized I had not really seen the city - it’s way bigger than I thought. Our hotel had been chosen as close as possible to the north campus of the university. Ahh, so that’s why I had not seen much hussle and bussle.) Chunhong helped us find the place where we were to get the bullet train - we had to carry our bags up two flights of stairs and down one flight. But we made it!

There's me with our bags...

There's Michael with our bags...

I didn't mean to take a picture of this guy spitting, but it's really hard to avoid - spitting is a regular activity of the men here, as is smoking ...

On the train to Zhengzhou: as you can see, it was very nice - modern and much more spacious than a plane.

This train's maximum speed was 250 km - if you look, we're going 251.

We saw some very interesting things - countryside and outer city stuff - all the way to Zhengzhou.

One side of the river ...

The other side of the river ...

I don't think they have learned what to do with their garbage. My theory is that they have been too quickly industrialized and so the common people who used to have nothing that didn't decompose are now using new fangled contraptions such as plastic bags - that don't decompose.

I was glad I got this picture of someone working in the fields. We saw it all the time; one or two or three people working with hand tools in the middle of huge fields, that actually looked like they needed machines to be worked on.

Here they are again: traditional farming right beside a super highway.

We arrived late for lunch at the hotel so the buffet was closed and we ordered from an English menu (too bad) - the first non-chinese meal I’ve had since arriving in China. I ordered the steamed veggies and lettuce.

And it's funny; I’ve been so used to eating with chopsticks (because that’s all they had in Zhumadian) that it was an awkward moment picking up a fork and a knife. It felt abnormal and somewhat uncivilized because the utensils were so large and heavy. It’s not that they didn’t have chop sticks at this restaurant, they just assumed because we’re westerners that we wanted cutlery, so that’s what they gave us.

This is what the room looked like after we got our hands on it - actually it was quite beautiful when we first got there...

Here are some photos I took from the taxi on the way to the Sofitel in Zhengzhou, where we'd be staying for two nights.

I think it was sunny out ...

This bicycle driver was putting his hand on his girl's knee and as I took the photo he'd just removed it - and his girl was smiling - oh, so cute!

In the afternoon we went for a walk through a good sized and well groomed city park.

Unfortunately, I managed to get a cold in Zhumadian - all that air conditioning and my tendency to sweat a lot.

That evening we went to dinner in a restaurant attached to our hotel complex, with Jason (from the Educational Agency) and Laura - the young woman who translated for us.
They were both Chinese. After dinner we walked around the city block with Laura and chatted a while. We passed a shop where, Laura said, there was a blind masseuse - the signage was all white with some plain red lettering and inside it was all white too. Apparently there are many blind masseuses/masseurs in China.

No comments: