Day 9. Hospitality

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[1] The magic of Chinese transportation.

The day turned to be just amazing!

After having lot of sleep and rest in a soft bed, I again felt the taste of life, which, although, I’ve never lost. Whole day in the road makes you feel, that sleep is the best and most logical end, and even stone will be for you the softest feather-bed, what to say about real big couch with pillows and blanket!

Already last evening before sleeping we agreed with the driver, that in the morning he will take me to the exit from the city, and that’s why I had to wake up earlier. So in ten minutes after awaking I was more or less peppy, loaded and was ready to go on the road.

When we arrived to the toll-station, the driver suggested to me to wait, till the workers of that station will find a car, which moves to direction I need — and then I understood, that my companion also worked there and he wanted to use his position to help me. But unfortunately I don’t like to wait, especially when I have a choice to move. I like to guess whether stop or not this or that car, I like to temp my fate and make eye-to-eye contact with people, but what I don’t like, it’s when somebody looking for someone else to help me. It’s like the person helps not me, but that, who asked him about it. So yes, I like to feel myself more independent.

On the highway quite fast I’ve got a lift to the crossroad Nanchang-Ganzhou. The driver went on the North, to Fengcheng (凤城市), what about me — my destination was South, Ganzhou.

On the crossroad, where I left the car, were roadworks: as I understood there had been constructed a new junction with a bridge. I was afraid, that because of this I got in a “dead spot”, because I couldn’t see any traffic there. Although, a little bit farther, on the turn one driver came to me and offered to take me to Ji’an (吉安市).

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[2] Mountains, covered green.

The driver was very kind, though I had a double impression in the beginning: a 30 years old man, with tiger tattoo on a hand, with an old strangely decorated auto, what made me feel like meet a Belarussian, who cant’s speak Belarussian. He tried to be friendly, told me about his girlfriend and that he is also travelling now, and very happy to help me.

Few kilometres from the crossroad he told, that he is hungry and he’d like to eat something. Many of you know, that I am never miss a chance to have some food, but at that time the driver decided to enter a city for lunch. I started to worry, that probably we didn’t understand each other clearly, was afraid, that we will lose too much time and as a result my road to Taiwan will be longer. So, that’s why I apologized and asked him to take me back on the highway. As I saw, my wish made him sad, and I felt sorry about that. But I did my choice. And I am on the road again. Ahead — uncertainty, behind — even bigger uncertainty.

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[3] Tunnel.

Soon I stopped a car with 2 brothers and a young girl with baby. At first I thought, that girl was the driver’s daughter, and the baby — her younger sister. But as it turned the child was her, and driver wasn’t girl’s dad, but husband. I’ve heard a lot, that in China people still think that a girl should marry as early as possible. That’s why during the university years of their daughter parents already very intensively looking for boyfriends and asking thousands questions about daughter’s personal life. There is no bigger happiness for a mother, than to marry off her child in 20! /* But I still can’t understand girls in Europe who make new families in 21 */

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[4]

The family headed to Guangdong (广东省) for the birthday of the granny. And during the stops in the rest area I meet the other members of their family — 3 cars of ants, uncles and cousins. They invited to join them, and for sure I’d like to accept their offer, if it took me only one day, but it seemed, that earlier than in three days the couldn’t let me go. And with heavy heart I had to say no.

They let me off the car near Ganzhou (赣州市).

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[5] Rain clouds.

The next stopped driver went to Yudu (于都市). Couldn’t not to mention for myself, that in his appearance was something African or aboriginal, and even behaviour created a big desire to turn 50 cent as a soundtrack. But I observed, that in general from North to South people became smaller, their hair and skin darker, and lips and noses wider.

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[6] The road.

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[7] My lovely cold tea without sugar. The best ice-tea I’ve ever tried.

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[8] It was communism here. And now the red communistic star is existing right near the commercial of capitalistic bank.

My companion had been in Europe, but couldn’t speak English good enough. That’s why after phone talk with his wife, who translated my words to the understandable and right Chinese language, he said: ” Ok, I will help you” and stopped near the restaurant to give me a lunch. Also there he tried to find a car for me to Xiamen (厦门市), but finally found nothing, bought more food for me: few cans with beans, cookies and tea, and took me to the crossroad near Yudu, where I was lucky enough to meet a service car from toll-station, which took me right to the gates near the city Ruijin (瑞金市).

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[9] Cosy tender-pink day.

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[10]

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[11]

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[12]

There, when locals saw me — a foreign alien — two cars stopped near, offering their help. The both drivers went to the same place, about 10km to the West, and I finally made my choice, when found, that in one car a boy could speak some English.

In the car there were 2 men — brothers, and the son of the driver. They went to the passport office, to gave the documents for the boy’s passport, because next year he planned to go to USA to study English. And though at that moment I couldn’t say, that his English was good enough, but anyway it was pleasant finally to speak somehow. Also from our conversation I knew, that nowadays students in China really begin to think about the advantages which English language can give them, and that’s why the language courses are quite popular there. For example “Crazy English” is one of such courses in which participated my companion.

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[13] Ruijin. Photo from internet.

On the way, in the best traditions of my hitchhiking trips, they offered me to be their guest for one night, and next morning continue my way to Xiamen, and me, in my own best traditions accepted it.

After visiting passport office, we came back to Ruijin, where had a dinner in a big and, as the driver told me, the most famous restaurant in the city. As I found later he was it’s owner, but the restaurant was really amazing.

The table was really fool of various meals. And everyone: from workers to the holder, ate there together. All I had to do is to be fast enough to catch the food. So much and tasty.

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[14] Restaurant. Left — how it looked when I came. Right — nowadays.

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[15] Looking here on myself I can’t understand how could they help to such dirty boy >_<

After the dinner we went to the driver’s house, where I met with the rest of his family: pretty wife, daughter and granny. They suggested me to went for a walk, to explore the city, but when I took off my shoes and checked my injury, it became clear that to walk wasn’t a good idea. That’s why next to taking a shower and caring the wound, I spent that evening at home, helping to the driver’s son to improve his English and in parallel gaining strength for the next day.

That night I slept on a bed, covered by bamboo mat. Here would like to notice that Chinese, especially those, who live in provinces with big season temperature differences, use different types of bedclothes in summer and winter times. For example if in winter this is usual for Europeans mat, down or synthetic pillow and blanket, then in summer — bamboo carpet, a roll pillow filled by hay or straw and a sheet for covering. Not mentioning that fact, that almost always sleep in clothes (Yeah, I know, my friends, that for some of you this is normal, but for me, who used to sleep wearing almost nothing it was kinda weird :D).

So, Xiamen was in 300km from me and I looked forward for the next day.

Hitchhiking in the 9th day:

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