路游 Traveling

CET is OVER, and I have finally left Hangzhou. Thus begins my crazy 3 weeks of dealing with Chinese trains and busses, scrambling trying to find places to live,and (hopefully) visiting some really cool places. It is nice to finally not have tests or classes to attend but on the other hand the freedom of being in another country with nothing pressing to do is sort of scary and awesome. We will see how all this turns out.

I have already sent my two big pieces of lugggage to Beijing and am only travelling with my backpack and a smaller bag around my waist. I’ve got about 3 days worth of clothes, my laptop and other electronics, shower supplies, and a guidebook. I’m trying to travel pretty lightly.

My first stop this weekend is my friend Yuyang’s house in Longyou. It is a more rural town a little South of Hangzhou. To get here…we had to ride a train for about 3 hours. Very quickly I learned that Chinese trains are not the same as trains in America. This is not your Portland to Boston Amtrak Downeaster!

We arrived to the station around 8:30 in the morning after reluctantly rolling out of bed and taking care of some last minute thigns at the dorm (handing in keys and id cards to our Ayis). After that we got in a taxi for a little bit and arrived at the train station.

There were a million people at the train station…and after making it through security, grabbing a quick bite to eat at a fast food joint, we made our way to our train. After walking alongside the train to the 16th cabin I saw that there were people literally pouring out of the cabin we were trying to get on. It was literally impossible to make our way onto the train for a while and after some pushing and shoving we forced our way onto the train.

In China, trains sell way more tickets than there are seats so in addition to every seat being filled, there are tons of people standing in the aisle, leaning on you, s[ractically sitting in the overhead compartmentsl, it is pure chaos. We finally located our seats but of course someone was already sitting in them. After a heated confrontation with one man who REALLY wanted to sit in that seat, the train security people made him get up and we finally took our seats.

The train ride was uneventful, I read a lot of the guidebook, trying to figure exactly how I want to try and make my way North to Beijing. Cute little kids keep trying to play with me and this one little boy throughly enjoyed touching my arms and pulling my arm hair.

Finally we made it te 3.5 hours to Longyyou and after dodging taxi drivers trying to usher us into their vehicles, we met Yuyang’s father and he drove us to her house in his own car.

So we made it, travelling was not that difficult and I am getting really excited for the next steps. Tomorrow we are going whitewater rafting at a nearby place, then Wang Su and I are embracing the citylife and making our way to Shanghai, China’s biggest city. After that, I plan on being on my own for a bit, slowly making my way north for a bit stopping in Nanjing, Qingdao, maybe even the mountain of Huangshan.I’m flexible and can really do whatever I want (as long as I don’t spend too much money 🙂 ).

I’m really hoping money won’t be too much of an issue as I have signed up for the couchsurfing website and am actively sending out emails to people so I can sleep on their couches and not pay for a hostel. Even if I have to use hostels though it shouldn’t be too expensive (about 8- 15 usd). It is a really exciting experience to do this on my own to see what might happen!


1 Response to “路游 Traveling”

  1. 1 Amber Dostie
    August 7, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Chris this is so scary and so awesome. I am so proud of you and your determination to set out on your own. I can say that I might not be so brave. My e-mail is ADostie@Sad11.K12.me.us and if you need anything (anything at all) let me know, give me an address, and you’ll get it. Best of luck in your travels, and stay safe.

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