Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Day 27 - Wenzhou

Nothing really to talk about. Just wasting 45 minutes til I meet up with Joe and Rudy here in Wenzhou.

The train took 29 hours to get from Guangzhou to Wenzhou, though it didn't seem overly long. I got on at 19:00 on the 16th, and was passed out by 20:30 or so. Woke up the next morning and just sort of lounged, intermittently dozing for most of the day. Had my Train Survival Kit (TSK): instant noodles, apples, bananas, peanuts, water. It was all good. Plus (!!) Linda packed me a lunch/supper. It was awesome: peanut-butter sandwich, two small tomatoes, slice of blueberry pie, a kitkat bar, a hunk o' cheese (mmm... cheese) and a dessert cake thing. It was like the uber grade 4 lunch. All the other 'kids' were jealous, having to eat noodles while I feasted like a primary school king.

As per usual, I chatted with a few people, but their putonghua is totally different from what I'm used to so they had to repeat themselves multiple times, as did I. It sounds almost like what eubonics does to English - a lot of fast-talk, slippery pronounciation: shi is ssi and almost indistinguishable from similar words - 10 sounds like 4, 'am' sounds like 'dead', etc. Anyhoo... I'm moving far enough north now that I should be out of that dialect region.

Amazes me a bit that I was on the south coast of China two nights ago (35-degree weather), and within 20 hours by land am on the east coast, near the East China Sea (today about 16 degrees). Every trip from here on out will be less than 13 hours, with most being 3-7 hours. I already have my tickets for Hangzhou for today, and Suzhou from Hangzhou on the 20th. Didn't get my ticket from Suzhou to Nanjing because I'm still not sure if I can take a boat trek up to Wuxi and farther on to Nanjing. Would love to take the Grand Canal to make that trip vs hopping another train. Regardless, I'll hang out with Nicola in Suzhou (met her in Guilin, she works in Suzhou) and she can show me around a bit, if she has time. Otherwise, she owes me noodles.

I get really excited now thinking about getting back to Angie and being back in Canada. Less than three weeks! 16 days, actually. Woooo! I still have lots of gifts for people to pick up, though. I may have to ditch half my clothes to get it all back. ;)

That reminds me: if anyone wants anything from le Chine, fire me an email. I'm not getting anything big for anyone [else] after this point, but calligraphy prints and little odds and ends (statuettes, bracelets, etc.) are easily done. People I've already bought for: Angie (oodles), Suzi, Aaron, Mom (also oodles), Angela/Ben, Kieran, Emma, Nanna. Dee, a lot of pictures have been taken with you in mind, and hopefully will come out okay in large prints. Got in mind or have wish-lists from: Jamie, Dad (impossible to buy for, it seems), Roger, Kelly, Scott, Sarah. (Andy, I'm not bringing you a Chinese masseuse or wushu halberd, sorry.)

So yeah... that's about it. Looking forward to having brunch/lunch with Joe and Rudy, and heading on to Hangzhou to see Nick and Katy. I'm curious how Nick's doing in Hangzhou, actually. Seems like a nice city, though last I heard the EF school(s) there were a bit... laisse-faire. Hopefully he and I (and Katy if she's not working) will have a chance to take a tour of West Lake and Ling Yin (sp?) temple, one of China's 10 oldest temples, built before the 4th Century.

Okay, I'm off. Will write from Hangzhou or, more likely, from Suzhou.

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