Sunday, November 4, 2012


Another early morning repeat of the Chinese boat cruise soundtrack and it was up and at ‘em!

Our guide led us through a filthy dockside labyrinth reminiscent of a regrettably-Matt Damon- free Jason Bourne foot chase scene up to level ground.

Third Gorge

The extent of water pollution is sickening. There must have been a fifty foot swath of garbage on top of the water here.
There is a real pollution and garbage problem in China- with many contributing factors. Only once did I see a recycling bin (overflowing with trash). Garbage cans are rare, small and inevitably spilling over onto the street. Although spitting is not as rampant as I’d expected, it was still disturbingly common for a passerby (man or woman) to loudly hork up a massive loogie that was then disgorged with a wet smack onto the floor or street.
Between the bathroom filth, the garbage and the rampant spitting, its no wonder flu pandemics originate here- your masks ain’t gonna help people!

Early Morning, Yangtze

Our bus driver drove us to the massive 3 Gorges Dam- and it certainly is a engineering marvel. The ship locks and ship elevator (currently still under construction) were an amazing sight.

Ship Locks, 3 Gorges Dam

Yichang was another underwhelming city of 1.5 million, although much cleaner and less smoggy than Chongqin. They had also made some real attempts at greenspace beautification- we enjoyed a stroll along the riverside park, watching the obviously desperate fishermen. We then climbed up the 8 flights of stairs to mount the stunning white 2 span cable Yilang bridge.

Me atop Yilang Bridge

Yilang Bridge

We then walked back through the city centre, lunched at KFC (same but different) and then split up to shop the big mall. I bought a linen scarf and admired many of the clothes. The shoe store we visited must have had a thousand pairs of shoes and boots, but I was a good girl and didn’t buy any (really---too expensive and no room).

Like a kid in a candy store

We stocked up for our train trip at WalMart (also similar but different- this one had live frogs in the meat dept). We picked up our stored bags at the train station and boarded for Xian.

A familar store -but no greeter!

I am tiring of these dirty, slow trains- hard to sleep, no room, frightening toilets and nothing t eat except what you pack in (which you have to first carry, then sleep with). My routine has become watching movies until my battery runs out, read until exhaustion, take a sleeping pill and pray for sleep.
On this jaunt, Chinese Businessman one bunk over decided midnight was the optimal time to catch up with his obviously deaf friend via phone headset. I couldn’t sleep even with a sedative on board, so I cranked up my iPod to down it out and I was soon in Dreamland.
Only to be awakened by someone stroking my bare toes that had escaped the blanket (not an invitation!). A gave a helluva kick in the pitch dark to my Foot Fetishist/French Pedicure Enthusiast/Chinese Businessman?, and laid a curse on the army of creeps that boasts membership worldwide.

After that rude awakening, sleep eluded me. I took a mental tour of my house, tallying up all the repairs and upgrades to be done room by room. A disturbingly long list, but it did the trick and the next thing I woke up in the great city of Xian!

No comments:

Post a Comment