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Jenny的博客

如果中了500万,我就背上包去流浪

 
 
 

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Fever Road ---- 发烧路 by Chris  

2008-03-29 12:00:14|  分类: 旅行记录 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Of coffee, beer, Superman, Sichuan cuisine, yak milk and frightening fever roads
[fashao lu].

At the first place the bus stopped after it had left Chengdu, Jenny asked me what I had said to the other foreigner traveling on the bus.

“He’s got a flask of coffee,” I said in my casual way, “and the aroma hit my nose with a bang when he opened the flask.”

It was silly of me, I suppose, to ask another foreigner where the men’s toilet was while I was sniffing at his coffee, but at the time I didn’t know any other man who spoke English and had a flask of coffee. Besides, not many Chinese men drink coffee.

“And that,” as they say in the classics, “is how Jenny and I came to meet Helen and Tony.”

My name by the way is Chris, and I’d like to correct any wrong impression at this point: “I did not expect Tony to offer me any coffee even though I was watering at the mouth.”

By the end of the first day we had broken the ice and were firm friends and my coffee dependency had nothing to do with the newly struck friendship.

Together we got taken to the cleaners by some hotel agents who said they had a romantic suite with only a double bed.

I followed clearly the dialogue between Helen and Jenny and the agents even though I don’t speak a word of Chinese. It went something like this;

Helen: What kind of accommodation can you offer us?

Agent: We have a romantic suite, it’s like a chalet up in the mountains, very private with two bedrooms and a sitting room for only 850 rmb.

Jenny: Are you sure it’s a suite and does it have two double beds?

Agent: No but we can bring in two very comfortable single army double beds, without mattresses.

Helen: But 850 rmb is far too expensive, because it’s only a single room.

Agent: [a little smile curling her mouth mockingly] Well it’s all we’ve got, take it or leave it. But we can reduce the price to 500 rmb.

We took it. Tony and me, guess what? We slept on the floor, because the army beds sagged in the middle like snapping rat traps and you ended up sleeping with your big toe in your mouth.

Believe it or not, Tony and I thought of asking the girls to share the double bed with us, but we were too tired to ask.

After that first night however it felt as if we had been firm friends from way back. It was a nice feeling.

Although I can’t speak for Helen and Tony, Jenny and I have been friends for some time. She was in one of my evening classes I held at a Yantai Asian school.

I believe we get on well together on the basis that we don’t expect demanding agendas.

If personal questions are raised about us, I would never reveal intimate information like whether Jenny has a beauty spot on her thigh or not, you’ll have to try and work it out for yourself. However I believe we have a lot of fun together that echo’s the poet’s words: “The grave is a fine and private place, But none I think do there embrace.”

So the moral is; Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think.

After that first night we relied even more on Jenny and Helen to regulate and order our lives. If you’ve ever tried to sleep on a Chinese army bed you will know what I mean. You guessed it, not many foreigners will ever enjoy the privilege. We kept out of the way while they negotiated our fate or destiny, [ take your pick because we figured we could just as easily end up the other side of the moon as in Shangri la [heaven, the place, where you visit before going on to hell on a one way ticket.]

At this stage I was beginning to realize why China was such a mysterious country. The girls glowing with pride told us they had arranged a reasonable price with a young man who was waiting to give us a ride to the next town we would visit.

I can still see that young man’s face as he scrambled out of his little dwarf car shaking his head vigourously looking at the size of the two foreigners. God knows what he said to the girls but his face said that Tony and me would not even be able to fit our big toes in the back seat of his car. An abrupt end to a cosy arrangement but as luck would have it there’s always an alternative at hand and we piled into a twin-cab kombi and were on our way, leaving the young man and his miniature car behind.

The next part of the journey was by taxi. I could confidently claim after nearly having ended up in a river, that I’d been involved in a formula one race on Schumacher’s tail. Our safe arrival was by an answered prayer by the terrified foreigner sitting up front, with the young driver who took death like he took breakfast.

I had never been more terrified in my life, and believe me I had faced peculiar situations in Africa like charging elephant and wounded lions, nothing came close to the terror inflicted on me by this young driver.

We introduced him to coffee, but Mr. Han refused. It was a great lunch and we cried with Wasabi, and laughed about  “This is the life, and this is the beer, Qingdao forever.

Fortunately, the following day the man we eventually hired to take us on our journey in the ‘Chinese Alps’ seemed far more conscious of his client’s sensibilities. Mr. Han was primed by the girls about this foreigner with[ nerves of jelly] who would sit in front with him and sit like stone waiting for the crash to come around every bend. Mr. Han kept smiling me as if he wanted to reassure me that he was a good driver. Even his good driving wasn’t good enough for me, but we remained good friends throughout the journey, inspite of highways to hell that never seemed to end. It was an experience of a lifetime with people I really enjoyed traveling with. Thanks to Helen, Tony and Jenny.

Hope to see you next year.

 

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