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通海 Tonghai and the Post office.

two separate events, one rather amusing the other nerve racking. Can you tell the difference??

sunny 26 °C

Hello hello!

Well, received a text Saturday morning from Roxanne asking if we would like to go to Tonghai (通海) this weekend. So, home not too long from Lijiang, still re cooperating from it and we were off again. I suppose I should tell you why I say "finally" eh?

Well. The first week we arrived in Minzhong Roxanne, grade one student and one of first friends here, asked us to come to her home town of Tonghai with her. She had written out a rough itinery of places we would go, what we would see and what we would do etc. Then come that weekend she came to our door at 11pm the Friday night in tears. Her grandmother had died so she was to go home to her family. Understandably we couldn't come. But what was slightly odd was that she seemed more disappointed that she couldn't bring us with her.

Anyhow, about three weeks passed and we had arranged to go to Tonghai again with Roxanne and again the night before the poor thing turns up on our door step at 11pm, leaning heavily on her friends. Poor Roxanne had sprained her ankle!

Then, after two weeks of Nat and I thinking we had jinxed this poor girl we received a text message inviting us to Tonghai. Of course we said OK, hoping, wishing and crossing our fingers that nothing else would go wrong. And finally nothing went wrong. Met Roxanne at the gates and drove home with her and her father to Tonghai. Stopping off at a few places, her father's village to pick up vegetables for her uncle, small store that sold Tonghai specialties. May I suggest that although it was nice, sticky rice that seems to have been soaking for weeks in baijiu (rice wine)and sugar for the better part of a month is not that fantastic. Especially on an empty stomach and at 4pm :S it leaves you feeling slightly ill.

Any whooo..... arrived at Tonghai and her Uncle's absolutely MASSIVE restaurant and had some yummy food for dinner, "chibao le!" (吃报了) or eaten more than enough (I'm stuffed, please no more!!) for all you non-Chinese people. :P very nice. We dropped our things off at the hotel (which was pretty freaking awesome FYI) then went to meet up with some of Roxanne's friends from junior middle school and wandered the streets of Tonghai for the evening. The following day, Roxanne came to us at 10am and took us to Xiushan mountain where she waved goodbye and walked off (apparently she had exams to study for, fairo). I left Nat at the bottom (as she was moving too slow) and scaled the mini mountain (by Chinese standards) it took me two or so hours to get to the very blustery top of the mountain and may I say the view was absolutely spectacular (you will have to take my word for this as the camera died half way up because I had forgotten to charge it after the Lijiang affair). Could see the whole of Tonghai sprawled out below me. Spent 6hrs on the mountain (met up with Nat after 3hrs), talking painting and just strolling around until we received a phone call from Roxanne saying that she was going back to school and that her cousin (whom she refers to as her sister, most confusing!)

So dinner and bed early (this time in a dorm over a bank, weird and stuffy) and up early the next day to meet her cousin Jessica, who we later discovered was a Chinese teacher in Thailand for a year, spoke English well enough to be a translator and was only 24yrs old. Pretty cool eh? Well long story short; we meandered around, talked had some food, took an insanely expensive taxi out to the surrounding village to see a 100yr old wooden carving (screen door) where the old people there found it absolutely hilarious that the girl of Chinese appearence spoke next to no Chinese and the White girl spoke and read more than her. (teeheee how I love it when that happens, sorry Nat but it never ceases to amuse me). Door was cool, each carving told a different story. Pretty cool stuff.

Oh and just a footnote on Tonghai.
It would seem that the people of Tonghai have NEVER laid eye on a white person, let alone one that spoke Chinese. Usually their stares and mutterings don't bother me, but Tonghai was the last straw (well for that weekend anyway) drove me bonkers just wanted to turn around and yell "HAS MY LABEL DROPPED OFF??" "HAVE I GOT TWO HEADS??" "WHAT'S YOUR FREAKING PROBLEM?!" as you can probably assume, was not feeling any tollerance towards to this attitude/natural curiosity at all. Oh well. It happens I suppose. Oh and the other thing. Buses from Tonghai to Eshan take insanely long! 1hr45min to travel 45km up the road. No I'm not kidding.

Oh and I think I should tell you a little about today. Nat nicked off to Yuxi last night (yes, house to myself) so did some serious chilling. This morning got up, did a few things then strolled into town to do a few things. Feeling in a much better mood I did not mind the stares at all. I set off to the shop to buy some envelopes (10 to be exact) 10 for 1yuan pretty chuffed at that, then off to the post office to send them. Sitting at the desk, writing out the addresses in English and the country in Chinese the woman looked over at me and my brown envelopes, raised her eyebrows and continued what she was doing. Heeding no attention to this I continued to write and seal up the post cards (everything here needs a "chock" to those of you receiving letters, its the red thing on the BROWN envelope) a chock is a government seal saying "yes, I approve" essentially. Anyhow, I walked up to the desk, told the woman I wanted to send them to Australia. All she did was look from me to the envelopes and back, followed by a chuckle and "fengle waiguo" (crazy foreigner) before she told me that I had used the wrong envelopes. She dissapeared out the back and came back with a handful of white envelopes that said “airmail" on them. Ooops. Fail lol. So, took me another 20mins to write it all out again, with my Chinese address in the top left in Chinese (thank God I am the only white in the village (resisting urge to put on Little Britain accent) I don't know my address off the top of my head but practically everyone knows where I live so it's all sweet as!) and the recieving address in the bottom left in English and Chinese then seal it all up with a glue stick, nothing here self seals! I hope all you who recieve these appreciate the amount of time spent on this, most people would have walked out and said sodd this for a joke. :P jokes. its all good, but international mail is EXPENSIVE! If I were being paid in AUD$ I wouldn't complain, but as it is I'm not, so I biatch a little ;)

Thankful the nice woman was on duty in the post today and not the woman I had last time who was just out right rude.

I've run out of things to say now, I'm going to take my beer out of the freezer and relax. See yall later!

Posted by Messus 00:19 Archived in China Tagged eshan tonghai

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