Posts Tagged ‘Yining’


‘You should change hotels.’
It was 20:30, and I was going up to my room for the night.
‘Why?’ I asked in Chinese. ‘Are foreigners not allowed to stay in this hotel?’ (also in Chinese).
No, that was not the problem. When the explanation came in Chinese, I stared blankly. ‘Wo ting bu dong.’ (I don’t understand.)
An English speaker was phoned to help me understand.
‘Maybe the hotel is too old, and I want a better one,’ she suggested.
‘I just want to sleep,’ I replied. ‘I’m tired.’
‘Ahhh,’ came the reply. ‘You want to sleep?? Hand the phone back to the woman at the front desk.’
I was allowed to stay.
Chinese logic at it’s most incomprehensible.

Free gift

Free gift

The hotel is an hour hotel (or o’clock hotel as they call it). The one last night was too. An hour in the hotel is only a few yuan less that the whole night. I must say, I am impressed with the Chinese approach to these hour hotels. In the one last night, they had lots of posters with doctors and nurses wearing the AIDS red ribbon, and posters promoting the use of condoms. They seemed to be part of a safe sex health campaign. In the hotel tonight, they had two free condoms in the bathroom.

Still, I wonder why I was asked to change hotels. Maybe the people at the reception thought that I might be woken by orgasmic cries in the night. Or maybe my conservative and puritan self might be shocked by my fellow hotel guests. I guess I will never know.

Cycling – oh, yes. This is a cycle blog. The road was straight with moderate traffic through farming country. I ate lots of grapes, and passed 15000km from Eindhoven.

Grapes

Grapes

15000km

15000km


Surrounded by bright lights with neon signs and Chinese characters screaming from all directions, I walk down the main street in Yining. Many a man (both young and old) parade past me with their shirt rolled up to around their nipples. Guts can hang out, and underpants can be exposed. Everything goes here in China!

Letting the breeze in

Letting the breeze in

I am in the far flung backblocks of China, and it feels like I have almost not left a metropolis. The smallest dots on the map are cities bigger than anything I have seen in the last few months – huge boulevards with high-rise buildings and neon signs screaming out consumerism. When I’m not in a city, I’m on a massive freeway or the very large parallel ‘alternate’ road. With the honks of horns and the whizzing past of cars, peace can only be reached when you stop. Talking to the owner of shops, and playing with the kids. All a lot of fun. It’s not worth trying to leave the main road to take a road through the villages. I did that, and the road fizzled out, as did all the side roads. Twenty kilometres later, I returned to where I started.

Lunch stop

Lunch stop