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New Sturdy Steeds N The Minorities Park (Don't Go)

Tuesday, 7th February 2006

G'Day and a Big G'Day to you Another beautiful day spent in paradise. As usual we headed across to Mei Mei's. Spent some time doing our best to play Chess with some rather strange and identical pieces. What happened to the real pieces is anyone's guess. In the end I won and it was then time to complete the Memory Stick mess from yesterday. We dropped in to see my little Memory Stick buddy and showed him that the card didn't work in both camera and phone. Hey pal, don't look at me like that, that's the reason why it's called a Memory Stick Duo, as it's supposed to work in both using the adaptor. We then headed around and after the store girl tried a few unsuccessful times to give me other products I had no need for I finally received my money back.

It was now time for shoe shopping. Judy's shoes had worn out and my trusty sandals had had a beautiful life on the road. Now sadly I had to exchange my Sturdy Steads for a new pair that will hopefully take me to many new places. My old Steads had taken me from the coast at Beihai, up and down beautiful mountains and all around Guangxi, into Yunnan on several occasions, along the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek, way up to visit the Mingyong Glacier and now all the way down to the Xishuangbanna. The heels had become nearing paper thin but I held on to them for as long as possible. I was sad to see them go. The shop people laughed hearty laughs when I took off my old sandals. After wearing them everyday for nearly 8 months my feet have become very well tanned, the straps have left white tan marks that you can almost see in the dark. My new Steads have different straps so I'm sure the white marks will soon become very pink and sore! So far they are very comfortable, maybe I'll give you an update on them in the future, but then again I'm sure they'll slip from memory and interest rather fast. Oh yeah, my sandals are also part of my school uniform.

Ok, today I gave in a second time. Firstly the exchange of my Sturdy Steads and secondly I bought a day pack. I sometimes shock people at the amount of stuff I fit into my cargo pockets. Judy has taken to calling me Mary Poppins Pockets. Today I found a cool little pack with an attached water carrier or 'camel back'. It'll come in very handy when I find the actual water carrier that goes into the 'camel back'. They probably don't exist in China and I'll end up using it to store the most important item any person living needs in China.....TOILET PAPER! Without toilet paper, life would be rather sh*tty indeed!

After unloading my Mary Poppins Pockets we headed off down the little streets to see if we could get lost. We found a big sign for an English School so I thought; hey; why not see if they need a teacher in the future. In the end we found a beautiful little restaurant that had little huts to sit in and eat. The English School was forgotten and we sat for fried rice and a beef and lemon grass dish. We continued our card game and I'm now 1000 points in front, so that makes it a 2000 point turn around since Mengla. Go Baby Go!

Now once again I sit amongst the smoky movie watching Chinese. There must be about 40 or so computers in this Net Cafe alone. There is one next door and the loudest and smokiest is the one beneath the Mekong Cafe, it reminded me of the sleeper buses. Friends would be playing on line games, why they don't sit together I have no idea, but there would be one on each side of the room and they all yell and scream at each other. On top of this you have those whom don't wear their earphones to watch a movie. It's all a little too much in the end so I don't visit that one any more. The one I'm in now has the entire front open, the other just the door. Anyhow, tis time for Pad Thai and a beer.....

Wednesday, 8th February 2006

Well, sometimes I really should listen to what I read or am told. After reading about the Minzu Fengqing Gongyuan (National Minorities Park) I decided I still want to have a look. I had met no one whom had visited it and the good book (LP) uses the words 'it's full of things best avoided'. What I didn't know is that it's actually not full of anything. It has one camel and a bird cage. It costs 30 Yuan to get in and there is nothing there. It advertises minority villages and like Ganlanba I expected small villages of people living there. Not here, in this park you had one house that they call a village, so that totals 5 houses set amongst the park. Outside each house there was a stall selling colourful tee-shirts including the million types of Thailand tee-shirts. We walked in search of something to see. It was nice and quiet though and there were lots of trees but that was it. The animals were all gone except one monkey that spends its life in a tiny cage swatting at the thousands of flies that make his body their homely abode.

All buildings had not been used for what looked like a long time. The centre area that promised beautiful girls in colourful dresses throwing water over each other lay empty and the hall was filled with rubbish and dust. Not much bothers me here in China but I could not comprehend how this park was allowed to stay open. There is actually nothing there. The strange thing, is each time we have walked past there have been no less than 3 big tour buses out front whose yellow peek-capped occupants, I'm sure were walking around wondered why they were in this park.

I have been ripped off so many times here in China just as we all are. The over confident westerner will boast, 'No way man, I've never been ripped off! I've been travelling China for 2 months now and know what I'm doing!' If only he knew, but I guess it's better he doesn't as he is the type that gets angry and will cause a scene over 20 cents. I noticed after many months of living in Tianyang prices of certain things actually went down instead of going up. When I asked friends, their answer was that the town now knew I was staying for a long time. It wasn't a noticeable amount really, but it does happen without us knowing. Many times when I asked 'how much or dorshow chen' at our market place I was told a price. Luckily Mandy or Yang Yang was next to me on many occasions and after questioning, the price came down. Now I'm very well looked after in my little town and if I pay 5 mao more than others on some occasions good on them for getting away with it as it's only a couple of cents to me.

After several hours walking under the canopy of beautiful trees that we paid 30 Yuan to walk under we happily left the quietness of the park for the lively streets of Jinghong. We walked around for awhile before heading to 'James Thai Cafe' for Pad Thai and meat Balls. Just beautiful. After dinner we headed out in search of a new Sony Memory Stick but found none. After a short time it clicked that the new generation Memory Stick 'Pro' Duo doesn't work in my camera and only in my phone. I then decided after looking at the price of the 516 mb cards that I actually had a great deal with the one I returned. I paid 430 Yuan and everywhere else they are 680 or so. Of course the price will be dropped after bargaining but not to 430. So now that I knew the reason it didn't work and the fact is I won't find a normal memory stick duo here bigger than 128 mb I decided to re-purchase the card. Of course it was gone when I returned to the shop. Such luck!

The night was spent at Mei Mei's watching 'Supersize Me'. Wow, now that's a movie full of freaky facts and figures. What a guy, but hey, I love a good egg and beacon Mc Muffin for breakfast every now and then so as long as it stays that way my liver will only be pickled by alcohol!

Minorities Park and City Walk

Minorities Park and City Walk


Minorities Park and City Walk (1)

Minorities Park and City Walk (1)


Minorities Park and City Walk (10)

Minorities Park and City Walk (10)


Minorities Park and City Walk (11)

Minorities Park and City Walk (11)


Minorities Park and City Walk (12)

Minorities Park and City Walk (12)


Minorities Park and City Walk (2)

Minorities Park and City Walk (2)


Minorities Park and City Walk (3)

Minorities Park and City Walk (3)


Minorities Park and City Walk (4)

Minorities Park and City Walk (4)


Minorities Park and City Walk (5)

Minorities Park and City Walk (5)


Minorities Park and City Walk (6)

Minorities Park and City Walk (6)


Minorities Park and City Walk (7)

Minorities Park and City Walk (7)


Minorities Park and City Walk (8)

Minorities Park and City Walk (8)


Minorities Park and City Walk (9)

Minorities Park and City Walk (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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