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Winter Break Is At An End

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Thursday, 16th February 2006

It was 4:25am and we were woken by the train staff. Hey that gives us five minutes to wake and do what we need. Usually they wake you about thirty minutes prior to arrival. The train had made up the two minutes over night and we arrived on time in Baise. Good job mate, can't say I would have been happy if I arrived at 4:27am. I would have had a few words to say to the driver like...mate, why can't you be as late as trains in Australia. It is 4:25am, nothings open and we are in Baise. At least in Australia they have the common sense to be several hours late! We grabbed a cab to the unopened bus station and sat in the filthy little noodle house next door. It's only occupants were chain smoking taxi drivers awaiting the city to begin its day. Several of them actually drinking beer, yes at nearing 5am! Some sleeper buses stopped and we found one that was heading to Nanning. We boarded and my winter holiday was completed as I said my good byes to Judy and stepped foot on Tianyang soil at 7:25am.

The morning was warm and I was happy that I was still in shorts and a tee shirt. I said my happy hellos to the schools gate guard who I'm sure was thinking, 'Oh no he's back. Now he'll wake me at 2 or 3 am every morning! AGAIN'.

I dumped my bag and sat for a coffee whilst smoking cigarettes and looking out my kitchen window. My little town was waking up around me whilst I sat dozing in the chair. I made my way to my bed leaving thick dirty footprints on the floor. I was so hungry and tired. Tiredness won and I woke at mid day.

I spent the next few hours moping and cleaning. I couldn't believe the dust that had settled even with the shades drawn. To touch anything dirt would be left all over your hand and walking left filthy footprints everywhere. Finally I finished and made my way outdoors to greet the day. I walked for an hour and then headed to the market place. Here I received a huge warm welcome and was greeted with free fruit and happy smiles. I sat for won ton soup and went about my rounds purchasing fruit and supplies for the next few days.

I passed the afternoon sorting through emails and photos and headed across to the have dinner with my Market Place friends at 8:30. There we sat until 2:30am this morning looking at my map of the Xishuangbanna, taking photos and me deciding I was going home after the very next beer. Then it came, 'E Ping Peejio (1 bottle of beer)?'. Yeah, sure mate, then I'll head off. The night was beautiful and people dropped in to say 'hello' and pour a beer for me before leaving. One guy poured 3 glasses full of beer, drank them all and then stumbled away saying, 'hello, my name is peejio (beer), my name is peejio. Hello my name is peejio!' Good on him I thought. I'd rather he have them than me at 2:00am.

Once again began my routine of waking the poor guard man at the school gate at some ungodly hour before climbing the stairs and shutting out the world behind me. My winter adventure had ended.

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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