A Travellerspoint blog

A Bad Beginning Only Means a Better Ending

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day Toya, I've just returned from having Great Northern Noodles with Martin and Georgia whom are now at home busily planning where to head after they return to Yangshuo. The Yunnan Trail seems to be on the top of the list so we spent a happy time slurping our Great Northern Noodles and talking about my two adventures along that trail. They are getting pretty excited. After yesterdays bus journey to and from Ancient Heping Village I also told them a few Smoky Disco Sleeper Bus stories too! Can't say they are getting too excited about spending sleepless smoky nights on those but hey, it's all part of it! Today! How strange was today? Did I break a mirror in my sleep? I woke early this morning and heard a strange sound. But here in China no matter where you are living at certain times of the day you will always here the same sounds. Morning, noon and evening are the usual chopping sounds. You may think I'm exaggerating but ask anyone who has lived in an apartment building and they'll tell you the same thing. In between the Chopping Hours are car horns and the shuffling sounds of the Marjong Tabs. Chop, chop, chop, chop! Usually lasts about an hour or so. Remember they use a cleaver to chop even the most delicate vegetables. Chop, chop, chop, chop! It's like there is an internal alarm in each Chinese person, everyone at the same time...ready... Chop, chop, chop, chop! I heard what I thought was this sound but it seemed a little out of the ordinary. I figured hey, it's just the chopping and maybe someone's out of rhythm or something so I fell back to sleep. I woke an hour later and still heard the same sound but it sounded stranger this time. I figured hey maybe the ceiling fan is about to fly off and decapitate me as I walk into the lounge. So I peeked around the corner and it was spinning normally. I then walked into the lounge room and there at the front door was a huge brown rat. We stood staring at each other wondering what the hell the other was doing and who was going to make the first move. He made the first move and it was across the room and beneath the couch. I ran into my bedroom and grabbed my two badminton rackets and the broom closing the door behind me. I then looked at the front door and at the amount of chewed wood shavings on the floor and at the size of the hole the little bugger had begun to make. My couch is in many pieces so one at a time I lifted them and threw them on the floor. Finally he stumbled out and ran into the pile I had already tried. When I found him this time he ran towards the bedroom door and full on jumped into it opening it. We chased each other around the bed room and then back out into the lounge room. The old couple next door were soon standing at my front door and looked pretty stunned at the sight of me running around the house with two bad minton rackets. I finally got my vocal tones right and they understood that I had a 'big mouse' in my house. Get the tones wrong and you are saying a 'big teacher' which is probably what they thought I said the first few times. This would explain why they looked at me like I was an idiot. Finally Mr Big Mouse ran across the floor in front of them and they ran back into their house and shut their door. After about an hour I finally cornered Mr Big Mouse at the front door but behind it. Bugger! Finally he ran up the wall and sat balancing himself in the top of the door. Taking advantage of Mr Big Mouse's confusion I sent him flying out into the stair case where he hit the wall and then ran down stairs. When I returned inside I noticed droppings all over the place and argh, even in my bedroom at the flywire door leading out onto the balcony. Oh gawd, did you race over me whilst I was asleep? ARGH! I then decided to head out for a ride and decided on my latest ride which is the one where I was watching the lightening dance last Friday evening. Since then I've ridden it a few times and spent many hours riding out into the hills. Today was pretty much the same but with one big difference. The difference was I wouldn't be riding home! What is the worst sound a bike rider can hear? Most would say the whooshing sound of escaping air from a tyre. Wrong! Some would say a truck a few centimetres away. Correct but luckily for me it wasn't that. So what would the next thing be. Maybe a crunching sound from the rear wheel followed by your back wheel locking up, and then more crunching sounds then your back wheel moving again. The sound was my gear box falling apart and the two little cogs coming free releasing the springy 'bar thing' and it getting jammed into the gears. After picking the pieces from the ground I then said...FAAAARRRRRKKKKK! It had taken me nearing three hours to get where I was and that was at a fast speed. I was also on a village trail where no cars and buses go. After about an hour and a half's walk I hit a road and after flagging down a tractor driver I got a lift for thirty minutes until he had to go one way and I the other. I then had to push my bike around the side of a mountain and the track was full of mud which was fun on the way but not this time. When I finally reached the next village that had a paved road I could sit on my bike and roll down the hills. A guy around twenty or so came out of his house on his bike and looked at me pushing my bike up a slight hill. He looked at my air filled tyres and then looked at me in confusion. I then showed him the pieces. He laughed rode home and grabbed some rope. So for about half an hour he rode and I tailed behind. The road was flat so once he had some speed up it was pretty easy. When we parted I tried my best to ride with a very slack chain but it kept coming off the cogs so I spent the best part of an hour using my bike as a scooter. Joyce met me at the school gate and we headed to the bike shop where they looked at the mud and pieces and told me to come back in a few hours. Joyce and I headed home and played cards whilst watching Tim Burtons 'Corpse Bride' which she found extremely amusing. After I lost cards we headed back to the bike shop. In the end they decided to put a new gear piece and two new small cogs on and it cost me 15 Yuan which is around about 2bux 50! Back home I'm almost certain that when you add labour and parts it would probably be eighty to one hundred Aussie Bux. So there you have it, a rather strange day indeed. But I guess if there weren't strange happenings then you would have nothing to judge such a wonderful life by. Beers N Noodles to ya...shane The soundtrack to this entry that had me bobbin all over the shop was of course the one and only Ramones The album was 'Ramones Mania' Bop To It, 1, 2, 3, 4!

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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