A Travellerspoint blog

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Alright! Alright! So I’m not in Guangzhou city like we’d all agreed on. And yes I did end up doing the random ticket thing. What are you going to do?

After checking out I honestly I did go to the bus station to grab a ticket to Guangzhou city but as I was walking an even better idea popped into my head. Yes it happens sometimes but not as often as I would like. So I grabbed my Guangdong map and simply decided to head towards a smallish sized city dot somewhere near the Fujian/Guangdong border and try my luck at finding a couple of 'fortified Hakka villages chock-a-block with traditional houses and ancient temples.

So I felt a little let down after my journey from Shantou to Chaozhou!

After grabbing a ticket to what I thought was Meixian city I headed back to drop off my bag at the hotel I stayed at (as I had a four hour wait) and was met by the Ice Queen. Unlike the usual two ladies at the reception desk who were always full of giggles and questions she disliked me from the moment she saw me and would wave off any questions I had to ask which from memory was a total of two. I asked if I could leave my bag behind the front desk and she asked me what room I was staying in, I told her I had already checked out but had a four hour wait and I wanted to spend the four hours walking around the city and she of course said, no room no bag. I replied with the fact that I had stayed for four nights and it was such a simple request. She said no and soon we were in a yelling match which then attracted the attention of the security guard and one of the nice giggly ladies who was thankfully well above her in position and after hushing me she sent the Ice Queen off to the freezer to cool off and happily grabbed my pack to secure it.

I then headed back to the river area and after lunch I walked the ancient city wall again. When I returned the Ice Queen handed back my pack and we said our silent last goodbyes!

On my way back to the bus station the strangest thing happened, two Monks were crossing the road and offered me one of those little gold badges which of course entails a small offering in return and as I was in such a wonderful mood (a new adventure and all that) I decided on ten Yuan which is not a bad sum especially when I give so much to the street people I pass each day. One of the Monks then grabbed my wallet and put the ten Yuan back and took out a one hundred Yuan note, smiled and began walking off with a big smile on his face.

Needless to say after asking him to come back and return it to me and him waving me off I dragged him back by his robe and demanded the return of my money. By this time a small crowd had gathered and I could hear people saying that I had offered ten Yuan and that the Monk had taken one hundred Yuan from my wallet. He I think, then tried to tell everyone that I had given it to him as a donation and then the other Monk who was obviously scared out of his robe about never reaching Nirvana grabbed the money from him and returned it to me and after saying sorry stormed off.

The two of them then walked into the distance arguing between themselves.

I was left standing in disbelief and once I recovered I walked across the road to a homeless family sleeping beneath a tree and gave them the one hundred Yuan which of course they wouldn’t accept until a helpful bystander explained what had happened and after their jaws dropped in disbelief they finally accepted my donation to helping them and their two children.

I have come across many pesky Monks before but never one that actually robbed me! Farking Monkey Boy, send you out of the zoo of peace and bliss!

After I boarded the bus I became a little worried as until the last several minutes there was only myself and a hundred boxes on board but finally another twenty of so passengers rushed to the bus at the last minute. The journey there was horrible as the bus stunk of petrol fumes and boxes continually dropped onto people’s heads from the holders above and by the time we arrived I had the worst headache in the entire world.

Yes it was as I mentally text mailed everyone in the world and mine was the worst, so ha!

After leaving the bus station I sat with a group of Tuk Tuk drivers and found out that I was actually not in Meixian city and that I was in Meizhou city and that Meixian was actually a county made up of several cities and that Meizhou city was actually the administrative center of them all which is very much like where I have been living the past year and a half. Shanglou is the county name and Shangzhou is the main administrative city out of the five that make up Shanglou. What happened next was exactly what I expected, I told them I wanted to visit several local Hakka Peoples villages and they continually told me to go to Yongding in Fujian and that they’d take me there for around eight hundred to a thousand Yuan and even after explaining that I’d already been to Yongding and this time I simply wanted to visit several run down villages they continued with their eight hundred to a thousand Yuan offerings to Yongding.

So what does one do next?

This has actually been a secret of mine for many years but this time I am willing to share it to those who are travelling around China on their own. Simply head to the local Chicken Shop (KFC type thing) and there you will always find several young staff that are more than willing to practice their English by helping out a silly foreigner. They made some calls and soon I had ‘something’ written down to show the taxi driver tomorrow but after a group discussion it was then explained that the people here not only speak several different dialects (some only one) but they also read things differently so a second ‘thing’ was written down to show just in case the taxi driver couldn’t understand the first.

After a huge happy and thankful parting I left totally as you would expect.

I left wondering how the hell these people live with all these differences in their lives. The answer is that it is actually easy as it is made apart of their daily lives from the time they learn to speak. If you have read my last few blogs then you would understand that the local people in Shantou city speak the Teochew language which has no resemblance to Mandarin or Cantonese and that the people only an hour away in Chaozhou city (where I just left) speak the Chaozhou Dialect which of course has no resemblance to Teochew, Mandarin or Cantonese. They all know a little Mandarin but I can’t understand them and most can’t understand me and this was the same where I was living in western Guangxi.

There most spoke some Cantonese but they all also knew some of all the different local dialects from around Tianyang area where I was living.

So needless to say, here in China over the next ten or twenty or so years this will all die as all the students are now only taught Mandarin and English at school but for now as it has always been, southern China really is one hell of a crazy mixed up dialectal world to live and travel in as even their Mandarin is completely different from the north as even poor Luo Wei was constantly left with her arms raised because she had no idea what the hell anyone was saying to her.

So yeah, I can’t speak Chinese, what are you going to do? I think give me a medal for being so brave to constantly travel alone for five years in this crazy country!

To end the blog, after checking out some hotels I finally found the surprise I was looking for, a funky little hotel with orange walls and a bathroom that joins onto my living/bedroom and I even have funky seventies round chairs to kick back in and a flat screen television all for the price of sweet bugger all. For the next few hours I scouted the town and found a wonderful little BBQ area to sit and have my fill before heading back home to funkily do my last several days hand washing.

Have I ever told you how much I hate hand washing! Hate, hate, HATE hand washing!

PS: so tomorrow brings a new adventure as I have no freakin idea what the cute Chicken Girl wrote or where it will take me to but being the adventurous soul that I am I'm willing to jump in a cab and see where I end up......wish me luck! PSS: remember that the photos you see of the inner wall housing by no means resemble the city housing of the inner city which is always more modern and that when the city government do decide to modernise the inner part of the city wall they will be give the occupants next to nothing for their housing which is everything to them as they can't afford anything else. This will happen to Luo Wei's mother next year. She has nothing, never has had anything but the crappy apartment she will soon lose due to tourism and the tiny amount of money the Kaifeng government will give her can not buy her another apartment in which to live. PSSS: unlike in the west where we can protest and take it to tribunals etc, here there is no choice nor question. You simply have to move and if so, onto the streets.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Pavement The album was the awesome ‘Wowee Zowee Sordid Sentinels Edition’ ____________________________________________________________

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room


A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

A Walls Eye View of Chaozhou & My Funky Hotel Room

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login