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Finally Beers N Noodles With Aussie Crusty

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Plans huh, who needs 'em! Like me, I bet you thought I’d be in Longshen town in Guangxi Province now. Well that is the most likely place to head from Yangshuo if you are on your way to Guizhou.

Somehow though, I ended up six hours north in Hunan Province instead. Plans huh, who needs ‘em!

You know when you have one of those ‘best friends that you’ve never met’, usually you just accept the fact that you probably will never meet. If though, there are Beers N Noodles involved and you are both in the same country to share them then there’s no stopping such a meeting. Many years ago I got an email from Tote Hotel Richie Ramone telling me that one of his friends/bar staff/band members was having a bad time teaching in China. He’d been here for almost a term trying to do the teaching thing but his school was pretty much using his western face as advertising and had him in the city square holding signs advertising the school he worked for along with doing classes at ungodly hours.

By the time I got Richies email Simon was fed up with his dream China. He was also several days away from purchasing a ticket home back to Australia. This of course also meant that the China he knew then would be the one he would remember.

Emails were swapped and emails went to and fro and soon Buckland’s had him teaching on the semi-tropical island of Hainan which can be found just across from the Philippines and Vietnam. Thankfully after the following term he left China with enough of his ‘dream spark’ intact and went back to Australia to spend the next several years back at university studying both Mandarin and Chinese history etc throughout which we always kept in contact via MSN.

<u>So here is the very strange and confusing way that we met in Changsha City</u>

Wednesday (14thJuly) I rose around mid morning and after checking out I grabbed the first bus back to Guilin where I was supposed to grab a ticket to Longshen County in Guangxi Province to re-visit the Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces that I visited back in 2006 but instead, after several text messages with Simon I decided to completely change my summer plans and grabbed a bus ticket to Changsha city where I had actually planned to end my summer break prior to busing it back south to Yangshuo to collect my bags before heading east back into Fujian Province to begin teaching.

Instead of heading two hours to Longshen six hours later I arrived in Changsha city. Changsha is the capital city of Hunan Province and not a city I ever planned to visit as a tourist.

I arrived at the cities South Bus Station and soon after mentally slapping a handful of cab drivers who wanted me to pay two hundred Yuan for a twenty Yuan fare I grabbed the shot gun seat in a cab who’s driver was more than over hyped on beetle-nut and not long after I was holding on for dear life as we zipped in and out of Changsha’s traffic towards the train station area. As I had told him the price I wanted to pay for a hotel he was hell bent on finding one in that price range.

We spent a speedy time going from hotel to hotel trying to find one that wasn’t charging an arm and a leg and finally I had to settle on one that just cost me an arm.

<u>Here is where our stories begin to overlap!</u>

Thursday (15th July) was a very confusing day indeed.

After texting Simon who had no idea throughout his journey west from Hangzhou city on the east coast as to what time he was to arrive in Changsha I thought that he’d get in mid morning or sometime prior. I was woken by a text message that I sleepily read incorrectly and fell back to sleep. I then kicked back in my hotel room messing around on the computer and doing some hand washing and around two in the afternoon I got a text from Simon telling me that he had found a cheaper place to stay and as it was only two I asked how he found it when he was still on the train.

I then found out he arrived in Changsha city at 4:30am. I misread his earlier text and thought he was arriving at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Soon after we finally met in the small dumpling eatery beside my hotel and as we slowly made our way towards the river area we found out that last night NOT ONLY HAD WE BEEN IN THE SAME HOTEL….BUT WE ACTUALLY HAD ROOMS BESIDE EACH OTHER. As I had spent several hours at a street BBQ eating and drinking beer I was still awake and had actually heard him arrive at his room but as he was speaking Chinese I had no way of knowing that the person checking in was actually a foreigner.

Anyhow….yudda…..yudda......yudda….sleeping and waking and the next day.

When we finally arrived at the Xiang Jiang (River) made our way along the river laughing and catching up on friends and music back home in Melbourne Australia. We then headed back into the city and up to Tianxin Park to check out the city wall remains and the Heart of Heaven Pavillion and even though it is small it does offer a bit of peace and quiet.

We then checked out the city’s Pedestrian Street which is found along Huangxing Lu and here can be found all of the normal brands and eateries such as KFC and Mc Donald’s but thankfully and to both of our delights we found a small but very awesome Snack Street where we filled up on all kinds of BBQ snacks.

Then near the beginning of the Pedestrian Street we headed down another small street that took us past a heap of pet shops and down to a Bar Street.

Here we happily found tiger beer on tap but the only problem which was a big problem was that just after we entered the owner decided that we needed loud country and western music along with no lights and a disco ball even though we were trying to read and talk. We left after one beer and moved on to the Friends Bar which was a nice place to kick back and relax and not long after our forth Dutch Beer we both felt like we were back in Yangshuo. After several more Dutch Beers we caught a cab back to my hotel and moved on down to the BBQ Area I found last night.

There we stayed until sun rise as around us the locals began to close the BBQ Area and then sadly they then had to begin opening their day time food stores in time for the breakfast clients.

On Friday (16th July) morning I woke up around four in the afternoon and still very hung over I met Simon for a city walk that took us to the train and bus station areas where we checked out tickets to Dehang Village. We then headed north and spent a few hours walking around both Nianjia and Yuejin Lakes and then Lieshi Park and as our hangovers were still noticeable we then across to the other side of the city where we dropped into &#8216;a Little Taste of Flavour’ which is a chicken and rice restaurant that is also located in Hanzhong city. Its d&eacute;cor is very European and its food is usually very delicious.

<u>Now for a bit on Changsha City</u>

Situated in the river valley along the lower part of Xiang River, Changsha is the capital city of Hunan Province. The recorded history of Changsha can be traced back 3000 years to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC) and Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) and has a population of around 5.82 million.

Tomb relics from the primitive periods show that some of the earliest human activities have been discovered in this region. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C. - 476 B.C.) the area developed into an important town within the State of Chu, (one of the seven warring states that existed before China's unification by Emperor Qin). After Emperor Qin (the first feudal emperor in China's history) unified the country, the town was set up as a county and later became the capital city of the state in the early Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220).

Although not as ancient a capital city as Beijing, Nanjing or Xian, Changsha also has rich historical heritages including old wall remains (1386), tomb sites, religious temples and buildings. The village of Shaoshan which is about one hundred and thirty kilometers south-west of Changsha is the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong. Today, the village has become a memorial place for Chinese people to remember this extraordinary man. People erected a statue of the Chairman and have preserved the houses he lived as a tourist site. A museum and other memorial spots in the scenic area create a kind of solemn atmosphere.

Many Chinese come to pay respect and visit here during the memorial days.

Changsha people boast to be the best gourmand of China and here people spend a lot of time eating. Xiang Cuisine is one of the Eight Cuisines in China and has a fine and delicate appearance and a hot & sour taste and the heavy and hot taste is an equal competitor to the spicy food of Sichuan. Street dining and restaurants in the city make every visitor's mouth hot. No matter the featured snacks - 'Stinky Tofu' and 'Sisters’ Rice Balls' in Huogongdian (Fire Palace) or the famous spicy shrimps at Nanmenkou, the many types of delicious local food will not disappoint any guests. Changsha people are also renowned for their acting and have created various traditional folk art performances of their own including the local operas, storytelling, drum opera, acrobatics and other dramatic styles.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Blue Oyster Cult The album was the eternal &#8216;Agents of Fortune’ ____________________________________________________________

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty


Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Beers In Changsha With Aussie Crusty

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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