I had pleanty on in the first place. Two long johns and thick trousers and 3 t shirts and a top and coat. I think she was just sad that I was leaving or nervus that I was going on my own. We got a taxi to the resteraunt.
Sarah LuLu and my self had gone there the day before and Sarah liked the shrimps there so we were going again.
Chinese people love food and they talk about it all the time. They talk about it before they eat it, they talk about it when they are eatting it and even plan for the next meal while they are eatting. This seems to be a stronger trait in Shanxi compared to places I have been in the south.
When Sarah and Lulu were eatting the shrimps this is what they said. word for word
Lulu "is it tasty?"
Sarah " yes it is tasty"
Lulu " I think its very tasty"
Sarah "Its so good"
Lulu " Its so tasty"
Sarah "Its so tasty"
I am not joking that is exactly what they said in chinese. They were like robots repeating them selfs.
It does not stop there. when ever Dad is about to start cooking a meal he comes and askes Sarah and I what we want to eat. I was silly enough to actually tell him what I wanted once. "noodles would be nice" he gave me a blank stare for half a second and then said. " Buns are good". Off he went. I never asked again because he is not really asking what we want, he is just talking about food.
When the food is on the table he will tell us how he cooked it all, in great detail. Then when I start eatting the food he will say some thing like " Oh Tim is eatting lamb, Tim had a whole bowl of lamb yesterday!, he can eat another bowl today", Then maybe I reach for a sweet potatoe and he would say some thing like "Oh Tim loves sweet potatoe, he has two every meal, he mixes it with the meat, its very tasty, sweet potatoes are very cheap now".
I have a running commentry when I eat.
Then if I am not eatting what he wants me to eat he will start giving me a sideways glance as if I was doing something wrong. If I dont pick up and act on this distictly unsubtle hint he will tell me "Eat this meat Tim, Its very tasty, its 20 yuan for 1 Jin ( one Jin is about half a kg I think, but could be horribly wrong), I cooked it with peppers and garlic", and he will eather get the plate and dump the contence of it in my bowl or just pile up the meat to one side of the plate and face it towards me.
It alot more aggresive when it comes to drinking. Usually we drink together when he is angry. Before the meal is ready I will hear " TIM, DRINK ALCOHOL!". Thats my que. We sit down he brings out the wine and fills up a large glass for each of us. then we drink it very fast. He has slowly stopped drinking so much. I think its because he gets debilitating hangovers now that he is getting older.
Mum cooked supper yesterday and she called us all to dinner, I think Dad felt a bit robbed of his rights and just after Mum said " lets eat" Dad said " EEEAAT!!!" as if to upstage Mums call to food.
So back to what I was talking about in the biggining. we went out for a meal with Mum and Dad. We had some wine and many dishes like chinese hamburgers, tofu and of course Sarahs tasty shrimps, which she ate all of accept for maybe 3 which Dad had. Mum didnt eat much. She is a bit picky, she does not like meat, spicy food or sea food. Also she has some strange idea that if she does not eat much then Sarah and I can eat more and become stronger, she would always take the worst food on the plate and leave the rest for us. Anyway she only really ate at the end when they brought the rice porrage. Matbe that sort of behaviour comes from a time when there was not enough food for the whole family and the parents would give the children more of the food.
After that we went back home. Shower, shave got to the train station and got on a sleeper train to Baijing at 11 at night. I listend to my I pod and drank some of the beer that Dad had given to me. After I had drunk it I put the empty bottle under my bed where my bags were so that if anyone tried to steel them during the night it would make a sound. I thought this was very clever. I also tied two of my bags together so it would make it extra hard for would be theifs. I stayed awake till very late too excited to sleep and thinking about being back home. I eventually fell into a uneasy sleep. I woke up suddenly into a waking dream and I saw 5 chinese men starring at me in a dissaproving manner, I went back to sleep and they vanished. I woke again at about 6 when they turned the lights back on and slumberd while looking out the window at the siluets of mountains concreat buildings and the occasional traditional chinese building with the corners of the roofs jutting out and curling up. It brought to my mind images of Alladins shoes.
The sun rose and by 8 we arrived at chilly Baijing. I followed Lulus directions and went left and found the air port shuttle bus, amist many taxis, privet buses and motor bike taxis all trying to get me as there fare. I got on the bus and as we drove away the man next to me started talking to me. My heart usually sinks when people do this to me in China. When I first came out I loved it and had this image of me as a curious traveler interacting and having strange adventures with real Chinese people, but now after many a conversation with many unknown people, I have realised that at least they all ask the same questions and at there worse they can be very rude or even thretening. Thankfully this man only assalted me with his horrific english which sounded like he was holding his nose and trying not to swallow a plum. We exchanged a few words and then thankfull he got the hint that I was not in the mood for talking. I was really not in the mood for talking.
We arrived at Baijing air port terminal 3. I am very impressed with the air port. Unlike heathrow or gatwick which is crowded stressfull and confusing, Baijing air port has a very tall cealing and has lots of people to guide you around the vast terminals. I went to the information desk and got them to ring the hotel so that they could pick me up.
Ten minuets later a small chinese man came and pushed my luggage out with me to the bus that had come to collect me. The man sat in the back with me and showed me his collection of american, african and new zealand moneys. He then asked if I wanted to swap them for chinese money. I said no. I thought it was pritty wierd. Then he told me that I should tip the driver, this was even more wierd as no one ever tips any one in china. I thought it was a bit rude and said no again, but he kept on insisting, I still said no, smiling. Then we got to the hotel and I gave in my pass port. He started rifling though it commenting on the visas I had, I was liking him less and less. " so we will wake you at 8 tomorrow and you can go at 9 to the air port" he said in a way that sounded like he was the boss. "no I want to go at 8" I said. He looked a bit worried and said there was no coaches going at this time.
He took me to my room and logged on to my computer and got the internet working for me. After it was done he sat there and stared at me menacingly "give me some tips" he said. He was really staring to piss me off. I stood up and towerd over him "no" I said looking him in the eye. "no?" he said. I pointed to the door and told him to get out. He left in a huff. It made me so angry that this little shit had the nerve to ask for a tip. I thought about what I would do if he asked again. Dark thoughts crept into my brain.
So I am just waiting till tomorrow untill I set off to old England. I have a bath in my room and I am going to have my first bath in 8 months.
I found out the bath does not work the water is cold and the shower has the power of a dribbling baby. Woe is me.