Source: TravelBlog: http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/China/
October 7th 2009 by BrendainChina
I was supposed to meet Helen at 12:30, and I had this grand plan that I was going to get up at 9:00 and get everything ready.. Well, at 11:30 I got up because there was knock at my door. I couldn't decide if it was my door or not, so I didn't get up until the second knock. It was Kyle. I'm sure I looked a mess in my pajamas and glasses. He asked if I was still going on the trip, what time, and with who(m?).. I answered him, and he was like, well, I just wanted to say have a good trip and smiled. I REALLY think he was going to ask me if I wanted to get some lunch before I left, but he noticed I was nowhere near ready. He asked if I wanted his knee brace because it was really sweaty. I said, "Umm.. I think I'm good."
I got in the shower after that and started packing. Helen called a few minutes after 12 and asked if I was ready. I told her I needed a few minutes, and she asked if she could come to my apartment. I said sure, and within
Wudang at Night
like 2 minutes she was there. She knocked maybe 3 times before I got to the door. I've learned that Chinese people aren't the most patient when it comes to someone answering the door.
She came in and sat at the table. She said that the bus would not leave til 1:30, so we had time. I got on my computer. She came in and stood there. I told her she could sit down, so she did. I asked if she wanted an orange or water. She said no. I asked if she wanted to watch t.v.. She said no. She just wanted to have a rest.. aka sleep on the couch.
We left about 12:45 to go buy some water and snacks. I bought a bottle of juice, a bottle of water, and some little bears. We got on the bus and waited. Turns out I had to go to the bathroom. I didn't have enough time to go use it though. We left right on time and made random stops. I was hoping the bus wouldn't be very full, but it ended up having people sitting on little fold up stools in the aisles. It was
The Dreadful Bus
ridiculous. Helen said we'd be at Wudang Mountain by 3:20. At about 3:30 I didn't think I was going to make it - I had to go to the bathroom so bad. 3:40 or so rolled around and we got off.
I told Helen as soon as we got off that I had to go to the bathroom. We found one.. well, it was outside with some brick walls and holes in the cement floor. There were bugs and flies everywhere. When we left we discovered you had to pay .5 yuan to use it. Oh well.
We walked around while Helen stopped everyone to ask questions. I had no idea what was going on. Then she told me that it would be cheaper to find somewhere to stay the night and just climb the mountain tomorrow. Great. We walked around some more while she asked questions. She talked to a local store owner, and she told me that we would stay at their home for 100 yuan. We would have one bedroom with two beds. I thought that was real weird/awkward, but who was I to argue? So, we waited for the guy to go get his
car.. aka a van. I'm not gonna lie... I was nervous.
We went to his home, and the one bedroom and two beds turned into one bedroom with one tiny bed and someone sleeping on the couch. Not cool. We paid him anyway, and he left us there.
Helen decided she wanted to go walk around the town of Wudang. We went to a bunch of different shops for her to look at the exact same things every time - a mirror, jewelry, and keychains. At about 5:30 I said something about dinner. It occurred to me that I hadn't eaten anything except an orange all day. We went to a restaurant in the supermarket. She asked if I liked spicy food, and then she asked if I liked acid food. I didn't know how to answer because I didn't know what "acid food" meant. She ordered and we sat down. She asked if I liked beef. Luckily I do.. she ordered something that had tomatoes (it's funny how many times I have said I didn't care for cooked tomatoes, and I always seem to get them), beef, and "flounce". Look up flounce and tell me what it
Helen asked me to take a picture of her praying.
means... it's not a food. Then she told me it tasted like Wrigley's Doublemint Spearmint gum. I was super nervous. They brought it out and it was on a plate that had a huge leaf like thing on it. The rice, tomatoes and beef were on top. It was actually good. They served us hot water. The more I get hot water, the more I hate it. While we ate she asked what Americans ate for dinner. She said that she always saw them eating steak (she didn't know the word steak, so I had to help her) and drinking red wine on the television. I explained that not everyone eats that.. and it's not something you would eat all the time.
After dinner we went to the supermarket. She bought food because the food on the mountain was supposed to be really expensive. I didn't buy anything... I had my little bears and an orange.. and I didn't know what to buy.
We went to a make up shop after that. She decided she would get a makeover. (It's dark outside at this point.) I sat and waited and played on my iPod. One of the employees
watched me play Cowboy Slingshot. It was crazy. I feel like it took forever.
We decided to go back to where we were staying after that. On the way, Helen said, "Look! There are foreigners!! Do you want to talk to them?" I didn't have time to answer before she started dragging me over. They turned out to be from Switzerland, but they had moved to South Carolina. The lady was asking me how I became a teacher.. she was really interested. I just said I had a friend. Helen asked me after we talked if they were Swedish. I said, "No. That would mean they are from Sweden. Those people were Swiss." We saw a boy walking the other way who was American. She said hello, and he said, "Nihao." She got super excited.
We finally got home, and the shop owner's dad told us we could have the other bedroom with the big bed in it. So we moved our stuff in there. I looked at the bed, and the sheets didn't look real clean. I took the cleaner looking side. His wife was going to sleep in the other room. She came in and talked
I thought this was an interesting collection of things to buy.
to Helen and just stared at me.
We went to bed about 10. About 10:10, Kyle sent me a message asking how my trip was. I told him we were staying at someone's house, and he replied with, "Awesome! I like staying with people. Hopefully it will be a good experience." I slept terribly. Helen asked me if I wanted to keep the night light above the bed on. I said, "That's okay." meaning, "no." Well, don't say "that's okay" because to her that meant "yes. please keep it on." She turned it off around 2 am I'd say.
The next morning I woke up at 6:30. Helen said it was time to get up. We went and had breakfast. I had these not so good dry noodles and some drink that was "like milk but made from beans". It wasn't too bad, actually. We went back to the place we stayed and walked with the lady to the mountain. We took this shortcut that turned into walking up this crazy steep hill that had a random trail on it. It was insane.
We bought our tickets and went to the bus to ride to the bottom
of the mountain. There was a baby across the aisle from me. I thought she was really cute until she started throwing up. It was so gross. I looked over at Helen a few minutes later, and she had her hand over her mouth. She got someone to get her a bag. She didn't actually throw up, but she came close. I felt really sick by the time we got off the bus. It was bad. Oh, one of the girls on the bus had pants on that had "Teenie Weenie" written across the back. Why would you wear something like that?
So we got off the bus, and it turns out the mountain is walking up about a million stairs. I kept thinking about going to Scotland and walking up all those stairs to see the castles. I kept thinking I would love to just sprint up those right then.. It was rough. There would be like 60 stairs, a little break, and then 60 more. My legs were aching. We made it up to what we thought was the top and then discovered that it wasn't. Helen said something about paying 20 yuan for a ticket to
see some buildings and yellow gold. At that point, I didn't even care to see it. I said I would just wait for her where we were thinking she'd come back and we'd go to the top. I was wrong. She came back and was like, "Are you ready to go back down?" So, I didn't even make it to the top.. but you know what? I don't really care. I've decided that mountain climbing isn't my thing. You climb all the way to the top just to go back down.
While we were on the mountain we saw the same foreigner we saw the night before... the one who I thought was American. Helen ran up to him, and he came over and we talked for a few minutes. He was a teacher somewhere else. His name was Matt. He was cute. He asked if we were going to the top. I said, "Yeah... maybe." He told us that the guy with him kept telling him they were halfway there so he didn't know how much longer they had.
Another thing that was interesting was that they had men who carried you up the mountain on those
little seats that they put over their shoulders.. it always makes me think of royalty. They all kept asking me if I wanted to ride. I kept saying no.. but it didn't stop them from asking over and over.
We were going to take a cable car down, but the wait was 4 hours. We walked down. I for real thought my legs were going to give out. It was nuts. We finally made it to the bottom and then had to get back on the bus. We thought it was too late for a bus, so we had called a taxi, but then some girls came running up and said there was a bus to take us. I was getting really irritated because I was hungry and exhausted, and I kept thinking, "Be fascinated... not frustrated" because I knew if I let it get to me, my whiny/angry side would come out. I put in my earphones and blasted my iPod the whole trip to DJK. Helen slept on my shoulder.
We took a taxi back to the school because the bus only took us to our city. We went to the crunchy rice place at 9:00
pm for dinner. I got my usual, and it was the best thing I've ever tasted.. I was so glad to be home.
I opened my apartment door and the mouse went running. I lost it in the living room, so I just waited for it. It came running, and I had it trapped until I opened the door to the kitchen. It went in there and found it's way out before Kyle got there to get it for me.. I hate that thing. It's tricky.
And that's the end.