The Greatest Dam in the World!

We arrived in Yichang last night more than an hour late, so we were on the train in total about 27 hours. We had nice bunks right next to the bathroom and the smoking area. The train policeman was particularly interested in us and would come sit on our bunks and light up every once in a  while. Of course there is no smoking allowed in the bunk areas, but once the policeman was smoking, hey why not all join in? He taught me to pronounce "How much?" and "That's to expensive" properly, and in exchange I taught him that expensive was the opposite of cheap. He also got me to draw him a maple leaf (which he knew had something to do with Canada). I don't usually trust policemen (especially here), and I got a little bit nervous when he asked me to see my passport. It was all ok, he just wanted to see my visa to Vietnam, and he proceeded to warn us, "be careful there".  The train ride wasn't particularly picturesque, mostly farm land and all three of our meals (that we brought along) consisted of noodles (just add water).
When we arrived in Yichang we walked to the Trainstation Hotel, we got a double room for about 15$, however we had to contend with huge cockroaches. Actually, I'm exaggerating, it was only one huge cockroach, but it was enough to have Yann and I wrapped in our sleeping bags stuck together on the same single bed all night (the one that was not against the wall). I thought we could draw a line of DEET around the bed and they wouldn't cross it, but Yann thought I was crazy. Oh yeah, no hot water either. 
The main and only tourist site in Yichang is the ridiculously gigantic Three Gorges Dam. We did a four hour tour today with a Chinese tour group. Dozens and Dozens of tour buses climb to the top of the dam with each passenger paying almost 20$ each for access.  Its all quite bizarre, Yann stopped me from buying the "Greatest Dam in the  World" t-shirt, a t-shirt which  I think pretty much sums up how I feel about the Three Gorges Dam.  The little kids from other tour groups liked to come up and say "Hello, how are you?" they are very very cute, when we responded "I'm fine thank you, how are you?" they would giggle and run away, only to come back a few minutes later and begin again.
The food here is delicious, and cheap and I've had to practise my Chinese because nobody here speaks English. The advantage of being in a non-touristy city is that you are treated the same way as others when it comes to pricing. However, there are no English menus anywhere, which is fine when there are pictures, but there are no pictures either. Yann tried the point randomly at 2 dishes method and got laughed at by the waitresses, instead we walked around to other tables until we saw something we liked. A grand success!       
We spent all morning at the ferry terminal shopping for the perfect cruise. We've come to the conclusion that every single counter is selling tickets for the same boat. We opted for 2nd class tickets, that cost us about 75$/each for 4 days and three nights, EEEEK.
We leave tomorrow and we'll be in Chongqing in about 4 days!         

1 comment:

mom said...

I think I have figured out how to make comments.I rush to the computer first thing in the morning to see what new stories you have to tell.