Yangze Cruise

"Hello, this is your river guide Color speaking". A chinese girl with limited English skills and some pronounciation problems introduces herself. We're onboard the cruise ship and she gives a brief introduction. Before this, I broke a thermos in our room. It was pitch black in there and nowhere to find the light switch. I put y bag down on the floor and the sound of something breaking made me curse. W got a boy to show us the light switch and and mop it up. The group was having dinner on shore, so Marcus, my newest room buddy, and I had to leave the cleaning boy. Marc Tried to gesticulate that the kid could just close the door and leavce when he was done since we had to go. After a solid meal and restocking of beer, we went back to the boat. The kid was standing outside the door, guarding our room. Marc's sign language had given the kid a different order than he expected which made us feel a bit bad but also made us laugh. At 20.30 our river guide wanted to give us a briefing over the next few days. That is the most waste of time so far on this trip. She gave some information I will never forget though. "If you've counted the life boats, and there aren't that many, that's ok, our captain is really handsome. And experienced." Jonas and I cracked up and started crying, doing our best to hide our faces. Derek and I realized we're closing in on departure time so we leftthis nightmare and went ashore to get some extra beers, just in case.

Turns out, like everywhere else, the cruise was a scam and they charged you for everything, even breathing. You could not sit anywhere without paying for it, you couldn't drink water from your bottle anywhere on the ship, and their "packages" where you pay for all-inclusive exclude everything you want. Who wants to pay for drinking as much non-alcoholic beer and wine of the house as you want? We felt like they were trying to rape us all the time and it pissed us off. It didn't get better when they showed up in my room and wanted 80 yuan for the thermos. Turned out they had a price list in the drawer over all the things in the room. Shitty TV 2000 yuan, remote control 300 etc. They make money if they manage to get you to break things. After trying to explain the situation to a girl with limited english skills, we agreed to continue tomorrow with my guide as translator. We played some cards and went to bed fairly early.

The next day started with a good breakfast and then an excursion to the ghost city. The city is in fact a temple with some interesting features. During the cultural revolution they burnt down the temple of the god of heaven, cause he was only nice, whereas the temple of the god of the underworld was spared, because they feared him. Proving once again that it's better to be feared than loved. There were some horrible statues of people being tortured for various sins in the temple. On the way out of the temple you could chose which bridge you wanted to cross. One would give you long life, one would give you money. Needless to say, I chose long life:). On the way down you had yet another chance of buying a pig's face to chew on. We settled with lunch onboard the ship.

The evening started with a nice argument in the room with me, Milly and 3-4 crew members. Apparently they wanted to fight for their thermos and they had set the price to 80 yuan, roughly 8 euros. I told them my story and refused to pay, so after alot of hassling, they admitted some guilt and wanted to split it fifty-fifty. I still refused and Milly settled the score with them. The whole situation pissed me off a bit and I went to the guys for some cards to get in a good mood again. The crew had some dancing show in the evening that was ok enough, but afterwards we wanted to have some beers. Since you had to pay with your arms and legs to get drinks onboard, we wanted to drink our own beer. We ended up going up on the sundeck. Only catch was, there was no sun anymore. Clever as we were, we brought with us our flash lights and sat on the top of ship in the pitch black environment with head lights. The wind blew away our cards so we had to make a wind wall with empty beer cans and the help of a sign reminding us not to jump overboard. Turned out the whole situation was really memorable. The view was nice, alot of lit up cities along the river and going under the bridges at night was cool. We went to bed when it got too cold.

Our second excursion was a trip up one of the streams. The river is now fifty meters higher due to the new dam, so old valleys have now turned into rivers and villages and towns are below water. That makes it possible for boats to bring tourists like me upstream. It was quite cool and resembled Norwegian fjords. In one of the mountain sides there was a coffin. Someone decided it would be a nice resting place, so the dude has been lying there for a thousand years or so. The last part of this trip was done in small wooden boats driven by local chinese. They bleong to one of the 56 minorities in China. The local guides were singing while the men were roing and we were filming. All in all a nice experience. I wish I could sing. In the afternoon I had a power nap and got woken up by a phone call. It was mr Cheng, manager of the ship, who wanted to discuss the matters of a thermos. Being half asleep I started explaining before i realized that Derek was playing with me. I hate him. He laughed alot. In the evening it was a talent show and some of the chinese guests did karaoke. After that it was dancing and I managed to drop kick an old chinese lady. MAde me feel bad. That night we passed through the dam and those ship locks are massive! Everything in China i big and during this cruise, we saw many king size bridges being built. Each one of them worth more than Norway spend on their roads each year. China is growing, Everything is BIG, the people not so much:).

In the morning we got out of the boat and took bus to Guilin. From there to Yangshuo we took an overnight train. On the busride, Les and I played trivial pursuit and I learned a new joke:
Do you know the difference between a scot and a rolling stone?
A rolling stone says: "Hey! You! get off of my cloud!"
Whereas a scot says: "Hey! McCloud! Get off of my ewe!"  (Ewe being a female sheep ( I learned that in the game ) )
The time in the train was killed with card games and Derek's hilarious lango ap for his Iphone. ATTENTION! Mom, dad, Kristian, everyone else. The rest of this paragraph contains vulgar language and you may jump to the next paragraph without missing out on anything important. His ap is hilarious. He has a list of different pick up lines, insults and xxx insults in Chinese. Some of our favourites: "If I wanted to hear from an asshole, I would've farted", "suck my dick and wash my car".

We arrived in Yangshuo which is a truly beautiful place!

Some photos:

2011-10-11 Xian-Chengdu


2011-10-16 Chengdu-Yangze Cruise


2011-10-18 Yangze Cruise-Yangshuo


2011-10-19 Yangshuo

1 comment:

  1. hahaha, suck my dick and wash my car. Flott sjekketriks! :D