I again have acted very impulsively.
I wasn't really thinking that they'd grant me a Chinese Visa. I remember before that as a part of a t.v. crew, it took us weeks to get a 7 day duration in Shanghai. So when I applied for it here in Vietnam, I was really just pushing my luck.
And lady luck was on my side. Not onlydid they give me a visa but they gave me a multiple entry, sixty days one. I was actually was just intending to go to Guangxi Province but since I got a good price for my bus ride to Nanning, again on a whim, I decided to push through to Beijing - one of if not the number one foreign city that I've been dreaming to visit.
I had to braise myself for the journey though because it was no easy feat. 38 hours of bus and train rides were right before me. So I brokethe journey in to two. I decided that I'd be staying in Nanning for one night to rest and get the 28 train ride journey to Beijing the following morning.
So I said goodbye to Hanoi, my ethereal home for the last 10 days. I had the best time here not only because I got to see a dead body but the beer is such a tourist trap.
(My Green Bus)
(The surreal views from my bus window)
I took the four hour bus to Lang Son, the northern part of Vietnam and the border province to Guangxi, China. I was surprised to see that I'm the only backpacker on board. Most of them were Vietnamese traders and or Chinese returning back to China.
I got to meet this cool Viet dude who for some reason, his name always gives me the grin. K.Y. ( I don't know what it means) is a student who'll be studying in Nanning for two years to learn the Chinese Language.
He had a fair amount of English with him so we got to talk a lot about him being a student and him going to a different country for the first time. I told him that everything would be fine, and that for some reason, even though we all have different cultures, we just learn to adapt and co-exist with whatever culture or wherever place we want to relocate.
We reached the Friendship Gate (Border of Vietnam and China) by around 2pm. I was again kinda iffy, because they were having a long time scrutinizing my passport. Apparently, for that land border crossing, it was the first time that the immigration guy saw a Philippine Passport. I was explaining then that not many Pinoys would travel over land and they just usually use the airport.
I got out of Vietnam and in to the Chinese Immigration in an hour or so, and since we were just using a bus, everyone was waiting for me. I kinda felt awkward but I know that it wasn't my fault. So the journey continued and on we went to Nanning.
I arrived in Nanning relatively late already and I just realized that I don't have any Chinese money with me. And the banks are closed already for me to exchange currency notes.
I had to explain really hard to a cab driver, who didn't know a single english word (it's not his fault, I should have learned some useful Chinese words for me to survive but I was just too lazy that I didn't bothered), that I had to go to an ATM and withdraw some money, to wait for me while I'm doing it, and then bring me to a youth hostel. And that believe me took ages.
I got a good room in Yingbin Fabian, a big room actually for just 250 pesos or around 35 Yuan. Took a long hot shower and decided to go and buy a ticket to Beijing. The Hard Seat cost around 1500 pesos and the Hard sleeper cost 3500. For a 28 hour journey, guess what I took? Since I really don't have enough money, I decided that 28 hours sitting will just do me good. Surprisingly, it was really ok. Not comfortable, but I didn't die doing it.
The chair was cushioned but was really on a 90 degree angle, and you cant slide them down. I again took some sleeping pills and when I woke up, 12 hours had pass. I then just decided to pass time listening to some mp3's that I got in Hanoi. Bebel Gilberto (Brazilian) and Cesaria Evora's remixed albums really did the trick. I also finished (finally) THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA which I just so love. I have a dream cast for this already, but Hollywood decide to get Meryll Streep and Anne Hathaway instead. (Good choices but I would have loved to see Toni Collette and Anna Paquin playing the lead roles).
And after more than 48 hours of Journey, I got in magnificent Beijing in one piece. I checked in Jing Hua Youth Hostel, which is, to my surprise more cheaper than in Nanning. I'm just paying 140 pesos for a dorm type accomodation, I'm sharing it with these two cool Swedish backpackers as well - Easper and Linda. Had a few bottles with them and decided to call it a long day.
I am just so dead tired now that I just really want to go to bed and get that much needed sleep.
My love affair with Beijing will start tomorrow as I again will visit a corpse for breakfast. This time it'll be Mao Tse Tsung's.
Pao meets Mao. I love it already. Hehe...