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Wu Who

CHINA | Thursday, 11 April 2013 | Views [374]

Well its WuHan actually, but we'v e now been travelling for a month so Woo Hoo!

Nothing much happened today, but don't worry, I'll write for a while anyway.

We caught the high speed train from Xi'an to Wuhan then went for a wander about WuHan. 

The High Speed stations are all brand new and sparkling.  Very spacious.  The trains themselves (which can travel at nearly 400km/hour) are very comfortable and spacious, and everyone gets a seat (WooHoo for that too.  We have very often had to stand on public transport, even when carrying our backpacks.  Challenging!)

Wuhan is just a detour on the way, but it is a huge city in its own right.  However, I don't think anywhere near as many english speaking tourists make it here.  I have had a number of people here who can't grasp the idea that we can't speak chinese.  One lady was insistently tryng to get me to sign some sheet which had signatures on it, and kept pointing to the chinese writing above it.  I tried everything I could think of to explain that I had no idea what she was on about.  I said "English", I showed her my mobile phone with english text on it, I tried looking blank and uncomprehending (a practiced look for me), but she just kept shoving the thing at me to sign.  I've still no idea what the petition was about.  The guy behind me was trying to supress his laughter, but wasn't going to explain it to the woman.  In the end, I directed her to talk to him and I moved on.  A stationmaster started to talk to me tonight and it took me a few moments to realise he was speaking english because we haven't had much of that today.  At the end he asked for my email address - not sure what for.  People also kept handing us chinese pamphlets (including a Christian one). In other places we have been they automatically know you are not chinese and either avoid you (if it is chinese only information) or target you (if it is tourist information).  Not here though.  We are only here overnight.

China is a country on the move.  Lots of construction everywhere - not all of it very professional looking but things are happening.  We went out to find a place called the Yellow Crane Tower, and ended up walking 5 or 6 km.  That in itself is not too bad for us, but there was so much construction impeding the way - barriers, holes etc.  And walking on the footpath you still have to run the gauntlet of motor scooters.   People are generally OK here and it mostly feels safe, but tonight we got a bit lost and roads that looked wide and busy on our maps turned out to be dark backalleys.  Probably safe enough even so, but I don't want to tempt fate.

All the way from Xi'an (which at a guess was 800km) the smog just kept getting thicker.  It seems to me that the whole of South East Asia is covered in smog.  Australians should learn from the situation here and make sure we do not follow suite.  I would hate to think that a future Australia might be like this.  Time to take action now.  Enjoy the clean air and blue skies and work to keep them that way for our grandchildren (or other peoples grandchildren if you don't have any of your own).

Thats it for tonight.  We are off to Yishan Dong tomorrow - another fast train but only a 2 hour trip.  Then it is off on the Yantse Cruise and I am not sure if I will have internet there.





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