Mychinaexperience

On the road

I decided to name this post “on the road“because that’s where I spent most of my time during my last week.
As I told you I went in Inner Mongolia for three days, joining a student group. It was    a nine hour bus ride but it certainly paid off. No journey is long with good company, and as I found myself in a bus with about 50 university students, all from different nationalities and with different life goals and experiences, time went by quickly.  It is wonderful to share stories with so many young, open minded people. We went horseback riding through the Grasslands, and it was lucky that we arrived a little late because we could see the sunset. We even saw some stars that night, which is quite a privilege considering that you hardly ever get a glimpse of them in Beijing. We had a quite touristy experience sleeping in an actual Yurt, and getting up early to see the sunrise. The highlight of the second day was definitely riding a camel in the desert, you feel very strange when this huge animal suddenly gets up on his hind legs first and you find yourself in a rather aslant position until you are comfily sitting between the two humps.
On this trip I also learned something important about Chinese mentality – time is flexible, plans can change and sometimes you just have to be patient and enjoy the moment without worrying about what the hotel is going to do with your passport or how you will get a square meal today. It is quite easy to adapt this if you are surrounded by open-minded people who just share the same positive attitude.
However, I didn’t plan to be THAT spontaneous, but as my friend Lea went to join another cultural exchange trip camping the Great Wall, I just paid and registered on the bus back from Mongolia and packed by backpack to join the hike the next day. It would certainly classify for one of the most amazing, memorable, crazy and dangerous things I have ever done. We set off with about thirty people to a rather wild spot on the wall. There are some more touristy ones which are broader and in better shape, but they are so overrun with tourists, especially during the autumn holidays. We arrived at sunset, later than we expected because our bus was leaking oil on the way. We set up our tents, ate our instant noodles and enjoyed great company and Chinese Tsingtao beer again. Again, we felt so welcome by this group of Uni students, and camping together you really make friends. We took a different route next morning and where in a good mood despite of lacking sleep, until our guide told us we had lost our way. Walking along a Great Wall that turned into little more than slippery rocks might be an adventurous, doing so without really knowing if you will make it somewhere is certainly more than that. Anyway, team spirit was up, everyone made it down healthy, we had a great dinner together and who can actually say he got lost on the most popular tourist spot in China?
See you soon,
Resi

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