Monday, July 7, 2008

Biking along the Yuong

Dave and I decided to take some mountain bikes along the Yulong river. We saw great scenes of rural life, the sharp hills standing against the rice fields and sun reflecting river. We found a spot where we could lean our bikes up against a tree and take a swim. There was a crossing point, a ridge of concrete, which allowed water to spill over it's lip and roll down in a half to one metre waterfall fashion. The length of this ridge was probably 50 metres, along which the locals would pass carrying loads on their shoulders and walking with nonchalent ease. We tried it and were close to falling on the slime, as did a young dog which had the same problem. When we saw a western women on the other bank attempting to take her mountain bike over we warned her not to. There was no doubt that she would have fallen having to carry that also. Dave, who spoke some mandarin, conversed with an elderly chinese lady and told this tourist where she could find some rafts-men a little further down. The tourist walked away, rather frustrated, and without a word of thankyou for us probably saving her from an injury.

We cycled on through some cool old style hamlets and along rough paths, enjoying chasing the setting sun. We got to a bridge just passed Baisa, which supposedly had some significance in that locality, and looked out at the karsk scenery, before heading back along the main road to Yangshuo as darkness set in. Back in our town of residents Dave and I sat at a table by the road and ordered the same as our neighbouring eaters, it looked nice, and drank beer.

In the evening we sat back at the guest house, drinking some more. Two french girls joined us and when our bottles were empty we told them that we were going to get some more from the local shop and did they want some. It was now gone mid-night and the girls were to be leaving the following morning. They would forego the invitation. Dave told them to shout if they changed their minds. Thrity seconds later one of them ran after us and shouted to make it two bottles for them.

Walking on with Dave I saw a cutely dressed chinese lady, with fluffed out black hair, a tight top, puffed out shorts that looked like a mini skirt, pink socks to just below the knees. She looked funky. Going the same way we nearly caught up with her and Dave said quite quietly from behind, "Hi!". She turned quickly around and was immediately engaged by my friend in conversation and invited to have a drink with us. She was already drunk from a night out with her work company and was keen.

This kinky chinese thing wanted to play drinking games. We decided not to return with the beers. We found a roadside table and began by playing a game in which one counted "one... two... three" and then called out the predicted total of fingers held up by oneself and that of the other player. If you got it right the other player had to drink a glass of beer. Then the girl sent someone to get a deck of cards, which she payed them for, and we continued on to a card game involving incredibly vast amounts of alcohol in a short time.

This woman was interesting. She was in Yangshuo on holiday with about twenty other work colleagues. She hadn't been enjoying the night with them and so had left the bar. She said she was glad to meet us and told some of her story. She had a managerial role within a construction company. Her role was connected to advertising, earning her 8000 rmb a month, a very good salary in China. But she hated it and it's confines. You could tell by the way she dressed and her tattoes on her thigh and back and between her breasts running down to her stomach that she wanted freedom. Apparently she enjoyed the pain of receiving the images and told us how she'd watched a porn movie while having the one down her sternum. She talked of how she hated money and insisted on paying for everything. Money was what held her to the confines of work and in some kind of act of rebellion wanted to chuck it away when she got it.

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