Mr Rush Rushed, We Didn't.......!

Trip Start Sep 25, 2003
Trip End Apr 23, 2005

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Friday, November 21, 2003

Factoid of the day; "Carefully slip and fall down, attention safety" our favourite 'Chinglish' expression, from a toilet in Kunming.

Abstract:: Arrived Jinghong, sleasy hotel, Sunday hill tribe market, 3 days trekking stayed with 2 lovely minority families in tiny villages and were the first foreigners they'd seen. Returned to Jinghong to watch England win the rugby world cup on internet!

Nitty Gritty:
Bottled out of 2 day bus trip from hell by flying from Lijiang to Jinghong which was fun as we were the only westerners and took much delight in watching the Chinese rush to get on to the plane even though they had numbered seats.

Jinghong was hot and humid and full of palm trees and pineapples and very different from Lijiang. In fact it didn't really feel like China at all. Got to see quite a lot of it as bus from airport dropped us miles from anywhere. Booked in to good value hotel which was cheap if a little sleasy and if you were an unaccompanied male, your bat phone rang all night with offers from various ladies of the night.

Met a great 18 year old from Seattle called Jackson and the three of us got the red eye express to a market some diatance away frequented by local hill tribes. It was amazingly colourful and seemed to be a competition for who could be the most garish. We were mesmerised by a particular tribe whose woman had large round faces and sharp fringed bobs and were strikingly beautiful. My digital camara is great for taking surupticious shots of people and Graham has mastered the art of folding his arms and taking photos from between his fingers! Then the americans arrived with 2 foot long telephotos pointed in peoples faces........

We arranged a 3 day treck North West of Jinghong with a guide called Mr Rush - Rush by name, Rush by nature! We were suitably impressed when he arrived on the departure day with a carrier bag and a machetti. 3 hours on a terrible road and the rush began. Enroute, our driver took much delight in getting Graham to drive with lots of enthusiastic thumbs up until Graham hurtled down a hill towards a lake and nearly left the chassie on the road.

Mr Rush was an English teacher and was extremely opinionated about Communism and was very well read - also listened to the BBC world service etc. China he said had opened up in the last 5 years and government spies were no longer on the listen for those opposed to the regime. A typical scene was for Mr Rush to be 1km ahead of us whilst we struggled up extremely steep and slippery sections, moaning about our footwear, whilst our guide wore black slip on shoes.

Day 1 finished at the house of a village medicine man where we were made to feel very welcome and all sat around the cooking pot and fire prattling on to each other, not understanding a word the other was saying, but somehow knowing what was being said. They were Laghu people. A chicken was killed for our supper - in front of us so that we could see that it was fresh, and a great meal prepared. Tonight was our first taste of paint stripper, I mean moonshine, the local liquor. Boy was it strong!. We were then visited by all kinds of people who had not seen foreigners before and it was a truely memorable experience. One lady knew we had come from afar, and thought we were from Beijing as that was as far away as she knew!

Mr Rush was very keen on Churchill and we taught hime the 'Mr Churchhill you are drunk, and you Miss Jones are ugly, but I shall be sober in the morning" quote which he loved and reminded us of the 'Mr Churchill if I was your husband I'd put poison in your tea, and if I was your husband I'd drink it" quote.

Mr Rush was truely reved up on Day 2 and rushed us into the ground, covering some 20miles or so through primary forest (luckily no leeches). Some villagers we passed told him not to take us anywhere as they thought we were American spies. We were invirted to spend the night in a Dai village where we were the first foreigners in the village / to be seen by villagers and as we sat resting our smoking feet, 40 or so people surrounded us and we now know how animals in a zoo feel. It was great though!

All in all we had a terrific time, we were promised a trek through primary forest and to places where the villagers had not seen foreigners and Mr Rush reallly delivered. We even got to pick our own satsumas off the tree.

Champions! Cahmpions! Watched England win the rugby world cup in a Jinghong internet cafe. By watch the match, I mean the score card and it was pretty nail biting stuff clicking the refresh button every second of extra time. In celebratory style, went to find some aussies but to no avail - infact had to wait over a week before we could gloat!

Spent 2 days recovering from our trek - this time in a top guest house. Sadly the boat we hoped to take down the Mekong to Thailand got cancelled due to an accident involving a boat sinking and the Chinese police no longer allow westerners to travel this route by cargo boat so the bus it was.
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