Thankfully Stuck in Yichang

Trip Start May 30, 2005
1
16
129
Trip End Sep 30, 2006


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Flag of China  ,
Friday, July 15, 2005

We'd hatched another plan to get out of dodge as soon as we'd arrived, but we were scuppered by the pesky Chinese buying all the tickets out of Yichang before we had a chance to buy them. We'd arrived on a Friday morning, and to get to the place we wanted to next visit would mean leaving on Monday evening, I think this is way too long in a place like this. In the end we had to settle for a night bus that left on the Saturday evening to Changsha giving us almost two full days to see what was in store....

Once more there wasn't much on the surface of the town, but it was a much smaller and quieter place than elsewhere with only 4 million people living there, it was positively a hamlet. Walking around you get this real feeling of warmth and friendliness. We'd been stared at in many of the previous places that we'd visited, but this was on another level, people were practically crashing thier bikes while rubber necking us. I don't think that many people do actually stay here for long. The locals were extremely friendly and it only took a little hello before they'd come up to you in order to practise their english. If people in the UK were a fraction as friendly to foriegners as these people then it'd be a far better place to live.

We found a group of people in the park in the evening having a social singalong. They'd all just turned up with their instruments and sound system and then took it in turns to do their party piece. They were more than happy for us to sit there and watch them for a while, but not for long, they wanted some entertainment from us. Nicola stood up to sing a traditional Scottish song that she knew but as soon as she was given the mic the band started playing 'Jingle Bells', I get the feeling they do this all the time for their own amusement. Nicola struggled up there on her own for a while with this before I went up and struggled with her, a problem shared is a problem halved after all. Nicola did get to sing her song after this but they all started clapping before she'd finished in a sort of 'Ok, very nice, now got lost so we can continue our party' kind of a way. We hung around a little longer before skulking off.

For the rest of the time here we just walked around saying hello and watching what everyone was getting up to. By the time we left I was happy with what I'd seen and was glad to be going, I think another day or two would have shown us that there wasn't much else to see. So if you ever find yourself in Yichang, don't just get out as soon as you can. Go to an internet cafe, find the words to Jingle Bells, print them out and go and join the party!

A spectacular Saturday night would be spent on the sleeper bus to Changsha, ohhh I can hardly wait!
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