Thursday, 3 November 2011

China - the journey to kungfu

Just to set the scene, it's 7pm on the second day of my month here at the kungfu camp, every muscle in my body is on fire, my knuckles are cut (from doing press ups on concrete) and I'm shattered from these 5am starts and lack of protein. Having said all that, this is exactly what i expected and hoped for and I'm having a fantastic time here! 

I'll start with my development in India that I was being coy about. I wanted to let the mother unit (hi mum!) know via message before she found out on here, but I got a phoenix tattoo done in Goa. I did loads of research first to make sure I went to a good and clean place and put a fair amount of thought into the design. It's a bit wanky, but the symbolism of a phoenix rising from the flames and starting a fresh symbolism what I'm doing now. I was in a pretty bad place last year so traveling has really helped me start a fresh with something new. The design itself is about 8inches long and i've posted the sesign on facebook. I don't want to post any photo's of it yet as it's still peeling and healing so it wouldn't do it justice :-)

The journey from Goa to Singapore was a bit of a mission, got a taxi with a couple of other Indians who had pulled 3 day sickies from their bar jobs in Mumbai just to go to goa with these French girls they'd met! They must have spent about a years worth of wages chasing that bit of skirt around! Bless. Train to mumbai was pretty cramped and minging but i had my tunes and films to keep me occupied. Bex, that ipod you sold me is a god send! :-) Arrived in Mumbai at about midnight and saved some money by sleeping at the airport on the floor of the waiting room. Again, a couple of vally and I slept like a log! 

Arrived in Singapore the next day after a skinfull on the plane (took full advantage of the free booze on the flight!) and decided to treat myself to a hotel for the night. Went to some karaoke places and the only song I recognized was Madonna "power of goodbye" which is one of my favorite songs (and I'd like it played at my funeral by the way) but not really that easy to sing so I sounded like a right mug. A RIGHT MUG! 2-1.Singapore was really clean and pretty (as expected) but I didn't spend long there as I plan to go back on my way through to Australia.

Got a taxi back to the airport the next morning and flew to Hong kong (watched thor the plane which was a great little movie!). Arrived in Hong kong and made my way to the hostel I'd booked into. Bumped into a fellow traveler on the street outside the hostel who was looking for the same place (a swiss guy called Ulrich) so we managed to find teh place. We were told that the hostel was fully booked and I realized I'd booked the following day (it was some trade fare that night so all the hostels were booked). So I managed to blag us to stay at the hostel opposite and we headed out into town to see the sights. Ulrich had spent a few months here previously so he knew his way round really well. Saw the HSBC tower and the Tower from the dark night and they looked sweet all lit up at night. Went out to the main party zone and it was manic due to Halloween. Instead of spending loads in teh bars we just went between the 7 11's (the chinese equivalent of a co-op) and bought a beer in each. 

The next morning we went to meet Ulrich's Chinese mate for lunch which was really nice then went back to the main tourist places. Rode the ferry across the island and saw the bruce lee statue and all the stars with their hand prints in concrete (like Hollywood only for Chinese films!). Hong Kong was pretty similar to Singapore really, developed, modern and pretty. Walked past a couple of Indian guys trying to sell fake watches and it reminded me how annoying India was. Really wanted to spark them as they don't go away until you tell them 'no' like 5 times. Thought I'd got over all that! Managed to get the train to Guangzhou that afternoon (by the skin of my teeth!) and met Pete at the station. Really nice to speak to someone who could speak casual English (most of the other people I've met have been European or Australian) so it's nice to bust out slang with-ought having to explain what the words mean. Pete has it pretty sweet in China, he has a slamming Chinese misses and I think he's on relatively good money compared to the cost of living so he's laughing. 

Next day we had to make our way to another town (can't remember the name of it) to get the train to Sanming (for the kung fu camp). We went to loads of Chinese restaurants and a fast food place and ate like kings all day! Also saw half a dog's carcass strung up at one of the restaurants so snapped a photo of me stood next to it! Booked the tickets and phoned the owner of the camp (Scott) to let him know and he said to change them to Fuzhou as he was already in that city. Easier said than done! The ticket place said that I had to do it on the train and when it came to explaining that I wanted to stay on the train past Sangming to get to Fuzhou no-one spoke any english. Had to call Pete's mate and have him explain it to the ticket guard about 3 times! 

So eventually arrived at Fuzhou and had to kill some time before meeting Scott met me so I decided to get some decent running trainers. Couldn't pay by card and couldn't get any money out of the cash machine either but fortunately I had packed some emergency US dollars that they excepted instead :-). It was a 5 hour drive to the camp and on arrival I was immediately chuffed with the place. Met my room mate who had been there 3 months and is a really nice bloke and went to sleep pretty rapidly as we had to be up at 5am the next morning! This internet connection is starting to play up so I'll write more at the weekend. Right now I'm off to bed! 5am start in the morning.... again!

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