Lanzhou Foreign Language School

aadWe are in Ping Liang in China somewhere and everyone stares as we are the only tourists they have had for ever. Babies scream and grannies point and laugh. Crowds gather whever we go, especially with the bikes. It is quite amazing to get such attention when you are just having a long bike ride, as I love to do. Lots of the women give me small gifts and tell me I’m brave.

After a long day on undulating roads we found cold beer (30 cents a bottle )and chippies. The beer is really good. The long mileage day was particularly frustrating as we are catoragised as farm vehicles and hence not allowed on the motorways. The danger this puts us in is ridiculous as we have to battle trucks laden with hay and bicycles, cows and pedestrians. We have tried to get on the proper fast roads several times and only once did we succeed when we caused dreadful congestion and they wanted to get rid of us.

We found a taxi driver who understood my Chinese for yinty-wang (internet) now we realise that we don’t know what hotel we are in. Now we are in an internet cafe of about 100 kids as the one next door (twice the size) was full.

Had a tummy upset last night, and today kept having to stop at the side of the road for a quick squirt, poor Dave filled his pants and had to ride all day before he got to clean-up. So it isn’t all fun. When we got to the hotel we discovered there is no warm water until 8pm so cold showers it was.

We are on Chinese TV tonight visiting the language school in Lanzhou yesterday. Cool place with lots of Christchurch teachers. Paul Bergin, Jane Ayres and Richard Keeling. They hung huge welcoming banners and had an introduction for us during the flag raising ceremony at 7.30 am. School started at 7 am and finishes at round 10 pm but they get a 2 hour lunch. The kids are often falling asleep in class. They took us out in the city leaving us feeling as if we were in Hong Kong in its heyday.

See the Lanzhou photo album here.

Love to my mum

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