Well that’s China done and dusted, 800km of coal powerplant fumes, luxurious budget hotels and truly shitty drivers. ┬áNot to be a dirty big optimist but all in all I had a pretty good time.

First off, I had my first introduction to Chinese cinema, a film called ‘Our Times’ that could bring Stephen Hawking to a standing ovation. It’s about a girl who’s stuck in a dead end job with a boyfriend who’s a real dickjar. Only thing is, only afterwards did we realised that it was actually a Taiwanese film. Later, I resolved to go see a proper Chinese movie, which unfortunately was nothing short of excruciating.

I have two highlights of China. Firstly, the Lingxiao cave in Yangcun, which is 128 meters tall and looks exactly like the dwarf mine from Lord of the Rings. You could spend a whole day happily wandering around. That is, once you manage to break away from the Chinese language tour they try to make you go on, which consists of walking you through clearly marked paths and regurgitating trivia from the fluorescent information boards every 15 meters.

Number two was a town called Mowming. Not that I was particularly enamoured with the town itself, but while I was pottering around, a group of college kids approached and asked if my name was Brian and showed me a picture on their iPhone of a bald, middle aged fat guy kissing a bowling ball.

“Of course” I said, and so they took me for a delicious meal, then to a jazz cafe where I met a bunch of cool language students with their unintelligible Mary Poppins-inspired English accents. Luckily there was a few non English speakers there I could communicate with just fine using grunts and gesticulations.

China was fun but Keal and I are already excited to be roaming Vietnam. Actually we already made a friend, a man with no shoes who was either impersonating a Crips vs Bloods walk-off or suffered from cerebral palsy, who conspicuously followed us all the way back to our guesthouse where presumably he intended to stand watching us from the corner of the room, muttering incantations and stoicly masturbating.

70km tomorrow, up and at ’em!

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