Bye bye, China. Hello, Malaysia.
23.12.2011 - 02.01.2012
Wuhan, December 31st 2011
Last night I requested a taxi order at the front desk. But the staffs told me that it was unnecessary, because there will be always taxis in front of the hotel. I insisted to make a call, but they insisted even more. I was afraid it would happen like in Jiuzhaigou. "Taxi many many." but I had to find my way through the total darkness to get a taxi. If it weren't of the kindness of the bus driver, I would have already missed my bus to Chengdu. I arrived late at the bus terminal because of that difficulty finding for a taxi. Now I'm flying to Chengdu. Bus drivers are kind, but no pilots are. A bus can wait, but a plane can't.
Nevertheless, what happened in Jiuzhaigou remained as history. There was one taxi in front of Sentosa Hotel. I left at 5:15 AM for the 8:45 flight to Chengdu with China Southern Airlines. The ticket 139 USD nett. I think that's a very good price. Don't you think so?
Here we are at Wuhan Airport. It had been drizzling along the way.
Inside the terminal. Wow...! Chengdu Railway Station wasn't like Wuhan's. The airport isn't either. There are several cafes, restaurants, and plenty of merchants.
The aircon was serving very well here that I had to take off my coat, because I started to sweat.
This is the second floor where I waited for my plane to board. There were lots of merchants, too, here. While waiting for my plane, I took a serious look at all the shops but kept myself from being tempted. Although I still have some yuan in my purse, I must take good care of it. I'm coming back to China... and to Wuhan.
Yeah! Welcome aboard! Thank you! Everything was fine, except for the bread. It smelled Chinese. Bau encek. For me, noodles may smell Chinese because noodles are Chinese, although a Nat Geo's photographer told me that noodles originated from Arab and was introduced to China through the Silk Road. However, bread is Western, regardless of the origin also. So bread, should smell Western. In Japan I also hated bread that smelled nori. And in my country, I hate Hoka Hoka Bento for claiming to be Japanese food but smells more like semur. Some people say they like Japanese food because they love Hoka Hoka Bento. I won't buy that until they eat sashimi. When I joint a tour to Padang, West Sumatera, we were entertained in a Padang restaurant. It was sad for me, because there was no sate Padang nor soto Padang, even all through the trip. Anyway, I still don't consider myself a foody person. I'm just a serious person about my food. Aha! Heard that somewhere?
I gobbled everything into my mouth, regardless of the smell, and then fell fast asleep almost all through the flight. It was very foggy. I couldn't see China from the sky. Everything was plain white. Bye bye, Wuhan!
Being in Wuhan, I felt like being in a more real China than the other cities I had visited previously. Wuhan is less a tourist place. No people walking around with head-to-hip backpacks, no blonds, and no-speaking-English that's the worst sure thing. In the previous cities, somehow it felt like that if I happen to get lost, there will surely be somebody coming to my rescue. If I do any mistake, they will excuse me, because they know I'm a foreigner. If I don't speak their language, they will try all their might to speak mine, because I'm their guest. Nevertheless, walking the streets in Wuhan, I felt the atmosphere of totally being on my own. I felt treated not like a guest, but just like one of them. That's scary on one part, but relieving on the other, if you want the real thing. I remember when I was a kid and had to behave because there were guests at home. But once they left, I went back climbing chairs and windows. I became me again. Guests would never see "me".
This is the shop where I had bought a SIM Card when I had just arrived from Kuala Lumpur a week ago. I asked for a card that can be used for making international calls. She gave me one, but it turned out I only could make local calls. I was very upset. I wanted to protest.
Then came a voice inside me, "What do you want by protesting?"
"I want my money back," I replied.
"But you have used the card anyway to make local calls. For that you have to pay. How would you calculate how much she should return to you?"
"Look outside," that Voice continued.
"Oh, it's drizzling here."
"You have read the weather forecast before you left. All predicted rain all through the days of your trip. As a matter of fact, not a single drop of water fell on your head anywhere you went. Did you pay for that?"
"No, I didn't. I know, I was just lucky."
"When you get lucky, you never think whom you should pay. But when you get unlucky, you want to get it back."
I remembered how hard the ladies had tried to make the card work on my cellphone sparing me the trouble doing registration, etc. One of them even made a call to someone, so that I could explain in English what I needed. Who knows, maybe they really didn't mean to cheat on me. They just didn't understand that the card they sold to me was unusable for international calls.
The outside of Chengdu Airport again.
Hmmm... maybe next time, if I come to Chengdu again, I'd just take a bus, instead of a taxi. There's a bus to the railway station. From there I can take a subway and get off in front of Lazy Bones Hostel. If ever I return to Chengdu, I would definitely stay at Lazy Bones Hostel again. I love the homey atmosphere there. Plus, all the staffs speak good English.
On the second floor of Chengdu Airport.
Surprisingly, there was a crowd queuing for the flight to Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia. Then a new line was opened. I hurried to queue. But this boy, standing in the line next to me, pushed his cart from under the rope in front of me. Not only his, but his uncle's and aunt's or mom's and dad's. They cut my line impolitely, big enough. Three full loaded carts in front of me! Aaarghhh! On the other hand, I felt sorry for this boy, because it were the adults who encouraged him to cut my line. He was just trying his best to please them. Adults... instead of teaching a kid politeness...
Air Asia's kid's meal. The one wrapped with tinfoil is fruit cake. No, it didn't smell Chinese.
If I'm not mistaken, this was above Thailand. Ah Thailand... I miss you, too. The land of smiling people...
Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!! The word "ulang-alik" brings my mind to a spacecraft called "pesawat ulang alik" in my country. How nice would it be if I could board a spacecraft here. Hahaha...
Oh... how hot it is here...