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Monday, October 30, 2006

Visiting Sun Chao in Linfen

So, I asked Sun Chao, is Linfen a big city?
No, not really, he answered.
My next question: How many people live here?
His answer: Around one million.

It all depends on your definition of big I presume...

In the train from Beijing to Pingyao I did not have a seat nor a sleeping place... however the journey takes 10 hours and I did not really feel like standing up all the way. No English speaking conductor on the train, so I asked a young guy to help me. He tried everything and we were allowed to sit down in the restaurant-car for aolmost the entire night while the other Chinese were not allowed to... His name is Sun Chao (SuperSun) and he's a 20-year old drama-student from Linfen, currently studying in Beijing. After some beers and lots of talking (although limited due to his English skills), he invited me to visit his hometown and stay the night at his place. Since Linfen is on my way, I decided to do so.

I arrived on Sunday at 12.30 and Sun Chao picked me up from the trainstation. After finishing a delicious home-cooked meal prepared by his mother, we jumped on our bikes to visit the one tourist attraction in Linfen: The China Gate (Hua Men)! Entrance was 50 yuan, so we decided not to go in, but just look at it from a distance. However, a female guide approached Sun Chao and after some talking it became clear that she wanted to give us free entrance and a tour of the building. All this because I am a non-Chinese tourist!! Normally that means I have to pay extra... The Gate was build just 2 years ago, so everything was brand-new and looked clean for a change. Really had a good time there!





Played some pool afterwards and visited the countryside near Linfen. The air in Linfen is really bad, mainly due to the vast (coal)mining activities around the city. Lots of smog, dust & coalpieces are the reason it is one of China's most polluted cities. But we were still going strong ;-) At every place we visited (mostly relatives of Sun Chao) I got stuffed with food! The people are so nice!!!

The next day I was invited to the wedding of Sun Chao's cousin. Arriving there around 10.00, I first got a big breakfast. At around 12.00 the bride and groom returned from the official ceremony and they started serving lunch: lots and lots and lots of food, accompanied by lots of ricewine... Was a great experience, although I got the feeling I got more attention than the newly-weds...

That night we spend watching a DVD, playing some cards and drinking beer! A real nice, normal Chinese evening :-) Next morning I took a bus to Xi'an at 9.00 where I arrived 7 hours later. The first thing I did was buying a trainticket to Chengdu. I will be heading that way on Friday at 16.59 (let's try not to miss the train this time)!

Zaijian,
Ruudje B.


All-You-Can-Eat-&-Drink-In-Beijing-MOVIE

2 comments:

superstar said...

good picture

Inge said...

Lieverd,

Je hebt weer veel gezien de afgelopen dagen. Nog eventjes en dan zit China er alweer op.

Ik mis je!

Dikke kus, nu vanuit Nederland!

Ingetje

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