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Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Extravaganza

An absolutely fantastic week and weekend with Mark!!!

On Wednesday morning Mark finally arrived. Picked him up from the airport and after a big hug we went to my place. After lots of small talk I had to go to work and Mark checked out Kunming. At night we celebrated his arrival together with Shos, Sander, Susan, Marc and Marianne (a group of cool Dutch people living here as well). Got some great food at a small Muslim restaurant and ended the night doing drinking games in Sander and Susan's apartment. Which, by the way, is a really cool place and Shos and I are seriously considering moving in there when we get kicked out of our current place, the Yunda Binguan.

On day two Mark did a day trip to the stone forest and I had to work. The original plan for Friday was for Mark and me to fly to Lijiang. However, for some reason plane tickets got very expensive and we decided to take a nightbus. Getting to the busstation in time was a little tricky since Mark got stuck in traffic when coming back from the Stone Forest... but we made it and had an excellent trip!! We got stuck in the back of the sleeperbus (5 beds right next to each other, so a big chance you will end up sleeping against a smelly Chinese guy) and weren't to happy to start. But... it worked out great since no one else got any of the back beds... five beds for Mark and me :-)

So in the early morning we were in Lijiang, got picked up at the busstation by Mama Naxi (the owner of the hostel we stayed), dropped our bags and started exploring the "authentic" streets of Old Town Lijiang. Of course we also paid a visit to the Black Dragon Pool Park. Unfortunately the weather was shitty all day long and due to heavy clouds there was no sight of the Yulong Snow Mountain. But we don't need sunshine and splendid views to have fun... we are perfectly capable of having fun without any of that ;-)

After a "couple" of beers at the Frosty Morning (excellent English pub) later that night we decided not to go to Tiger Leaping Gorge but go to Dali instead. The gorge is amazing, but due to all the rain of the last couple of weeks it is pretty dangerous and we were there to have fun and not to feel crappy because of a near impossible hike... So on Saturday morning we jumped in a bus to Dali, got a room and checked out Dali. Not too long since we planned to do a small hike, involving two cable cars to get up and down the mountain. Some spectacular views, 11 km and approx. 4 hours later we were back in our hostel.

The people at our hostel told us they would close early because they were going to a party. No problem but how do we get in then..? Well they came up with a very simple solution: they gave us the key to the front door a.k.a entrance to the bar... little strange but good enough for us. After we showed some of our amazing dance moves to the Chinese crowd and drinking a couple of beers with some random Chinese dudes at the Sakura Bar, we decided to check out the party our hostel guys were going to. The place was called Zoola and we had a little drawn map of its location. It was far and strange to get there but.... what a party!!! A big house, fun people, extremely good music (techno, drum & bass all mixed with live acts of people playing guitars, all kinds of drums and one of those big horn flute things...). Got back at around 4.30 in the morning and after a couple of hours of sleep we took the 8 o'clock bus back to Kunming.

In Kunming we had a lazy Sunday afternoon together with Shos in Cui Hu (Green Lake Park) and enjoyed the Chinese people staring at us. At night dinner with "the" crowd, some more beers, tequila and fun at The Box and as a result of that we ended up in a KTV place... After two hours of showing all our non-musical qualities we went back home for a well deserved night of rest.

Tonight Mark is leaving for Beijing. I have no idea what we are going to do today, but not too much since we both still need to recover from the past few days ;-)

Ruudje (& Mark)

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