Thursday, September 30, 2010

30th September
Reached Lanzhou with new guide… a bigger city.
Quite uneventful… except that the speeds one was habituated to in the past few days were unattainable as the 220 km road was profusely populated on either side and there was a great amount of traffic, making the pilgrims progress rather slow!
Now am on my own from tomorrow. The travel between cities is not difficult… the difficult part is getting directions within the city… finding the hotel for the night… people just don’t speak English at all. Spent the whole afternoon walking around looking for bookshops to buy a basic Chinese conversation kind of book… there are Spanish, French, German, Russian for beginners (Chinese beginners) but none for English speaking beginners for Chinese language.  All I could find was dictionaries in which meanings are in Chinese or the words are in Chinese and meanings in English! So Dumb Charades it will be all the way. Of course what one realizes is culturally gestures also have different meanings… a gesture that would be easily understood in India draws a blank stare.
That apart, whatever I have seen till now are much like us Indians… in terms of traffic sense…crossing / turning / stopping anywhere, in terms of civic sense… spitting / peeing anywhere. !!
In India, Nepal and to some extent Tibet what one saw that was heartbreaking was the landscape littered with plastic waste. Here though one has not seen plastic being carelessly disposed. They must have a very good plastic waste management and most importantly: awareness program in place.  
Some similarities… some differences what to do !

1 comment:

  1. hi tush.... 2000 k to you now must seem like easy breeze! so Bombay to shanghai?
    glad its going so well... i feel like i have nothing to say after all you have been through!
    the blog is so great.. and will be such fodder for you when you have to make endless presentations in the years to come on this most amazing journey...
    keep at it and go safe my friend... lots of us following you around virtually!