• Bob Taylor

Musings - Day 21

Day 21 – 16th January 2020

The alarms went off at 06:00am as scheduled, after a good nights sleep. The reception people do their level best to communicate with me, but sadly no amount hand gestures or Bobby talk on this occasion were going to work. The staff returned my cash deposit, and I think they both bade me a good journey. Taxi next and here is where the translator App came into its own. Chongqing Xi (West) Railway Station, which thankfully the driver understood and indeed delivered me to around forty minutes later. Large cities in China seem to have four railway hubs. In my experience they are all huge and mostly very modern. Chongqing Xi no exception. This one was shaped like a huge manta ray as we approached from the freeway. The G1335 service to Hainan left precisely as it was scheduled, affording me four and a half hours train time. This allows me an opportunity to be able to relay an event that happened yesterday. (Last nights corrupted file would not allow me to publish on the blog)

The only part English speaking receptionist at the hotel gave me an address of a medical practitioner for me to visit. You see for the past week or so I have been having a problem with my right knee. I think it has been made worse since climbing the Great Wall. I am getting about alright, but it is giving me gyp after any periods of rest. I was hoping for some kind of temporary fix, just until I get to a warmer climate. So I had free time after a museum visit yesterday, and the appointment was made. I walked to the place, after following his directions, noting that the doctors was above a television shop. When I arrived at reception, the girl recorded my credentials, taking the appointment schedule, written for me in Chinese, by the hotel staff. She seemed happy enough and pointed to a brown leather settee, indicating to take a seat. For a joke I said, “No thanks, I have one at home.” – A blank response. In fact a blank Chinese response. Feeling like an idiot for even attempting a humorous aside with the lady, I took my seat and waited. Walking toward me, from the corridor was a very smart doctor type lady, wearing a starched white hospital type tunic, over smart navy blue impressively pressed trousers. Her dark hair was tied back, tortoiseshell glasses on the bridge of her nose, she moved rather theatrically over to me. I knew she was a medic because she had three pens on show in her top pocket. She beckoned me into her office, where she pointed to a half backed chair directly in front of her desk. She looked at the appointment notes in front of her then walked around the desk toward me. Placing her right buttock on the desk edge, she leant forward to hold my right wrist. She turned the inside of the wrist upward, placing her three fingers on the pressure points. (if you remember I had this done in Beijing – they can tell a lot from your wrists – apparently) She eyed me quizzically, then let go, stood up to walk around the back of my chair to my left side. She affectedly hitched her left buttock on the desk, repeating the previous process on the other wrist. She let go touched her nose and clicked her fingers and moved back around the desk. All of this was not totally unpleasant but a little bewildering. Elbows on the table making a Christmas tree shape with her two forefingers touching her nose, she quickly sprang to her feet. She went over to the sink, washed her hands, dried them and placed an oil over her hands, bringing the small bottle with her to my side of the desk, together with a box of tissues. (Here we go, I thought innocently) Oddly she walked to the rear of me.. Using the three or four tissues that she had extrapolated from the box, it felt like she tucked them into my top to protect the material of the shirt. Placing her hands on the back of my neck, she moved them up and down in only what I can describe as a very professional way. Her fingers pressed so hard rubbing the oils in so deep, that if I hadn’t have been so roughly massaged, I may well have fallen asleep, the sensation was so good. The Chinese believe that all pain can be released from the few pressure points in your body. She kept working and working, occasionally topping up the oil, when suddenly it came to a stop. She went over to the sink to wash her hands. My neck felt fantastic, I felt like I could pick berries from trees without using my hands. She dried her hands, smiled, walked back to the desk, signed the notes and left. After about five minutes the receptionist comes back in, summoning me to follow her back to reception. There she went behind the desk, passing me a folded piece of paper. It was an invoice for twelve hundred yuan. (around £13 – 16$ U.S.) I was quite surprised to see the invoice so quickly, but then a picture on the wall caught my attention. I instinctively followed it in an anti-clockwise direction around the office, to see lots of medical posters all showing necks and shoulders. About three feet away from my knees! Talk about lost in translation at the hotel. You cannot always rely on these Apps, I mused to myself albeit still with a gammy knee. On the positive side though, I think that as a result of the neck treatment I might be slightly taller.

I am going to list the stops on the train because they all shared one thing in common. Qijiangdong – Zunyi – Xifeng – Guiyangdong – Kailinan – Sansui – Tongrennan – Hainan. It passed through some magnificent countryside mainly because of the dramatic backdrops. They weren’t mountains and valleys as is the norm, but hills and troughs. The hills were all individual as opposed to a ranges of them. Looked like enormous termite mounds around two to three hundred feet high. Not just a few, they seemed to never end for miles. In fact for the whole four and a half hour journey. The train would be hurtling sometimes at around 300kph, go through a tunnel and bingo there would be the town / city out of nowhere. It seemed every time there was a break in the hills, they built a town.

I find my way to the bus station to get on a bus that was leaving just ten minutes after I found it – what luck! The journey was supposed to be one and a half hours but ended up being three. On the highway there were two pile ups which resulted in us standing still for an hour, then a further half to get to the hold-up cause. I reached my hotel in time for a couple of window shots, but on first impressions as a world heritage site it didn’t do a great deal for me. However, when darkness fell it came alive – Check out the pictures. Got an early start tomorrow, see you all later.

This is the gateway to the city of Fenghuang - The cars pass directly underneath it.

Finally this is what I have got lined up for breakfast tomorrow.

I think that they once flew, but that is as close as I got.

Position: 27°57'19” N 109°35'41”E – Miles completed: 08260

Location: Fenghuang, China. 19:22 - 16th January 2020 - Journey 21 days 16 hours


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