Well now begins part two in the three part installment. I hope I am not boring you with details. I guessed that some would like them and whoever doesn’t could just skim thru.
So off to Gangcha I went. In the small town of Gangcha they gave me the run-from hotel to hotel till finally I found one that could serve foreigners and had vacancy. The courtyard was replete with everything you could ask for. Trash scattered all around, tons of assorted building material including some very big piles of bricks and a huge pile of organic waste that I made sure to stay clear of. This town was the most Tibetan town I had been in up to that time(I have been in others more so by now) and so it was quite enjoyable to stroll around and look at everything.
I am getting very used to being stared at by now. Most of the folk in these areas have seen foreigners but it doesn’t happen very often so they still look at you like they would a dog born with wheels instead of legs. As you are passing them often they will say any English words they know which is usually just hello but every now and then you are greeted with, “Thank you.” or better, “I love you.” The funny thing is so far only guys have said that to me thus far. Actually I don’t know if that is funny.
But anyway I strolled around town for awhile scaring children and wowing their parents. Ate at a little Baozi shop. Baozi is steamed buns stuffed with meat and veggies. They are pretty good especially after one has been eating nu-rou-mian(beef noodles) for the past week almost without let-up. Then I retired to my hotel to await the time of night when the tract-bombers reign supreme.
Got them all out within reasonable time. The cops had a traffic stop on the main drag thru town and I had to walk past that twice but was not spoken to. Back to the hotel and sleep and up and on to Haiyan the next morning.
I arrived in Haiyan pretty early in the morning and hailed a taxi right away to take me to a hotel. We stopped at one and they did not accept foreigners. At the next one as soon as I walked in the door I was greeted by five cops who for all I could tell may have been waiting my arrival. They tried to communicate to me something but when we did not understand each other ordered me to sit down on a bed and wait. More cops were drifting in and out as we sat there for the next thirty minutes waiting for the head honcho to show up. Show up she did and promptly took me downtown to the police station. We spent some time running up and down the stairs to several different offices all the while they (the 483 policemen who were assigned to my case) were trying to tell me something. I was playing dumb whitey and was not exactly exerting much effort to understanding them as it is usually best to be seen as dumb and thus not a threat to the illustrious Chinese nation.
They then took me to her office and it turned out from the writing above the door that she was the head of exit and entry. I assume she took care of registering all the incoming and outgoing flows of people of which unhappily I was now caught up in the middle of. She told me to sit down and began to look at her computer and from peering over her soldier I could see she was running my passport number thru the system. This worried me and the thought that perhaps the gig was up crossed my mind. It was strengthened when she received a phone call and they began to chatter back and forth about me and tianjun which was the town that I was denied access to two days previously. They were digging up my trail and this was not a pleasant thought. Some things are best left in the dark.
Another English speaker was called in and I was informed that, “Haiyan is taboo town for foreigners.” He asked me anxiously why I came there and what I was doing in china. I answered them as any dumb whitey would that I just wanted to travel and see China. This was apparently enough for them and very shortly they packed me and my bags back down the stairs and into their police van. They drove me out to another traffic block on the outside of town and deposited me there under the safekeeping of the soldiers to be placed on the next bus to Xining. Thru these interesting means I was unable to tract-bomb that town either but trust that in future we will get someone out there to do what I was unable to do.
There is only ome more detail to record here before moving on the the next post. Upon arrival in Xining I headed home to resupply and head out down to Yushu (Yushu will wait till the next post though). Shortly after I got home I got a knock on the door and it was a chinese girl who lived a few floors above us and had been helpful when we were moving into the place. Though she could not speak english she could read it and we managed to communicate that she wanted to learn to speak better english. So starting tonight we are going to be doing lessons. She learning english and I learning chinese. Should be an adventure.
Will be posting on my trip to Yushu tomorrow.
All for the King!!!