in the evening i had to leave pingyao and although i wouldn’t have known what else to do in this town and i knew it was the right time to leave i got a little bit melancholic. from everywhere i got offers to get a ride to the railway station and the further i came the cheaper the offers got. i just felt like walking, it felt like the right way to leave pingyao. after a while i even started to feel a little bit selfish that i did not give any of these guys the possibility to earn some money but the more people asked me the more stubborn i got and the more i wanted to keep on walking.
it has been a nice day, although it was pretty claouded and fog had been hanging over the town all day long. for breakfast i had banana pancakes which were pretty good and coffee. i think it was instant coffee but it was not worse than the one i had with me. after that i decided to walk the whole round on the city wall. it turned out to be a great decision. i started at one of the gates, where it was pretty crowded, but as soon as i left the gate on the wall there was nobody. i could see the old grey hauses of pingyao all the time. farther away these houses dissapeared in the fog and the greyness was only interrupted by the colors of some flowers. from up there i could have a look into the gardens of the people who were living there. some children would start shouting “hello” at me as soon as they saw me and would respond with a big smile as soon as i answered. from time to time i met some workers who would either stare at me and maybe say “ni hao” or just try to ignore me. at one of the places where there were people working, one of the men asked me if i didn’t want to make a photo of his son who was also up there. of course i wanted and it became a nice shot as far as i can see that on the small display of the camera although the boy was not really happy about the situation.
the whole walk took me about two and a half hours. then i walked to the railway station. the day before when i arrived i immediately tried to buy a hard sleeper ticket to datong for the next day but all i could get was a standiing ticket. that didn’t make me very happy because the journey would take 10 hours starting at 8 p.m. when i arrived later at the guesthouse they offered me to buy a hard sleeper ticket for me and i agreed. so now i had to give back the standing ticket to get some money back. i had asked the guy at the guesthouse to write down for me what i wanted so i had no problems with that. then i tried to fill up my small plastic bottle with hot water but the bottle just started to shrink because of the heat so that didn’t work.
i went back to the inner part of pingyao and tried to visit some more temples. i would especially have liked to seen the “temple of the fire god” just because it sounded so nice but couldn’t find it. finally i went into a tea house where i sat for a long time to drink tea. everytime i decided to go they came again to fill up with hot water again and i thought “why not stay for another glass?” and stayed. finally i went away back to the guesthouse. on the way i visited some more houses, old banks and places i couldn’t figure out what they were good for. some of the places to visit in pingyao are really interesting or impressive but some are also just boring, at least for me.
back at the guesthouse i wanted to eat something. i decided for pingyaou beef since i supposed the “pingyao” meant some special way to prepare the beef. well, it didn’t. all i got was a plate full of beef slices. i ate with some rice and it was really good meat but it was not very, er, chinese…
then i walked away. i thought that although the guesthouse had been really quite allright and actually there was nothing to complain about i had not really felt comfortable there. it was somehow strange and i think it’s because the woman who picked me up at the railway station first and me, we didn’t really like each other. there was no bad word from one of us and we were very polite all the time but still there was this feeling she couldn’t like me and i couldn’t like her.
at the railway station i still had an hour and sat down to write down my impressions. a couple came towards me and we started talking. their english was enough to communicate. we were talking about university (he had just finished his chemistry studies and i think he would have liked to go abroad for his phd), people in china, in austria and of course music (a topic you can’t avoid when you tell you’re from vienna). finally i also asked the what they thought about nao zedong and they answered that most people in china think the 70% what he had done was good while 30% was bad. an answer i already had read in lonely planet before and of course it didn’t tell what thay thought. i didn’t want to insist on this topic and so i didn’t ask further questions. finally we went to the train, they helped me finding my place (he even was carrying my small backpack) and we parted.
this time i didn’t feel so comfortable in the train. it was hot and i had a really thick plancket that i had to put somewhere. i faded away with the malancholic sound of the black swns and when i had to get up the next morning i still felt tired.
i had some problems with my sim card these days. seems my one is just working once, so now i have a new one. number is: 13593021985