Quito Week One

I arrived at my smelly hostel in Quito late at night after several days of bus travel, three weeks strong without a hot shower and really over roadside fast food. It was less than ten degrees (Antarctic by Ella’s scale) and I pretty much immediately made plans to tick off the necessary sights and vamos to warmer winds and bluer skies. After three weeks of no shoes, sleeves or worries, I was not ready for winter.

The next morning I was a dutiful tourist and set off to Old Town (conquering public transport solo, no less!) determined that my gringo boots would walk me round everything lonely planet deemed important and then get on the next bus outta here. But five minutes out on Quito’s cobbled calles was all it took… My cold, “I love being single” out-of-practice heart was in LOVE. Either this city is sick or someone pulled a Romilda Vane and snuck me a love potion because Quito, te amo. The old town is a step back in time to a cross between a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel and southern Spain, with museums, galleries and ridiculously beautiful cathedrals on every corner. Seriously they LOVE Jesus here and I can feel it in my fingers and in my toes… Christmas is all around me. I could spend hours every day admiring every square spedazzled shining centimetre of the godhouses in this city. Imagine one of those blingy hello kitty jewellery shops in China town, except someone has walked in and gone “more saints, candles there, and if there isn’t one crucified poor bugger on the wall by this afternoon I’m done”. They go waaaay overboard on LED lighting and *fabulousness* but I love it. The public transport system works, food is cheep cheep cheep cheep chickety cheap, people are cute looking and friendly, streets are griddled and therefore possible for me to navigate, parks are plentiful, buskers are creative and coffee is Colombian (bueno).

So you get it, Quito rocks. Given this I quickly found myself a Spanish school so I can take my lingo to lengua level, and before you could say “a la orden” I moved in with Mariana, my new mamá for the next couple of weeks. She’s an adorable scrawny ball of gooey grannyness, living off coffee and cigarettes and calls me ‘my life’, ‘my love’, or ‘my little girl’. Partly because ‘Ella’ is really hard for Spanish speakers to remember, but mainly because I am a Dream Daughter (right mum and dad?)

Other adventures this past week include bussing a few hours up to Otavalo, a small town which turns into a massive market on Saturdays. I overspent on jumpers and scarves that are really definitely without-a-doubt bona-fide alpaca (uh huh) but unfortunately had my day partly ruined by a creepy restaurant owner who tried charming me into ‘indigenous ceremonies’ with gifts of jewellery and compliments and really just wanted to cop a feel of a white chick’s boobs. It was daylight in a public space and obviously I just left straight away and nothing terrible happened, but it really pisses me off how many men here are total sexist pigs. Latin women are famous for being fiery and they need to be, sexual objectification isn’t an occasional nuisance here but a full-time affliction. It makes me realise how lucky I have been to only have to put up with the occasional “bring me a sandwich” joke from a dumb Scots boy!

Bad moments aside, today I climbed a hill South of the centre called Panecillo, meaning ‘little bread roll’, for views of the city. The views were 10/10 but I definitely felt like a little bread roll on the ascent… Altitude messes you up! (Excuses excuses, I’m on an all-carbs diet in this continent and cheap chocolate isn’t helping either). Before that my new mate Stuart and I stumbled across a free concert in the Casa del Cultura and witnessed absolutely zero showmanship, complete disorganisation, ridiculously loud (and horrendous) music and 100% audience participation. It was an experience!

Funny moments: someone asked me what language we spoke in Australia and I told her Australian and she nodded like she knew what that was. Someone else asked me if we spoke French there and I said ‘in some cities’ and once again this was taken as gospel. I have also been informed that all Muslims are Taliban and all Chinese are dirty. Also Uluru is a myth and drop bears are real.

Okay unstructured wordvomit over! Off to watch Sherlock in Spanish with mamá. Benedict Cumberpatch speaks at incomprehensible speed but mamá thinks he’s a sexbomb so it’s not up for negotiation.

Churches and chocles,

PT

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On the road from Colombia to Ecuador

The past few days have been severely uneventful in terms of Activities but unfortunately necessary to get me to Ecuador on budget. Since Thursday I have gone plane-bus-sleep-bus-bus-walk-cab-sleep-walk-minivan-walk-sleep-walk-collectivo-walk-collectivo-cab-bus-cab-walk-here. I was told not to be on these roads at night because this area of Colombia can still be a bit unsafe, so most of my days have been spent inside a vehicle of some form. Which at times I’m really grateful for because some of the scenery out of these windows is the most stunning I’ve ever seen… Rolling lime green fields and windy grey rivers, scary clouds advancing across really really blue skies… Seriously, Australia is lacking in mountains they are TOPS (harhar). And although it’s taken a few days to get here, I’ve finished three books and I got to stop in a couple of groovy spots along the way.

The nicest place I holed up in was Popayán, a megacute colonial village where everything is painted white, people go to gilded churches on the reg and the security guards smile at you. I didn’t have time for much other than a few cathedrals/squares and the museo of modern art but it was a welcome break from the road.

Notable momentitos:
– cute old man sitting next to me for eight hours in a minivan who kept turning his whole body so he could stare at me. Whenever I looked at him he would wave his hands around, but not to communicate anything – I think he just wanted to see what I would do. He offered me a snack and I smiled and nodded and he sort of held it out and then snatched it back as if I was a wild animal who might bite his fingers (not out of the question given how hungry I was).
– the tiny village on top of a mountain between Popayán and Ipiales that only sold watermelons. Every tiny shop had piles of watermelons out the front. I have no idea what they do with them all given probably only five families live there, or even how they got them all to the top of a mountain? I’m envisioning watermelon races down the cliff face but not sure if that’s correct
– the amazing ability of travelling Colombians to fall asleep in any position! I spent most of the time actively trying not to play corners with the people on either side of me but they can just nod off anywhere. Dorms means I can sleep pretty well through light and music and other people having sex but I’m not a pro at windy roads yet… Working on it!
– the border crossing to Ecuador: After rigorous cross examination in the immigration office due to my soaked and therefore ‘questionable’ passport, I walked (walked! The Australian in me is incredified) across the border to Ecuador and took another collectivo to a nearby bus terminal and negotiated a bus to Quito. Setting the scene: I’m the only gringo and the youngest girl I can see apart from one baby up the back and have been warned by everybody I meet that thieves steal off your lap on Ecuadorean buses. I’m seated next to the roughest looking young man, covered in home-job tattoos with a fezzy football haircut and ‘bring it’ eyes… And what movie do they decide to play? I kid you not, we watched ‘Taken’ with the volume on full as we drove through an ominous thunderstorm and it was one of those situations where you end up laughing to keep from having a panic attack.

Actually it was fine, the sun came out and Liam Neeson’s daughter was rescued in the end, and the bus ride was actually far nicer than the ten hours I spent in the bitch seat of a minivan yesterday. An interesting roadside meal (guacamole included! I love this country already) and more broken Spanish conversations later, I’ve made it to Quito!

Seat belts and speed limits (not),

PT

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Cartagena

On return from Ciudad Perdida I suddenly realised I had been in Colombia a month and have grossly overspent and understudied, so I’ve made plans to head down to Ecuador stat for cheaper living and Spanish classes. This means my time in Cartagena was scandalously short, only leaving two nights for Colombia’s top tourist stop.

To be honest, Cartagena is beautiful but in my view a little overrated. My stay here was different because there was a huge biology conference on, so all hostels were flooded with Colombian postgrads as opposed to the usual gringo crowd. The famous Media Luna hostel, host to infamous rooftop parties and 160 beds ready for rum-rumbled (and generally Australian) heads, was a sore disappointment – too many patrons means they’ve taken the laid-‘back’ out of ‘backpacker’ and turned it into a brothel for rules and regulations. As usual, the gang saved the day and our Wednesday night ended on Thursday morning with many new mates and matching hangovers. Special mention goes to my fabulous roomies Juan and Pedro (I’m in Spanish name heaven over here, so many potential first-born-son ideas) and the Yorkshire boyos who I can’t believe have been going this hard for a year.

Cartagena is a weird collection of contradictions, it’s like nowhere I’ve ever been before. The strange juxtaposition of tropical palm trees, colonial European architecture complete with ornate churches and cobbled streets, silver sky rises reflecting the sun off the murky, warm sea is just generally weird.

The two days I had in the city were well spent wandering (read: getting lost) in Old Town, a little snippet of Europe enclosed in big colonial walls. The cannons lining the parapets and the grey Caribbean just beyond them had me dreaming of Orlando and Keira. Iced coconuts from friendly toothless old dudes, some awesome modern art, yet another Museo del Oro, ice cream ice cream ice cream (lactose intolerance pales in the face of 40 degree heat), street dancers, sunset cocktails with my Spanish guardian angel Paula, sickly sweet coconut cookie experiments and late night strolls under romantic Christmas lights were all squeezed in before my flight to Calí tonight.

Tourism in Cartagena was different from elsewhere I’ve been in Colombia thus far. As Lonely Planet’s number 1 recommendation, there were generally a lot more foreigners, particularly wealthy Americans and Europeans. Fancy hotels and posh boutique shops were commonplace, restaurants are ‘gourmet’, more people speak English.

Unfortunately, my visit here was marred by the warnings I’ve had from other travellers about how dangerous it can be. Despite its cutesey colonial appearance, I’ve heard so many stories about gringos getting robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint in the city that a few people even advised me to skip it altogether. I felt totally safe while I was there, but it did put a little tint on my time; all the friendly people who wanted to chat to me were potential thieves, I didn’t take anything valuable out with me, didn’t want to walk places solo, locked up everything all the time and just had to have safety at the back (or front) of my mind all the time. Of course it’s better to be safe than sorry, but it’s just a shame that the reputation of such a beautiful place can be so negative. I would advise no one to let scary stories about bad people put you off visiting somewhere like Cartagena. Just don’t be an idiot and know that shit happens.
^wise words someone should put that on a motivational poster

Just wanna give two quick shoutouts here: to my gorgeous goddess Claude who became a Grown Up Girl this week, can’t wait to celebrate your 21st in private (wink wink) when we reunite next year, and to my hugely talented sister who delivered her farewell address as head girl 2014 to over a thousand people in Sydney yesterday. I wish I was one of those thousand cheering for you Mia, you were keen in 2014 and we’re all heaps proud of you.

Froyo and fruit hats,

PT

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Minca, Costeño, Ciudad Perdida

FANS, so sorry for how long it’s been since the adventures of Ella have been updated. Here’s what you’ve been missing for the past few weeks:

MINCA
In classic contradictory Colombian style, the Caribbean coast hid a sneaky mountain right next to its sandy shores, where time slows down and temperatures drop (and yes, dad, the drops were dope). In a new team of British birds and Aussie blokes, we bumped our way up a mudslide and emerged in a haven of hammocks and coffee plants, Casa Elemento.

I want to say I harvested coconuts, killed tigers, constructed shacks from palm trees with my bare hands and lived off the land in true jungle style, but really we just hung out (literally, in the giant hammock off the edge of the property overlooking the valley) and enjoyed ourselves. The rainforest is good to look at, unlike some other hostel experiences the music here was good to listen to, the food was good to eat, the people were good to talk to.

Cast of characters:
The Dude – really does look just like The Dude, a chilled out Canadian ”import/exporter” who’s decided the rat race isn’t for him and pretty much just hangs out all the time
the gang of four weedy German boys on their gap yah, who did nothing but eat and eat and eat and sleep for the whole time
the shit cats who thought they deserved my attention and were treated to a kick up the bum for their delusions
Marcos, our cheeky jeep driver who stole his boss’ car and didn’t quite get away with it – our attempts to get into the National Park were thwarted by Colombian police at a checkpoint who kept Marcos for paperwork and power struggles and left us to hitch our way back to town
Gabriel, owner of the Drop Bear Hostel in Santa Marta, who gave a sick tour of the ex-cartel hostel complete with hideyholes for gold and cocaine and a killing room.

COSTEÑO
After a night of ‘recovery’ in Santa Marta we trundled up close to Parque Nacionale Tayrona and stayed at a tiny surf camp called Costeño beach. If four days of doing very little up the mountain in Minca must have exhausted us because we commenced two more days of aggressive chilling out – think Kindle-offs, cracking open coconuts fallen from the nearby trees, chess games, skinny dipping in the bioluminescent Caribbean, sorting through massive crates of cards to make a deck, trading music (shoutout to Techno King Fabian), rum in our freshly squeezed juices, adventures to waterfall havens in ‘Rancho Relaxo’ (such a gringo name but actually a really cool eco farm run by some lovely Canadians with the best food I’ve had in South America yet).

I decided that a week of doing very little was all my time budget would allow, and so hopped on a chicken bus back to town so I could get a night of rest before…

CIUDAD PERDIDA
Ciudad Perdida is essentially Colombia’s Machu Picchu. Built between the 11th and 14th centuries in Sierra Nevada, it’s a recently rediscovered ruin that takes four days of hard hiking to reach, and at present isn’t really on the tourist trail. This means that I was lucky enough to check out a sick site with only about 25 other gringos, as opposed to the 2500-odd that frequent Peru’s Picchu every day. In ten years Ciudad Perdida will be overrun, but luckily for me it was peaceful and perfect. The trek was “challenging” in the words of some Texan missionaries I happened across, and “ucked” in everybody else’s description… 60km of hills is not fun for my… shall we say ‘dainty’ calves. It was all worth it for the stunning views at the top and, as usual, mates we made along the way. Special mention to Alberto the Italian magician/opera singer and Fi and Julie, 2 out of the 3 best fwands.

Apologies for this overload of update! I’m heading to Cartagena to finish up Colombia before moving down to the slightly cheaper streets of Ecuador sometime in the next week or so.

Palm trees and poisonous snakes,

PT

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Medellin

The murder and cocaine capital of the 1980s, has turned itself inside out and transformed into a modern, functional, sexy city. Once again I overstayed my original plans because there’s too much fun to be had here, if I keep going on at this rate I’ll miss uni next year (almost a joke…)

The journey out of zona cafetera deserves a mention. We had a spare six hours between buses in the nothingtown of Pereira and so helped ourselves through The Worst Movie I’ve ever seen, Dumb and Dumber To, with a bottle of vino tinto and some mystery fruit. After a long night bus to Medellin, we arrived at our hostel dishevelled and musky and were greeted with beers and ‘yews’ by a gang of seriously rowdy Aussie boys. 26 (yes twenty six!) moustached and/or long-haired skaters from Geelong had been wreaking havoc on the town for the next preceding 48 hours and we arrived at the butt end of their bender at 5:30am, hugely impressed that they were still kicking on. I believed the stories about octopus shaped pills and having done laundry once in two months because of the state of the dorm we moved into, but quickly forgave them after falling prey to the charms of Medellin’s nuts nightlife myself. This city is fkn fun.

Various daytime adventures were slotted in between tequilas, including scenic cable car rides up mountains and admiring Botero sculptures and light installations. We took a sick day trip with New York Dreamboys Brian and Paul to Guatapé where we climbed a massive monolithic rock and took jumping photos because tourism and freedom and America. A highlight afternoon was a public holiday when everything was closed, our posse of ten hungover gringos stumbled into a casino at three in the afternoon and lost money over pink daiquiris in our thongs and smelly T shirts.

Above and beyond the best day in Medellin was Wednesday. We kicked off with Pablo’s kickass walking tour of the city and actually learnt something other than how difficult it is to cure hangovers with agua con gas. After too much fried food we bulged our muscles in a veeeery tense queue for tickets to the football game on that night… With success! It was Medellin’s Nacionale vs Sao Paolo from Brazil and it was INSANE. We got tickets right in the nosebleed section, surrounded by crying fathers, so many Nacionale tattoos and exclusively green and white. Fact: Colombians can sing/shout for two hours straight. Nacionale won 1-0 and the atmosphere in the stadium was out of the world. It’s higher than religion. 40,000 people simultaneously at that level of happiness is ridiculous. I’ve never experienced that much love in one room, and I’ve been to a Beyoncé concert. After the game we hung out with aguardiente and so many happy fans, people kept coming up to us and pouring shots and singing and kissing and making marriage proposals, it was incredible. Absolutely a highlight of South America so far.

Finally escaping the hungry tentacles of Medellin for Santa Marta tonight. Vamos!

Paisas and oversized passionfruit,

PT

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Villas and Valles

After being this close to staying a couple of extra nights in Bogotá several times, a group of four intercontinental gringos flagged down a minivan and headed out of the city to Villa de Leyva, a cute and sleepy little town a few hours north.

To be honest there’s not a whole heap going on in Villa de Leyva. We had one lazy afternoon feasting on Chilean goon and guac made from the overabundant, enormous, delicious and CHEAP avocados here (I’m in heaven). Still not sure if my arse has recovered from the jarring bike ride we took on day 2, many hills + cobblestones + crap bike seats = sore vagina. But it was probably worth it for the sick views, El Fossil (it’s all in the name), a surrealist terracotta house built by some local hipster architect, and finally the gorgeous pozos azules, which were actually green but 100% stunning all the same.

We struggled with our sunburn on a 13 hour bus journey to Salento, another teeny town in the zona cafetera just southwest of Bogotá. Here I rediscovered that I’m really into adventure (thinking of you Senior Adventurer Liv), when we decided to climb a mountain in nearby Valle de Cocora in a literal monsoon. Not sure if I should be blaming Thor or Poseidon for the ridiculous downpour that raped us this afternoon. I want to say that it was lucky we had gumboots, but the fact that they were literally overflowing with rainwater meant we were just dragging an extra few kilos of weight up a MOUNTAIN. We reached the top, yodelled, and swam back down to safety. The views were phenomenal – 60 metre high palm trees swaying over rolling green hills and mountains lining a valley out to blue skies on the horizon – but unfortunately it was too wet to take photos, so you’ll have to imagine a Dr. Seuss novel to get the whole picture.

Our new Canadian/Aussie mates kindly treated us to a fab dinner at their dairy farm hostel which was a nice break from the triple-carb, deep-fried piles of semi-edible calories that seems to be the norm here. I’m hoping that gaining weight here entailss a special kind of South American Obesity™ that will give me double D’s and a Minaj booty… We’ll see.

Coffee tours with Don and Carlos, trawling artisan shops for gringo gear, hanging out the back of questionable but does-the-job jeeps, sampling organic chocolate at Sergio’s and eating frozen ceviche with supermarket wine in the street are other highlights.

Plantain chips and peanut butter,

PT

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Bogotà

Colombia’s colourful capital is gorgeous, dirty, alive, shrouded in wet clouds and dry dust, sprawling, dangerous, and it has sucked me in like quicksand.

Attempts at a quiet ‘easing-in’ to South America and recovery after a 42 hour journey were thwarted by Trilby’s recommendation to stay at Musicology, where fun is compulsory and breakfast, dinner and mates are included in the dorm price. I had forgotten how easy it is to bond with someone over the fact that you both like burritos/Caribou/Singapore Airlines – one item in common and suddenly you’re bosom buddies.
Bogota has heaps to do, and even though I’ve been here nearly a week I didn’t tick it all off. Equipped with my gringo shoes and all my layers (it’s cold here), we trawled museos, markets and mountains. The killer hill to Montserrate was worth it for the views at the top, and we collected quality mates along the way – shoutout to Dutch boys Tjebbe and Jelle who are the first travellers I’ve met with a darker sense of humour than Aussies.
Tjebbe: I have heard in Australia you don’t have many black persons – 
Jelle: It’s black ¨people¨, idiot.
Tjebbe: Yes, they’re people too.
 
Probably the biggest day involved a day trip to a nearby Cathedral hollowed out from a salt mine… it was architecturally incredible and beautiful and holy and all that but whoever had restored the place stupidly installed a lot of multicoloured LED lighting and the whole thing felt like a really underground (literally) club in Berlin – actually quite similar to the one we left at 6am the next morning. On the way home from Catedral de Sal, inevitable disaster struck and I had my iPhone pickpocketed on a busy tram. Classic gringo error, I was resigned to dealing with a nokia, no music and no 2048 for the next four months. After a dismal night of realising that no phone = no way of drowning out dorm-snorers (no, no wrathful letters were written this time), the next day I proved to be The Luckiest Girl Alive because the scabby little thief called the hostel to negotiate the sale of my phone back to me! Armed with cash and three buffer boys, we drove through a dingy ghetto and ended up meeting a very clean, upper-class, polite Colombian dad who gave my phone back without its Australian simcard or hot pink case (?). Obviously the day was saved and we celebrated accordingly with ice cream and aguadiente and rum rum rumrumrumrumrum. The only catch is that before this miraculous rescue I had remotely wiped everything on my phone, so as soon as I connect it to wifi everything will be deleted. I can´t face four months sans music so PT is off the mobile grid until homecoming next March.
Other Bogotà highlights? Eating horse twice in one day, trawling flea markets for dodgy film cameras, escaping the rain for sugar-rimmed vino caliente, rumrumrum.
Just arrived in Villa de Leyva for some smaller-town mischief.
Mojios and miracles,
PT

A very brief party in the USA

A six hour stopover and really friendly airport staff meant I could escape the sterile terminal for some sexy Californian sunshine midway through my stupidly long journey to Colombia. The important question is, of course, if I spent four hours wandering Los Angeles in between boring flights, am I technically allowed to scratch the whole of the U.S. off my ‘been there’ map? Authoritative responses would be v appreciated thx.

I’ve never been to the States before, but it was exactly as I expected it: heaps American. Everything from interrogations and fingerprinting in customs to supersized coffees and oversugared doughnuts fit the bill. I rode (not took) the bus from LAX to Santa Monica, and en route spied about six Taco Bells, Starbucks’ and KFCs.

Weirdly, the beach at 8am was totally empty. LA doesn’t seem to have Bronte’s cafe culture and there was no surf to speak of so I had a huge beach complete with amusement park, palm trees and boardwalk all for me. With the Sculpture by the Sea on at home, it’s been a while since I’ve had sand to myself, it was cute. I spotted a huge playground so naturally had a childish romp on the swing and the roundabout. No mates for the seesaw unfortunately :(.

Cast of characters:
– An old whiskery moustached dude who hopped on the bus in his fatigues and a baseball cap adorned with the star-spangled banner and an eagle; imagine aggressively loving your country so much that you had to wear it on your head?
– troubled teen with two tattoo sleeves, no hair and a bullring reading ‘You Can Do It: Jesus and the Power of Affirmations’ at the beach
– a gangsta with pants round his knees, chains, bling and everything texting next to me: “Yeah dat young harlot.. Hazardous sanchos? A blind heart for your wayward a$$”. (direct quote)
– the border security guy who, while questioning me about how long I was “remaining in US territory”, remarked, “Colombia? That’s a country too, right?”
– two Shooter Williamson-esque Aussie blokes who happened to be behind me in every queue at LAX on their way to fuck shit up in Cancun, and the faces they pulled when I had a coughing fit and then turned around and whispered “ebooooola”. They were actually top dudes who gave me a butter menthol so shoutout to them
– me, for being a right eastern suburbs princess and asking if the cafe I found breakfast in did gluten free toast. To be fair it was called ‘love yourself green’ and was made of the wanky wood that glutard cafes in Sydney usually exhibit, but the looks I got from the chicks behind the counter were not worth that mistake.

Anyway, forty hours later I’m here in Bogotá! So far so cold. You get off the plane and it smells like a place, not just like an air conditioning unit. Given the MH-events of this year, taking three planes in two days is probably statistically the most dangerous thing I’ll do on this trip so mum don’t stress yourself, the worst is over!

Supersize meals and Stars and Stripes,

PT

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customs

Making a customary post from Kingsford-Smith customs because, as has become a summer custom, I’m off. At the moment I have zero plans except to make it to Colombia and then spend four months finding myself and taking gimicky photos with culturally insensitive captions to rack instagram likes.

Mum: I promise I will never die.

 

xo PT

feed the birds

I refuse to believe I leave Beijing in five days. Completely unprepared for the freezing monotone of Sydney and not at all ready to say goodbye to this megatron city. Jumbled wordvomit of an update en route to your baby bird mouths:

Ventured to 798 Art District and Caochangdi Village in the northeastern suburbs of the Jing, and imbibed contemporary Chinese art laced with political shouting and beauty. My favourite was a Chinese artist called Yang Jiechang whose exhibition was a “realization of the inhuman that is both monstrous and transcendent”.

Learnt heaps of Chinese. I had a successful conversation with a Beijinger cab driver which is especially awesome because of their notoriously thick accent. He played me some Chinese metal music which sounded a bit like a choir of Mandrakes.

Climbed the Great Wall of China. They got the name right.

Ate heaps for no money. Most interesting culinary encounters include chicken hearts, little strips of congealed duck blood, possible jellyfish (we’re not really sure), lamb kidneys, scorpions. Rediscovered my love for weird Chinese snacks, the current fave is dried strips of haw rolled up into little scrolls.

Partied for no money. It says something about the cost of alcohol and the culture of showing off your wealth that I asked a Chinese man in a bar as a joke if he would buy us 20 tequila shots and he straight up did.

Saw Peking Opera (not my style) and Chaoyang Acrobatics – no OH&S rules and really bendy children made for a seriously entertaining and sometimes scary performance… thinking they could fit eight motorbikes in a cage really not big enough for two was an interesting decision!

Only have a few more days of cramming for the end of course exams and spending my kuai before hopping on a flying car back home. Send me your requests for fake anything-and-everything?

Tea and too many characters to learn,

PT

 

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