It’s been a while since I last properly posted, in fact almost a month.
So what have I been doing since then?
Well, I arrived in China on the 26th of November, and left on the 26th of December. Since then I have been to Chengdu to visit Michael and Victoria, been to Xi’an to visit my friend Jingxi, travelled to Shanghai to catch up with Airy & Daan, and then spent a good 2 weeks in Beijing catching up with everyone there. [google map of places visited]
Did I manage to do everything I wanted to do? No. not quite.
But I did manage to get many things done.
I got many little things for my project, not everything…but many things including special seat covers, a special light and a few other trinkets. For those that don’t know what my project is just yet, that won’t mean anything.. but just know that this is a good thing.
I managed to post back a whole heap of stuff back to Australia, as I bought many different shoes from Taobao….because I don’t want to have to buy shoes there for a while.
I got a few shirts made and an extra pair of pants.. which is also awesome. I don’t have pictures, but I got light purple, and interesting patterned grey, and blue? Maybe it was blue, maybe it was white.
Plus, I got a new phone for myself and my brother.
Xiaomi Note 3 (not available in other countries yet) but specs are very good. Android, 6 gb of Ram, 128 gb of storage, very fast, and an amazing dual camera.
Here’s some pictures and some stats.
Also, during this time I managed to catch up with and spend some good time with friends from Beijing.
I caught up with Zhaopeng, who will be helping me with colour combinations for my latest project, and who he himself is setting up a boutique coffee shop in sanlitun, one where you don’t just choose what kind of coffee you want, but you get to choose which kind of bean you want, where it comes from etc, and one that will offer coffee appreciation courses to foreigners and Chinese. It amazingly decorated and apparently most people coming past think it’s a furniture store. But I can understand why.
Caught up with Adrien for which I did the motorbike track days with. Spent a lot of time just talking and sharing ideas. Was really nice.
Also went bowling with him and his girlfriend and he taught me how to spin bowl. So that’s pretty cool.
Had a great dinner with a bunch of motorbike friends, Galen, Clement, Louis, Josh & his wife Xiao, Adrien & Yezi, Alex, Zhaopeng, Cheng en, and Lukas. Really great to see everyone again, oh and we went bowling afterwards.
During this whole time in Beijing I stayed at my friend Galen’s place, who graciously put me up despite the fact that he has a full house as his son Max is growing very quickly. But it was really great to spend time with him and understand his family life a bit, because last time I missed out on seeing him so much due to the accident.
Managed to catch up with my Dutch friends, who I actually met in Beijing before I was transferred to the Netherlands. The idea there was to go ‘gay clubbing’ (the gays really know how to dance and have a good time). But unfortunately we never got to do that. A combination of people being busy and feeling a bit sick… so just a catch up for dinner and chatting.
All in all I spent 30 days back in China. Arriving on the 27th of November (flying for my birthday) and then flying out on the 26th of December.
So yep, I spent Christmas in china.
And what did I do?
Well, I spent at least 1.5 hours at China Post. Some time with Galen, and then I had a Christmas evening with some friends. In fact with Josh & Xiao that took me in after my accident and who also went track biking with me before.
I was supposed to meet up with a friend for dinner at a different location, but instead convinced her to come to join us. Was a lot of fun, and by the time Galen accompanied me to the airport at 6am..well I might have been still drunk.
Turns out British passports don’t need visas, despite what the British embassy in china says about Thailand. You just get a stamp which is your visa, which is valid for 30 days.
I got picked up from the airport in Chiangmai by my friend Fin and his Grandmother Anker, met his family, had dinner with them. And then the very next day was his wedding in traditional Thai style. Which I’ll be writing a separate article about later. But for now, here’s a couple of teaser pictures.
Have to say, Thailand or at least Chiangmai is very beautiful, what Fin says I think is correct. “it’s everything you wanted China to be, but actually realised”.
I’ll be writing more about Thailand later, but being here is great, and for me its just a plain and simple holiday. I have no desire to go out and see a whole bunch of things, or to feel like I need to check certain things off a list as I do in many other places. In fact I’m quite tired of that, and so this part of my journey back to Australia is just spending some time with Fin and his wife, trying to understand and feel for myself just why Fin loves Thailand so much and try to find some of that for myself. Also to speak to him about some of the ideas that he has, and understand his way of thinking a bit.
Oh, also I listened to these books during December as well: