Only in China could the weather forecast for my vacation destination be “widespread dust” and “smoke”. Not sunny, not rainy, but dusty and smoky. My lungs are loving this place.
Tomorrow is the official start of China’s week-long labor day holiday, where apparently the entire country (or close to it, since there are hardly any train tickets to be had) picks itself up and goes on vacation. Well, of course it’s not everybody, but since there are 1.3 billion people, it’s still going to be a lot of Chinese vacationers out and about this week. Unable to make train arrangements and unwilling to spend hundreds of (US) dollars on a plane ticket, Michael and I are heading into the thick of it on a Chinese tour.
A Chinese tour. I don’t quite know what we’ve gotten ourselves into; the guides will most likely not speak any English, my translation skills are rather subpar, and the tour brochure has such broken English that I’m not even entirely sure what sights we are supposed to be seeing. In any event, somehow we will board a train to Qingdao tomorrow night, “live active freely by the sea”, take bus to Yantai, boat to Dalian, “live active freely in the People’s Square” and do some other stuff, like visiting “Tai qing pour”, “Eight Strategic Borders”, and a military port/base which foreigners are not allowed into.
I looked up the word for “arrested” in the dictionary today. I’m going to start working on that self criticism. Wo wanquan bu zhi dao waiguoren bu keyi jin qu. Zhen de. Wish me luck.