This is what my friend exclaimed after finishing her bowl of mìantíao and throwing herself on the bed, causing food bits to fly. We’ve been gorging ourselves (and practically living) on street food, which contrary to popular belief is actually healthy. Chinese mushrooms do wonders for the intestinal tract, and the fresh fruit is out of this world. We already can be considered patrons at a twilight alley in Wangjiadun, where the spinach and kale dumpling pushcart made us become dependent on them being there at 9pm for our regular portion of night food. Our second day started with us heading straight for the biking route at the East Lake. It takes about six hours to bike around. The bikes we rented needed to be adjusted for our height, and they still left our knees at about a 70˚ angle. We were grateful not to experience any larger uphill stretches. I will include pictures here later, when the image uploading works again.
My friend has learned her first Chinese words, 外国人 “waìguórén” (foreigners) and 非常漂亮 “feicháng piàoliang” (very beautiful). We joke that if anyone is suffering from low self esteem, they should go to China, because you are bombarded with ego boosts from awe-struck Chinese people if you show yourself in public. They’re very considerate, however, and don’t demand having their photo taken with you or ask you personal questions. In other words, they leave you alone (even though they certainly gander at you from a distance). Our bike trip was exciting: we ended up in a military area with a guard dog inspecting us (a very calm and seemingly friendly one, ie. not scary at all) and a guard helped us, when he learned that we could communicate in Chinese. “You are our friends. China welcomes you.” It’s interesting to note that here, everyone we’ve met speaks for their country in general, not just themselves. Again, the collective nature of the culture is prominent. The military guard then let us bike through the closed military area all the way to Hanjie, from where we biked back to the east gate of the university. I recommend everyone visiting Wuhan to do this. It takes one day, though, so be sure to reserve enough time.
We were intrigued by the Han Street area, which boasts an acrobatics theatre (apparently one of the best in China). We bought tickets to the next day’s show, and decided to check out the European street of Wuhan. The small shops are fascinating, even for me (I detest large shopping malls, where it feels like you suffocate in the midst of a mass consumption feast) as there were “scent libraries” selling all kinds of scents such as ocean air, bamboo, dirt, and clean windows. Now we have to go to sleep, so I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.