Wednesday, 3 February 2010
The Beginning of the Journey, China
After a very long flight from the distant lands which I vaguely recall as London (6 hours to Dubai, 3 hour wait, and then 7 hours to Beijing FUN), we touched the smokey country of China, and I mean literally. The layer of pollution makes it impossible to even see down the road...and I will definately return back to this point later on.
As some of you may know, my flat fell through a week before I was supposed to move !!! However, with tireless calling and my very poor Mandarin, a miracle occurred. The plan was to stay in a hostel for a few nights so we could endlessly search the streets of Beijing in chance of finding an apartment. Instead, to my extreme surprise and delight, a young Japanese man seemed to be holding a placard with my name on it highly unexpectedly. There at the bottom right hand corner or the white paper was written, his name. And then it all made sense.
He had been one of many, that I had contacted to move into his apartment, but this guy meant business. So there he was ready for us to move!!! Nicknamed "San Pu," he did not speak a word of English, whilst my other half did not speak a word of Chinese, so I was the go-betweener with my so-called Chinese. But charades and sign language did seem to transcend the language barrier, so we were all content. We got a cheap, comfortable flat straightaway, which happened to be close to both our Universities; in the heart of a main shopping district, with amenities such as transport right on our doorstep. We had struck gold. And by the next day we had done all the compulsory registering at the local Public security bureau with our resident permits, so we have officially made it!
Okay, so we got the good stuff out the way. Now here comes the pollution bit...I got so horrendously ill by the second day from a combination of the pollution and the Plane's air-conditioning system that I was battling 104 F/ 40.5 C high temperature. To the average human being, your temperature is supposed to be 36/37 degrees, so you can understand that I was not myself. I became delirious, close to ending up in hospital, but luckily after my own home treatment of bathing in ice-like water, I have tamed it. Chest infection on the other hand is a bit more difficult to manage with DIY treatments, so fingers-crossed.