Something I have forgot to mention in the previous Nepal entry was that, on one of the days in Kathmandu we (me and two sick souls) went to Thamel in hopes of some good non poisonous food and possibly some souvenirs. However due to the lack of bodily energy we had to turn back after lunch. So instead of walking back to the main road, we hailed a cab right in the middle of one of the many lil alleys in the streets of Thamel.
Cue horrible decision backgroud music.
Of course then we didnt know better, we just wanted to get back to the house ASAP. And so we went on a cab, in which the driver was surprisingly nice and chatty. He called our host and asked for specific directions or so I assumed, and proceed to drive us back, or so I assumed again. He talked to us like friends and asked about Singapore yada yada, and then we realised the we are kind of going deeper into the streets and further away from the tourist area. He appeared to be more lost than we are and exited the cab to ask for directions. This vicious cycle going deeper and asking directions went on for about three more times before we got to a temple ( like imagine our fear, we are supposed to be in Thamel-the-shopping-district not Thamel-the-market-place-with-no-tourists-but-temples-and-scary-looking-locals). But anyway it seems like he got the way, after asking a soldier. A legit soldier. And also a second call to the host. Up till then I genuinely thought he was the best cabbie ever, even though he didnt know the way he went the extra mile to help us when he coud just refuse to take us. It was later where I realised the address was clear because the other cabbies has no troubles with it and also he is a cabbie in Kathmandu, how the heck can he not know the place…
And so after all the scary twisty alley way we finally got to the place we wanted to go. And when we were about to pay our agreed 300rupees, he stopped us and asked for 500rupees, saying something along the lines of the long distances etcetc. We thought it was reasonable and wanted to give him the 500 because seriously 500rupees for a cab ride was quite little compared to Singapore, BUT NO. He was actually asking for 500 more, so in total 800rupees, and also at this point he was playing the I-am-poor-and-has-family-to-feed card. No shit sherlock, so do we. Sucks for you but we agreed on the price, and blaming our host for giving you the wrong directions was totally bull. And so we exited paying only 300rupees, with the pride of being a Singaporean, aint no body cheats our moneh.
The luxury of leaving our luggages unpacked and having soft queen sized beds and hot powerful showers, I bring you to Kunming, China.
Since as usual we slept our first day away in Kunming I have nothing much to say. But thereafter in the night as there are two sick souls, the two kind of healthy ones aka me, went on a short trip to the nearby mall (which we later realised was the best thing since sliced bread, cliche but true) for dinner. Long story short, we got severely distracted because STARBUCKS H&M UNIQLO PIZZAHUT BREAD TALK ANDITSFREEWIFI …
And this is just one of the 3/4 malls in the area. PARADISE is what it is after days and days outside civilisation. Needless to say we spend quite some time in Breadfuckingtalk for its free high speed wifi. HEAVEN! Thereafter while roaming around we also discovered Gong Cha. Its was like walking through a mine and picking up gold after gold after gold. Thus also because of this we delivered dinner to the sick souls late. SORRY!
Also went to 云南民族村, the minorities villages in a village kind of thing. If I even make sense… Anyway it was 93yuan of sweat, sausages and elephant. Mainly the elephants. It was basically like a bigass area and you go around and every sector is a village replica of their minority tribes. My personal favourite was the Mongolian one and the Tibet one. Especially because I climbed up a stone yak. Thats about it, it wasnt really that memorable perhaps due to the sun that day. Although we did spot a wedding going on there, and the bride and groom and their support group attempting to take some artsy fartsy photos by the swing set. Yes there was a gigantic swing set there. The above said photos were taken, but unfortunately still not yet uploaded by my mighty sis. Maybe I will post some when it finally gets on the net. Probably not soon.
Speaking of memorable, I think the most part of our Yunnan adventure belongs to the day we went to 石林。The legendary Stone Forest, the first wonder of the world, according to China that is, I am not so sure myself. The day started with a 30mins ride in a cab to the terminal and a 3hours(?) or so bus ride to the area. Probably less than 3 hours because I just completed 2 WTN podcasts. Anyway it was a sunny yellow, banana day. Well we started out great, being proper tourists and shit. The layout of the stone forest was such that it has a ring, for the shuttle buses and that covers the entire area of the forest, going round the sides. In the middle it was legit friggin stone forest. and also outside the ring. The area was huge, according to google it covers 400 square kilometres. Bloody hell. It was only until we complete almost half a ring we decided to venture. Actually not exactly venture, we just wanted to see the ancient writings/cravings on the stone, which was conveniently located within the ring. A little bit ( not exactly we later realised the directions was bull ) further in was supposingly the area of the thousand year old Ling Zhi, which we wanted to see as well. And so our horror begins as we walked further into the Stone Forest.
Cue sad background music of fore warning.
As we walked, the amount of SOS phones decreased, and so did the well constructed stone paths. We sort of enter an unknown area and soon we saw tiny paths and farms and ponds which was not exactly what we expected. As we go up higher, I saw a deadend. It then dawned to us the fucking dead end was supposed to be the spot to VIEW the thousand year old ling zhi, we could not be physically near that thing. And so we have to walk back down, and we are pretty lost then. It took 2 hours or so to get from the ring to where we are, kind of like a 3km trek and the ways were twisted and we were tired and hungry and we didnt know which directions was supposed to be nearer as we cannot trust the directing arrows. Heres a full size picture that deceives one with it’s stunning scenery but also hides subtle hints of how lost we are. Featuring my lost sister.
There was a mini map on back of our ticket stub, which we used to decipher our location and
WE ARE BACK AT THE RING!!!! THE SAME FUCKING SIDE OF THE RING BUT WHO CARES!
We literally went from this side into the middle of the stone forest and back out again. The farmers we saw inside even gave us the WTF-Tourists-are-dumb look. All for the experience and scenery. Seriously it was fortunate we had great scenery to pull us through otherwise I think I would have just sat by the SOS phone and cry.
The other time we spent shoppping around and roaming the streets of yunnan. Well on the last day, it was my climax of the trip. I was relatively healthy throughout the trip and on the second last day I decided to eat both seafood and milk tea with pudding. BECAUSE WHY NOT RIGHT? No such thing when you are a lactose intolerant girl in China. No such thing.
And so that day I immediately felt extremely bloated and lethargic. I had to sit down time to time and walking is an extreme chore. I feel like burping but couldn’t, and I even got to the state where I was trying to force myself to puke but also, I couldn’t. It was only until the next day, when we woke at 4am for our flight, I had my first case of severe diarrhoea. Like not the normal kind (kinda used to it because dairy, but thats besides the point), it was pure agony. Like, liquid? Everything in my intestines seems to have emptied out. I felt temporarily at peace up till the point where we took the cab to the airport, which takes about 45minutes. And what’s new, I puked midway. I am so experienced by now I had my plastic puke bag ready in my pocket and saved the cabbie from my mess. But this time my entire oesophagus feels like its on fire. My entire stomach contents inclusive of the acid seemed to have said hi to the world. I sat there in silent awkwardness, holding my produce the rest of the journey to the airport. I felt better, thank god, after puking. But the subsequent flights and transits are me going to the loo every hour or more. Every piece of food feels revolting, even my favourite soya milk. I can almost say that was the worst point of my life. I feel so bad and awful I just want to sleep and dissolve but I couldn’t sleep due to the cramps and diarrhoea and headaches.
Doctor’s office immediately after touchdown, dad wanted to bring us for ChompChomp 😦
But I’m fine now, just still very much disgusted by seafood and meat. Probably going to be semi vegan for a period of time.
Oh and its called Traveller’s diarrhoea. Also screw lactose. So I was the last one to fall sick in the trip. Better late than never? NO WAY.