killing time in kunming

so we’ve been back in kunming for the past two days, coming in from dali and waiting to catch our train to guilin. the hostel we’ve been staying in is cheap, and the city is pretty pleasant overall, but it’s not where we want to be – we’d hoped to get an earlier train, and this stall cuts into our time in yangshuo (the next big destination). that’s just the way china works sometimes, but i think we both kind of resent having to stay here longer than we would’ve liked, which bleeds into resentment for the city.

which is not particularly fair. kunming is (objectively) kinda nice. it’s got a large expat student population, and so is more westernised than most of the cities we’ve been to so far. it’s got decent cheap food, amenities like shopping plazas, walkable layout, comfortable climate, and some trees sprinkled in for good measure. but i find myself struggling to find anything to photograph because it all seems kinda… blah. and to be honest, *we’ve* been kinda blah. just walking without seeing, eating without tasting. j’s been down, and i’ve been struggling to keep up the energy for both of us.

and so what we needed was some socialisation, a little interaction with the outside world, a night out. so when a few of the other’s from the hostle invited us to dinner, we jumped at the chance. two of the group were teaching/studying in china from the u.s. and the u.k., two were well-seasoned aussie travellers who’d lived in london, one was a visitor of the teacher from baltimore, and then there was us. we all jumped into cabs and headed off for a great little out of the way restaurant where we had the most incredible meal, stuffing ourselves silly, then we walked down to a bar to have a few drinks. lots of conversation, laughter… it really was just what we needed to feel human again, and to remind us of the comraderie/community side of being a world traveller – sharing stories, tips, inspiration. remembering there is more to this trip than seeing temples, riding buses. it’s about people and experiences and learning.

and with that, we hop on a train this evening for a grueling 30 hour journey to guilin (yangshuo). where gorgeous limestone karsts, the li river, bike rides and relaxation and beer await us. i’m sure we’ll have some stories to tell when we get there.

2 Responses to “killing time in kunming”

  1. daddio
    May 8th, 2006 04:41

    30 hrs!! I’m sure you’ll get a couple of funny stories out of that ride.

    stay well.

    your boston bud

  2. dave
    May 9th, 2006 00:37

    sounds like going out and getting banged up was just what you guys needed! Love the stories and, well, experiencing the journey with you 2.

    The happy birthday tidbit one was the best.

    “See” you in Guilin.

    Love, and take care…Dave

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