We are crossing the border into Vietnam today. The last days in China have been the hardest of this trip. I finally had to participate in a hike/trek. The first day wasn't completely horrible. We set out in the morning for a 1 hr bus ride to the countryside-I'm not even sure where at this point, but we were going to a village of the Miao minority. Later, we got out and walked on steep terrain for like 3 HOURS. The weather was ok, and because the new group is older and less athletic it wasn't completely horrible. YET. That night we stayed in a family house and had the best time ever, putting on what I called our own cultural performance. Since every time we go into a village, the people dance and sing for us, we plugged in the IPod and Speakers and had a mini hip hop dance party, together with some British Oasis singing and finally some of the villagers joined in and we started doing old skool moves like the running man and others, because we knew grinding would be a little too much for them. It was a great time. Our hostess definitely had fun and we stayed up late, eating and dancing and having some rice wine, which apparently you cannot deny or it's impolite...ha ha ha
The next morning I started my own TOUR OF HATE. It was raining and my feet were soaked and we had to go downhill on super muddy slippery paths FOR FIVE HOURS and I was so sweaty and drenched and and all we'd had for food was peanut butter and crackers, and I was miserable....you guys know how I am. I complained and made hateful jokes and remarks all the way down. When we got to our hostel, I had to room with two of the girls I didn't know, then our room didn't have electricity and then I bumped my head on the doorway because the ceilings are super low and I just about lost it. If I had been in DC, I would have pulled one of my oh, so well known, full-blown FITS of RAGE. But we have been instructed that anger is not accepted and emotions are to be kept inside at all costs. It took me all my will power to not scream and cuss and go freaking crazy.
Obviously, after I dried out and had fried rice I was all better and I managed to have a great time at their own cultural show. I got lots of good videos of the women dancing in these really elaborate costumes with metal rings and medallions dangling everywhere. I also met lots of kids and gave one of them my camera and taught him how to take pictures. He and his little partner in crime were so cute! They went around the tourists trying to collect either empty bottles or sell stuff. It was like a real town party with lots of music dancing and people on the square. I am still not into the trekking, but seeing these things make it not so horrible. But at night, when there is no light and there are scary spiders outside, I freak out a little and all I can think of is how much I miss cuddling with Phil in our bed and what a wonderful life I left behind in DC.