Published: June 28th 2012June 28th 2012
Rainy day…like in the Chinese movies, the sky here when it decides to cry is unstoppable during in the monsoon season. Do you remember the rain in Karate Kid? Well, worst! I came here just with my small backpack, thinking I will manage fine, but I have all my clothing wet already! My REI small camping umbrella is completely useless.
Suzhou is where I am. This city is located 40 minutes from Shangai, and besides the rain is a great escape. On the other hand, in Shangai also was raining cats and dogs. It was better to be wet here in an old ancient town, with the flavor of real china, or china for export...
Molly was my train fellow. A Chinese woman in her 30 that spent 5 years in England studying her major in English to become a better teacher here in her country where her parents live, and as an only child she has never thought about not coming back from Europe.
Molly is her English name. She had chosen after she watched Ghost movie on tv. She told me that the cute protagonist character convinced her. On the other hand, she did not know any other name at that point, when the teacher asked her to name herself. Molly, Ting Li, was one of an amazing opportunity I had to go deeper in Chinese culture, because she skeaks good English and because she navigate in both world, occident and orient. But beyond this social science professional deformation and my permanent cuoriousy and questioning temper, she was a great host and friend. She not only walked me to the bus station, but she also took the bus with me, even she needed to go to another direction, she guided me to my hostel, and once we realized that it was sold out, she helped me finding an alternative one. She did not move until she was sure I have a place and I was surrounded other English speakers. When we were walking, she hold my hand as friends do here in this country. It is quite strange for a western hold hand with another woman. I felt I was in the break of my elementary school playing with my girlfriends on the playground.
She was the one that told me that she met her husband on line. Actually, not her but her mom! She was the one that told me about all the advantages of being a teacher in China, the range of salaries, the opportunities of certainties for a woman in this type of job and the one that tries to convince me to come to live in China and teach film, communication or Spanish…I told her I will consider for the future.
Suzhou has great coffee places, also to send postcards for your future you or your friends. Has amazing gardens. Many spots with my idea of China at the end of the trip finally started to take shape in this touristic spot.
I went to the two old street the city has. I liked the most the one that has the hostels. Pinglia Liu, because is tiny and less crowed. The other one is full of shops and stores that sells touristic crap. Mainly clothing from India… I am not going to come to China to buy Nepali and Indian Skirts…very weird. Actually I did not buy anything, just small present for my old nephew and niece…I could not stop of getting something to them …
In the morning I have breakfast in a place where 4 American women, very marketing oriented were brainstorming about packaging ideas in front of the small canals, I got depressed. In 3 days my journey here will end and this women reminds me the real world with such a strong presence that ruin my whole morning in the big Suzhu Garden...:(