Friday, August 28, 2009

My China Trip

This week, after a series of emails bouncing back and forth between me and a very good travel agent specialising in China, I have established my Chinese itinerary, and now booked my flights. Consequently I am now just the merest bit anxious (well somewhat terrified, actually) about this and wondering what on earth I think I'm doing.

So now I have to apply for a visa and get a course of vaccinations - and also, I read somewhere, find my own set of needles and syringes, just in case...

But I'm trying not to think about that bit. Instead I'm thinking about travelling through the Karst scenery of the southwest, and walking through the 'Quiet Lingering Gardens'.

It is a strange thing this wanderlust. Somehow I feel like I need to go...somewhere, and yet dread the thought of doing so.


Blogger crimeficreader said...

Clare, I believe there is both excitement and fear in the new. The excitement of discovery, in this case first hand and, the fear of the unknown and the quick learning process in order to survive and make the most of the short interlude in habitats only previously read about.

I am sure you will enjoy it and you are obviously already taking advice on all matters of protection. Thus I am sure you will continue to take advice when there and also apply a logical questioning thought process to it to ensure it makes sense.

Above all, do enjoy your trip. I'll miss you and your posts while you are there, but I know we will have many a blog post on your wonderful travels, as well as excellent photographs when you're back and I look forward to them all. No one in the blogging world matches your outlook on the world, the universe and, even the smaller particle matters you have concentrated on in the last week.

I for one am looking forward to more of the unique Duddy after the trip, if not before. Take good care, Clare.

Fri Aug 28, 11:17:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Ah, what a kind note, CFR! Thank you so much. At 2.30am in the morning I worry about what I have committed myself to, and how I got here, but it will pass. Everything does.

Sat Aug 29, 02:25:00 am  
Blogger Colin Shelbourn said...

2.30 a.m. is an excellent time of day to worry about things. Everything becomes worrying in the early hours ("Should I really have chosen those 'A' levels 20 years ago?"). You can only reliably decide if you've done the right thing after a bowl of Shreddies at breakfast.

You will be fine. China is just another place filled with people. Not so different from the rest of the planet.

Sat Aug 29, 12:25:00 pm  
Blogger crimeficreader said...

When the PO opens on Tuesday I will send you a little Jiffy bag package with a couple of copies of the mag we were talking about (so you've no need to buy for research) and a lovely little crime novel set in China (where the author likes to talk about the food & no one is killed by poisoning). The latter might get you in the mood and the former inspire a targeted article.

I hope that at about this time, you are now feeling more excited than wary.

Sat Aug 29, 03:41:00 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

I think it is natural to be a bit nervous before going on adventures, but it sounds like it will be an amazing, life-enriching experience. I greatly look forward to reading about your perceptions of China!

Sat Aug 29, 08:53:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Very true, Colin. I'm OK once I get going - it is the preparation I always find difficult. I like this "You will be fine. China is just another place filled with people. Not so different from the rest of the planet." I'll try and remember it.

Thank you CFR, that is very kind of you!

Thanks Paul - the early hours always get to me, especially when I can't sleep.

Sat Aug 29, 09:47:00 pm  
Anonymous ojimenez said...

I used to travel for a living, not for pleasure, and never for fun.

I was a photojournalist. I never, ever stopped feeling jittery before a trip. But that was good. Mainly because it helped me focus.
I did not become complacent. I made all the arrangements, including all the shots, malaria pills, and personal first-aid kit.

This sure saved me from any "I should have" moments. (granted that once I left all my film on my bed and didn't realize it until the plane was taking off!)

When I touched down and arrived at my destination, I realized I was not in another planet. Help was there if I needed it. And I was always surprised to see how many people spoke my language. I also learned that people are really good natured anywhere you go, and are willing to lend a helping hand, more often than not.

It's been many years since my passport expired, and many years since I heard a greeting addressed to me in a delightfully foreign dialect. I miss it a lot!

Have a great trip and don't spend all your time inside air-conditioned hotels!


Sun Aug 30, 06:10:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you Ojimenez - what great insight and reassurance! Yes, I can see why it might be good to be a bit jittery, and might well keep me on my toes a little. I think I might need that

Sun Aug 30, 09:43:00 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Clare you are so brave. I haven't ever travelled by myself to a foreign country ... just to the other island (this weekend) and that was traumatic enough! (e.g. the airport scanner alarm going off because of the studs in my belt.) You will have an awesome time I just know it. I am looking forward to the reports and photos.

Mon Aug 31, 08:03:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Argh - must note studs on belt!

I often wonder about bravery, because I certainly don't feel very brave (but thanks for suggesting I am!) Hodmandod Senior says I don't think about what can go wrong, so maybe I am impetuous more than anything else...But I reckon if I did think about all the potential disasters I would never go anywhere at all. In fact I don't think I'd step out of the house. And I know that really the hardest role is that of the one left behind. I often think that is the most heroic role of them all.

Mon Aug 31, 11:43:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Clare
Friend of Colin's speaking..... we've been to China a fair bit and it's an amazing place. My husband Derek was out there for 3 months and picked up a bit of the language. Things are changing sooooo fast now. When we first went everyone except officials used bicyles and wore Mao suits, now cars are causing congestion and confusion on the roads and the chinese look like Londoners. Suggest a bit of research on 'not losing face', spitting, Chinese eating customs and 'Meio'to ease getting around! If you'd care to ring us, we'd be happy to chat. Colin has our number. Cheers
Gill Greatorex

Wed Sep 16, 08:12:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Gill - sounds fascinating. I now have your number from Colin and shall ring you. Thanks again.

Thu Sep 17, 07:41:00 am  

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