I tried posting the majority of this post a few days ago, but for some reason it wouldn't stick on my blog, so here's the redux version of it.
That's the handle that belongs to Kunming. It feels more summerish than springish at this point, but who's complaining? I rolled in here at 4am yesterday morning on a sleeper bus that smelled like dirty socks, with seats too small for this guy. And I must add, I've really become accustomed and comfortable with the public smoking ban we have at home. Being stuck on a bus where people are chain smoking kinda sucks. Anyways, the weather is great here, and Kunming is a beautiful, modern city with great architecture and an overall good atmosphere to it. Yesterday I strolled around the city for a few hours, soaking in the sites and giving my camera a workout. This city totally changed my impression of China for the better, so much so that I'm thinking after Australia I might actually use that TESOL certificate I earned back home, maybe spend a little time living in China. That's far off in the future though, way on the back burner for now.
Thankfully travel has become a little easier upon my arrival here. More people speak English and the locals seem a little more friendly and open towards foreigners than they were in the rural area of Yuanyang. I ended up finding a really cool hostel with incredibly helpful staff and a rooftop patio with a kick ass view of the city square. My first night night was pretty hilarious; a couple Aussie guys and I tried out the local Kunming nightlife. Hilarity ensued. We found a dance club right across from the hostel, it had pretty good tunes and was pretty busy. The great thing about being white in Asia is you catch the eye of every girl in the bar. While this is good, we noticed that we were getting a lot of looks from the greater ratio of guys in the place, which probably meant a fight would happen if we tried moving in on their women. We kept chilling, and after a little while a lot of guys were coming up to say hello and do a friendly cheers with us; this is pretty common in SE Asia. Then some guy comes up to us and tries pulling me on the dance floor. Being to polite fellow I am, I follow. Except instead of going to the dance floor he drags me over to a table where he taps this purple shirt wearing guy on the back and gestures toward me, then turns to me and makes a gesture with his hands that insinuates the guy and I hooking up. Yeah, I got propositioned in a gay bar.
After noticing the hostile looks weren't exactly hostile, we tried out another bar, which happened to be completely dead. I've been downloading and watching The Wire lately, and that bar had a sketchy of Proposition Joe in the bathroom. That was fuckin cool. After one beer there and against our better judgment, we headed back to the gay bar. Before you ask me what the hell I was thinking, we ended up meeting some Chinese women. No, they weren't ladyboys. That's the great thing about gay bars here, there's a ton of straight women in them, and they all approach you, you don't have to do shit all. Guys, if you need a confidence boost, go to a gay bar in China. And it was the only place in town that had people in it.
Now I'm typing the rest of this out from Dali, a pleasant looking little town west of Kunming. I rolled in here on an overnight sleeper train an hour ago. The trains here are pretty cool. I booked a hard sleeper ticket, a little weary of the 'hard' in that phrase, but it turned out to be quite comfortable. And for a seven hour journey, $13 isn't too bad at all. My first walk around Dali makes me think this place is quite awesome and relaxed, I strolled up a walking street that has a mountain stream concreted into it, and looks quite pleasant. That's it for now though, I'm going to bed.