|On our second day in Huangshan we took a bus ride to the ancient village of Xidi. It is almost one thousand years old and has about 500 inhabitants many of them older. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery and many art students go there to practice their drawing and painting skills. They were all very friendly wanting to say hello and how are you but that was pretty much the extent of their English. A few of them wanted to have their picture taken with us.
The bus ride to the village is pretty hilly with lots of bends but that didn't deter the bus driver from overtaking anything and everything with a long blast of his horn. The drivers everywhere we have been are on the horn continually but nobody seems to take offence. When we got back from the village we had a stroll around part of the newer shopping area near our hotel. After a rest we headed out to our new favourite restaurant which we had found the night before where we were greeted with big smiles and a bowl of peanuts. They were very sorry to hear that we would not be back the next night.
On the way back to the hotel down souvenir lane Greg stopped to look at a chinese musical instrument which looks very much like a liver. Soon enough I was getting a lesson on how to play it much to the amusement of a gathering crowd outside. We had a slight disagreement about do ray me etc as they kept insisting do was A no I said do is C. Anyhoo we bought it along with some fingering instructions and another flute like instrument which according to the young fellow in the shop is "number one China"
The hotel where we are staying seems to be run by a family of four generations. I washed out a few clothes and hung them up in the bathroom to dry while we were out. When we came back one of the young girls came running up to our room to deliver them. They had taken them away and dried them for us! There is a little courtyard between the two old houses where they all sit and chat in the afternoon. The young ones take turns to sit at the reception desk until midnight
Today we caught the bus back to Shanghai. It is a five hour trip but easier than getting the bus to Hangzhou then transferring to the train. Seen along the trip was fellow using a brush cutter to trim the median strip with three or four others following behind and sweeping the highway lane clean. The lane was blocked off for this purpose
Shanghai is covered in smog. The glare of it gives you a headache even with sunglasses