攀岩,吃饭,泡妞 – Climbing, Eating, and Chasing Girls

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Climbing, Travel
Tags: , , , ,

Three days on, one day off. Climbing this much might be a little excessive, judging by the fact that the temperature has never peaked below 94 degrees once this entire week. I’m normally opposed to climbing shirtless (mostly because I have nothing to show off), but it’s a necessity out here. If I didn’t climb with my shirt off, I’d be doing laundry every waking moment that I wasn’t on the rock.

Too hot to climb, but still psyched to try

Given the heat and humidity, it’s been difficult to try and push any sort of limits. I finally feel some of my strength coming back, but it’s still hard to hold onto limestone slopers when sweat is dripping off your fingers. I hang up my chalk bag by the air-vent in my room every night, to make sure it dries off for the next day. Fortunately, I’ve finally been able to pull of some sends, including a pair of .11a onsights and a second-go send of Chuck if ya want to (5.11d). All three lines were at 鸡蛋山 (The Egg), which is full of fun and thought-provoking lines.

Yesterday, we headed back to 白山 (White Mountain) for my third consecutive day on, and I jumped at the chance to climb Yangshuo Hotel (5.12b) for a redpoint attempt. It probably wasn’t my best idea, given the heat and my exhaustion from the previous two days, and it actually turned out to an embarrassing climb. I took at every one of seventeen bolts, too tired to link the 34 meters together. On the plus side, I was able to do every move first go, and am fairly confident I could send if we head out there in the early morning or wait until the sun dips below the horizon.

It doesn't look like it, but the wall is actualyl about 10-15 degrees overhung

Perfect limestone climbing

So today, I rest. Sitting in front of a fan, I browse climbing websites, update my blog, and go through the hundreds of photos that I’ve been taking out here. The 岩邦之家 (Rock Abond Inn) is set up quite nicely, for 118 RMB a night (18 USD) I get my own room with air conditioning, a TV, and the softest bed I’ve slept on since arriving in China. Travelers tip: if your butt is getting soft, bring your own toilet paper: the Chinese options are nowhere near as plush as the Cottonelle that my rear end has become accustomed to. The lobby is set up comfortably too, with couches, Internet access, a TV, and a small cafe. Abond and his crew (including his girlfriend, brother and sister, and three other employees) hang out here most days when not climbing, keeping up to date on their favorite Chinese dramas. For dinner, they have an in-house cook who prepares meals; if you buy groceries and share them, you’re more than welcome to sit down for dinner here as well.

If you're in Yangshuo to climb, and you're not staying here, you're doing something wrong

Of course, there are plenty of other options for food out here. I’ve found that generally, the food isn’t quite as good as what I ate in 西安, and is also more expensive, but is still quite acceptable for a tourist town. Of course, that’s because I’m a cheap bastard who tries to eat like the locals, rather than going to the myriad of more expensive and/or Western options that are available. After paying less than 10 RMB (1.70 USD) a meal for the last month, it’s hard to spend double or even triple that amount. However, if you’re really craving that American meal, many places will sell you steaks, burgers, and milkshakes.

The ultimate shame, even McDonalds has made it out here

I’m not a drinker by any means, but if you were so inclined, the nightlife in 阳朔 is something to be spoken of. When the sun goes down, the main drag lights up, and hundreds of locals and vacationing foreigners pour into the streets. Karaoke pours out half of the doors, while the yells from competitive beer-pong and billiards players come out from the other half.

Last night, after much cajoling and arm-twisting, my Chinese friend 莘哥 dragged me into the street to participate in the local tradition of 泡妞, also known as birdwatching, and/or chasing girls. 35 years old with the soul of a 18 year old, 莘哥 explained to me the power of his come-hither look, while Abond explained that his come-hither only works when his wallet is also in his hand. All in jest, of course. “We’ll just have fun”, 莘哥 promised me, and I reluctantly followed.

West Street during the day

In the end, 泡妞 was a bust. After twenty minutes of watching Chinese men with shifty eyes cast looks towards pretty girls while ribbing each other about who would have the guts to go buy her a drink first, I was still no closer to having a girlfriend than I was before I left for China. Until 莘哥 shows me that he can deliver on his promises, I won’t be going out to 泡妞 with him again.

At least he’s a good belayer.

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Comments
  1. Layying says:

    Learned some new vocab, have we?

  2. Hayley says:

    andrew, i shall now start calling you john

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