China Report: 30 December from Nathalie Leger’s Perspective

December 31, 2007 at 5:27 pm (Artist's News, Overseas Tour) (, , , )

This was our travelling day from Nanjing to Yangzhou. The coaches took twice as long as they were supposed to but after three weeks we are getting use to it. There always seems to be accidents or busy roads.

So welcome to Yangzhou and another New Century Hotel. Yangzhou is a small city, well for China, 4.5 million people in big development, clean and kind of modern. Visit the city centre and is very busy, noisy, colourful and full of life. Thousands of lights almost hitting you. Then a look around the hotel and the theatre and then we end up in an indoor market. So picturesque. Lots of fruit looking lovely. For 5 bananas it costs 30p.

Then meeting Pippa on the market street we feel we may go for a swim and a sauna. The advert in the hotel looked gorgeous. A proper treatment for body and head at the swimming pool on the third floor. We never found it. Unlucky. It has been this way at every hotel. The treatments do not exist.

Might be more lucky with The Deluxe Sauna. Not lying that is the name of it. Off we go happy and smiley. It took 10 good minutes to wander down the labyrinth ending up in another part of the hotel entrance. Very basic. A woman escorted us to the changing room and I found a locker that I made sure was locked well. She then gave us some plastic slippers which was good because hygiene is not at all good. One big room with 10 showers all open so naked women and babies in plastic baskets, scrubbing, massaging strongly, washing each other and making bath to their children in baskets! Fabulous. we are right there in the intimate life of these women. Never will experience that in my life again. Sauna a tiny room, dark and warm where everyone comes and goes just to put their panties, socks or bras to dry out! Incredible!! From our spot inside the sauna we can look out without being seen!! The life continues…a mother is peeling an apple with her teeth and giving it to her child. Never tell me that Chinese people are dirty! Probably much more clean than European people. They take care of there skin and hair so much. But are these people who are staying at the hotel or do they not have showers at their home? Sad thinking. We are now getting so warm sweating the pollution from our bodies. Feeling good. Now showertime. This is a bit more difficult as they do not want to give us a shower but finally one of them does. Thank you so much. Our locker is OPEN but everything is there even the money.

And finally going back to the room we think that we had a really amazing, Unforgettable moment there feeling almost, really almost, part of them. Thank you to them.

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