We finally arrived home. It was much to late to have the birthday cake that was specially brought for Rachel and me, and too late as well for making pasta. So leftovers and and eight hours in the bus completed this day, and I suppose I’ve had more lively birthdays, but it wasn’t outright bad. Just a little boring.
And My Birthday
Easter is really not celebrated in China. So for us, Easter was not really Easter-ish. Two days before, Rachel, Mum, and I were out shopping (birthday shopping, since my birthday fell on the same day as Easter Sunday) and we saw chocolate rocks, a favourite treat. The only place we knew where to get them was a chocolate shop in Melbourne, and that’s wasn’t very local, so it was surprise-surprise, when we found them in China in an underground shopping center. (Underground in this case meaning not illegal, but literally, underground, like a subway.) So I thought knew the big Easter surprise, and then I was truly shocked when we found that the Great Wall had not kept the rabbits out (private joke: only certain people will get this) and we found that Mum had brought chocolate Easter bunnies to China, and we were delighted. And I still have some left!
So now it was time for the next stage of the Easter-birthday. This was to ride two hours in a rented bus to a waterfall on the Vietnam-China border, the largest trans-national waterfall in Asia. We all had good expectations about the “Niagara Falls of China”, the only negative being the two hours there and the two hours back in the bus.
And so we drove. And drove. And drove. Our bus driver (it was more like a van-taxi) had tinted the windows, and we could barely see out, and it was dark inside, so I couldn’t really read the book I’d taken.
“We must be almost there,” we told ourselves after two hours. Another hour passed. And another. Most of us began thinking “two hours, my foot!” And that was exactly right.
So we finally got to the waterfall and it started to rain. Never mind. We climbed up the track to see it better, and viewed a very pretty, but smaller than expected, waterfall. We couldn’t step into Vietnam, a disappointment, and so after an hour or so in the rain we decided to go face another four dry hours in the approaching night to get back to Nanning.
I think I’d had a birthday’s worth before hand though, since Rachel had taken me to have my toenails specially painted with flowers and swirls on them, and on Good Friday we’d gone shopping for a dress and ended up with two. And as a main gift, I received an MP3 player, and that has been great!
And that was the 24th of April, 2011, signifying both Easter Sunday and my birthday.