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Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 88 – Almost out of China

Almost there. Almost out of China. I can’t say I’ll miss it. Sure we’ve met some wonderful people and they’ll be dearly remembered but I’m afraid I’ve come to the conclusion that China and I are simply incompatible. I’ve given it a bloody good go and short of actually moving in with a Chinese family, learning the language and getting a job I feel I’ve been sufficiently immersed over the 5 weeks to say that I’ve seen the “real China”. It’s not for me.

Our last week – the re-entry to experience Guilin, Yangshuo, Nanning and to celebrate New Year has been uniformly grey, wet and cold. A little part of me feels like it would have been inappropriate for it to be any other way. A week of perfect weather in China’s most beautiful scenery may have served to redeem the place and left a rose tint on the country that I’m not sure it really deserves for me. It’s sad – mainly because I know I’ve met some incredible Chinese folk who really deserve better. I will also state that the standard of accommodation has been consistently high as has, for the most part, the hospitality within the hostels we’ve stayed.

Any place that causes me to go to bed at 21:30 on New Year’s Eve says all you need to know though.