- 出行天数/2 天
摄于9.24 千岛湖 我们是搭档
摄于10.7 杭州 我们是恋人
One day in late August I received a message on WeChat. A girl from my school added me. Her name is Huang Shengdan and she is the same age and from the same university as me. Shengdan asked me whether I want to join an activity which will be organized by Zhejiang Daily. When I heard that everything is for free, I simply accepted her offer and asked myself "Why not?".
About a month passed and Shengdan and me decided to meet each other in our school's library to talk about the upcoming trip. My first impression was not too spectacular... Nice girl, looks good, nice talk.
That was all that I was thinking about her at that time.
18:00-20:00 晚饭 鱼味馆
9.24 早上7点左右，我们抵达杭州市区，这是我们的第一张合影。5点醒来的Marco 困得不成样子。
We met again in the early morning of the 24th of September and made ourselves on the way to the headquarters of Zhejiang Daily. We were super tired and got to know each other a bit more while we were in the subway.
We met James when we arrived at Zhejiang Daily. He is pretty easy to spot and I would simply describe him as a 2 meter big, loud and friendly giant. He is from the United States and followed his Chinese love to Hangzhou and lectures at Dianzi university at the moment.
After a while, all participants came together in a big hall and we were seperated into group A and B. The Chinese excursionists were assigned to their forein counterparts. I guess I was the only one who already knew my travel partner. I just sticked with Shengdan all the time.
On this photo you see James when he met his Chinese partner. During the trip I got to know James better and I was indeed impressed by his upbeat nature.
I need to say something about this photo... Maybe it looks like I'm sleeping but I haven't slept a second because I was too excited about Shengdan snuggling up to my shoulder. I tried not to let her notice my affection.
After we arrived at the Thousand Island Lake, we checked in at the hotel and we satisfied our hungry stomachs at a seemingly very traditional restaurant. I heard that a special fish head is a delicacy of this region. We ate this together with many other dishes.
At first, I did not feel very comfortable with the thought of eating a fish's head. Shengdan squeezed out the eyes of the fish and ate them. This was a little bit awkward to me and the other foreigners... But I tried the other parts of the fish head and found it really tender and delicious afterwards.
We visited 2 villages during the first afternoon. The first one was a replica of an ancient town. The fact that those buildings were not genuinely having a historical value, made this town not so mysterious. You quickly felt that this was a place to please the Chinese mass tourism.
Thereafter we went to a real, little remote mountain village. People were living there like generations have done it before them. For me, this was the scenic highlight of this trip, it was indeed beautiful to see an old town so intact and not full of tourists. The village was sitting in a romantic scenery at the foot of small mountains.
I talked a lot with Shengdan and got to know her very quickly. The girl that made quite a superficial impression at first, started to become a really nice partner to talk to. We found out that we have many similarities, similar experiences, similar hobbies and more importantly: we share the same humour.
In the first town that we visited, there was a shop that sells and lends traditional Chinese clothes. I was interested and went inside to have a look and Shengdan wanted me to try something on. She helped me putting the robe on and I remember her taking a deep look into my eyes when she did that. Somehow I really enjoyed those minutes in that shop and felt very happy.
We visited a panoramic spot where we could glance over many islands. Unfortunately this place was packed with tourists so I would not recommend any visitors to come here. I believe that there are dozens of other beautiful islands from which you can have a gorgeous view over the area.
Taking a boat to pass through this pretty scenery was my favorite activity of the second day. The water and the environment seem very clear and clean so that I could enjoy the landscape a lot.
On the boat I had one of the longer talks with James. I have been living in China for more than 2 years now and it is not so easy for me to find people that I can have deep conversations with. We philosophised about life and experiences. I remember him saying "When I was young, a tree was just a tree and a lake was just a lake.". I like this sentence and it really made me think about the individual development of my identity. Speaking out our minds and ideas about geopolitics and social matters also influenced our talk.
I hope to see James again soon.
The afternoon of the last day was sizzling hot. We were all already sweating when we ate lunch. After lunch there was a cycling activity scheduled but Shengdan, me and some other people decided to stay in a cafe during that time to escape the heat.
During this hour Shengdan, James, Juli (an American born Korean) and me had a very interesting talk about life and love. We shared our experiences and had a very good time. James was always joking about Shengdan and me and said we were the perfect couple. In fact, the whole travel group A was already considering us as two lovers...
Shengdan said at the end of our talk that things and situations might would have looked differently when she would have met me about one year earlier. I believe that she had tears in her eyes when she said that.
When the others came back from cycling, the last task of our excursion was to write each other letters. Everyone had to write one letter to his/her partner and express the feelings and experiences that they made during this short weekend getaway. Shengdan and me probably wrote the longest letters and secretly and indirectly confessed our love inside of them.
On the bus back to Hangzhou we read our letters to each other and I remember Shengdan becoming very emotional again. I hope that I will never see her cry anymore.
9.28 我们在一起了，成为了40位参与者中唯一 一对真正的跨国CP
Thank you 千岛湖 and thank you Zhejiang Daily for setting me up with Shengdan!
We will surely come again and look forward to our next adventure! 谢谢大家