28 August 2009

Ferry Ride

10pm Tue

Just gained an hour of time as we crossed over the into the Chinese
timezone. I can stay up another hour! :-)

We're cruizing west in the ferry between Korea and China. It's a
large ferry! I'd probably call it a ship. It's maybe about 100 m
long, 8 stories high. It's so large I can hardly feel any waves.
It's pretty flat all the way. If it's windy and stormy, it might be a
bit different, not sure. But, this ride is quite smoothe, with the
odd movement.

It's not super clean, but it's a fairly clean boat. Toilets are ok,
but have to get toilet paper from outside before going in to sit down.
Drinking water available. My own bed (like Japanese capsule hotel).
Restaurant, karaoke room, club area, lounges, shops for snacks, travel
books, souveneirs, showers and info desk.

It's nice being outside on deck at night in the middle of the sea.
Good time for feeling small, thinking about life, being close to
nature and close to God. Back inside, good place to meet people.
Mostly people are Chinese, I think, with good number of Koreans too.
There are a few other westerners too. I met a couple from Europe who
are cycling around the world! I kind of envy them, haha. Also, met a
couple of Korean guys who'll study in China for a year. Met one of
the shop assistants who taught me a bit of Chinese (yi, er, san, si,
wu, liu, chi, ba, jiu, shi; which is one to ten).

Already, I've felt the difference between Korean and Chinese people,
just as I did when I got on the ferry in Japan to come to Korea and
noticed how Koreans were different from Japanese. Chinese are louder
people, on average, and don't seem to worry as much about what other
people think, whereas Japanese people seem to be very conscious and
concerned about what other people think, hence, a much quiter and less
obvious way of conducting themselves.

One of the nicest things I saw this afternoon on the boat just as we
were getting out of sight of Korea, was of a father and her daughter.
She was throwing small pieces of food in the air to the birds who were
gliding in the wind behind the ferry. She was smiling and enjoying it
a lot, as a number of other took photos.

And, for some reason, my Japanese phone still works out here in the
middle of the sea, so I called one of my Chinese friends in Melbourne
to say "Hi!".

And, as the sun set, I took my last photos of my few days in Korea.
Now, for some rest, ready to wake up and begin 9 days in China.

10:30 am China time Wed

Had a goooood looooong sleep, got up couple of hours ago, saw all the
rain outside, couldn't see anything except sea, clouds and rain. Then
showered, ate a few instant noodles for breakfast along with some
nuts, fruit someone gave me, and peach drink. Did some stretches and
then some Bible reading, some prayer and focus thinking for the day.
Just finished now.

I looked up and saw the rain had stopped, and. Feels like we're
getting closer to China now, because there are many of these little
boats (don't know if they're fishing boats or what) and also a few
large tanker ships in the distance. This large ferry has to weave
between the little boats, one or two of which cut across our path,
slowing us down.

Now to practice a bit more Chinese.

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