Our journey from Johannesburg, South Africa to Jiamusi, China started suddenly a few weeks ago, but it was om Sunday 29 Decemner 2013 that we got in the car in Bloemfontein, drove 430 kilometres to OR Tambo International, to board three flights to Jiamusi.
We traveled for almost 24 hours.
From summer into winter.
From the Southern Hemisphere, into the far reaches of the Northern.
To experience something new.
It was the kid’s 1st time on an aeroplane.
Everything went without a single glitch.
Even from Beijing to Jiamusi, on our domestic flight, we glided through security, our luggage way within the weight restrictions.
May Han met as at a white Jiamusi Airport.
We found what would be our homes for the forseeable future.
We got internet linked.
We got wi-fi set up.
We got mobile phone numbers.
We’ve eaten Chinese.
We’ve had KFC.
We’ve been hosted at the city’s most desired restaurant.
We’ve gone shopping for winter clothing which would help us cope with minus 25 degree temperatures.
We’ve bought groceries.
Walked to the river, where Theunsie was brave enough to sled down the ice onto the river.
Its only been 9 days.
The people of the North of China are warm & friendly & generous.
There are beautiful pastry shops in town.
Enough meat to satisfy our dude’s carnivorous desires.
Coffee, sugar, salt & milk is expensive, but the rest is cheap.
A beer sells for R5 of less than half a dollar.
2.5 litre Coke sells for R10 or $1.
Restaurants are affordable.
Everybody stares at Maddi & Sophia with their blonde hair & big round eyes.
Myself & Zuko seem to be able to pass ourselves off as Russians, who seem to visit Jiamusi from time to time, as the border is just a stones throw over the river.
We hope to visit the lake soon.
And the underground market. It is literally under the ground.
Towards the end of the month the city will host an ice festival, along with Spring Festival or what you might call Chinese New Year.
Every night we hear fireworks.
Every morning a fesh smidgen of snow covers this world.
It is early days on our adventure.
There are still some stuff to resolve at home.
But as we settle into the rhythm of this adventure and embrace new experiences with every new sunrise, it is gratitude which fills our being.
For our lives are connected to the Origin of Being & we are following a flow beyond comprehension, bringingmus to new places, not just on the globe, but also in our being.