I continued travelling with the French guys via local transport to China. We took trains, buses and jeeps in order to finally enter the first page of the new chapter that awaited us.
Crossing this border was even more exiting than any other I have experienced so far.
The Mongolian landscape instantly changed once we passed the very last Mongolian gate. The custom agents were joyfully welcoming us to their country, what made this culture switch even more memorable than any other.
The scarce Steppe and big jeeps made room for a somewhat greener vegetation and small overcharged electric scooters.
It was exactly how I had imagined it. I was walking around in the pictures of my imagination.
It felt like another victory. It felt like I was in fucking Asia.
Datong was all about squatting bars and having to take other people’s ideas in consideration.
I had been with the Frenchies for about one week and a half, and it remembered me why I preferred to travel alone. It seems that, in all my over-social behaviour, I am very individualistic too.
I wanna do my thing: it’s cheaper, more adventurous and above all very instructive.
Thanks to the Internet, an old friend (from my brace-face-years) had picked up my story and offered me to stay at his place. We missed each other due to my turtleness, so he left me a treasure map in order to find his place in the heart of the Hutongs of Beijing. The detailed description included stuff like “walk the street where two lions flank the entry”, “turn 90° to your left” and “count 20 steps straight forward”. These last 20 steps were to be taken after I had closed the front door behind me, so you can understand my curiosity about this mysterious place.
I carefully followed the map, creating a whole movie around my personal adventure. Without getting even the slightest bit lost, I found the key and climbed the 7 stories high building. Bingo!
The place contained every single bit of magic. It was like the Chinese version of my old place: the kitchen was bulging out of food, strange artefacts were laying around the house, hence they a even had a fitting doll.
I enjoyed the 180° view of an early sun shining through fluffy clouds and planted myself in the unknown bed to catch up some sleep.
Beijing caught me into its spell instantly. It almost felt like a disappointment that I could adapt this fast to my new surroundings. Biking around in the chaotic streets reminded me of Brussels; and the people I have met profiled with my favourite humans in the world.
My indecision of where to go next had no problem with that at all.
The chances were thrown at my head; as if it was normal that all of a sudden a Belgian girl appeared into their lives.
Destiny and a heavy hike brought me to my own private part of the Great Wall. I was walking on a part on the map that I had only dreamt of in the past, and in style. I got the chance to stay in a very fancy hotel (white, the hotel was white) by The Wall and had the most liberating walk through the silent mountains in the area. The solitude worked on me like an everlasting meditation, with nothing more than wild pigs scaring the shit out of me and branches combing my hair.
The untrodden path ahead of me opened doors in my brain never to be shut again.