The stairs were actually pretty scary at some points. There wasn’t much room to maneuver and people were coming were going up and down at the same time almost the entire way up. Like at some points of the trail, if you take a step off the path, seeeee yaaaaaaaaaa. But I guess I can't complain since someone at some point did take the time to carve stairs into the side of a mountain so it was easier to climb.
We were very appreciative of the stairs.
10 minutes of hiking later we come across a group of women sitting on a blanket playing cards and their kids running around the mountain playing. The wives. So the men go have bro time and the women go gossip and play cards. On the top of a mountain. Like, there’s no way to get there besides hike. I guess that’s a relaxing Saturday afternoon in China! But we all walk passed them and they start freaking out and pointing and yelling like beautiful and handsome towards us. We totally have that effect on people. Win for Americans, I’ll take it.
I think this picture adequately describes the situation.
Modesty is not a thing here apparently. I am so scarred. I’m not even trying to be a baby about this. When I say that we were surrounded by old naked Chinese women, I mean WE WERE SURROUNDED. There was no avoiding it. I think I brushed up against 3 different naked butts as Desiree and I sprinted out of there to go change in the bathrooms in the lobby area. There wasn’t even a changing room option in the locker room at all! But we had to go back in at some point to put our clothes in our lockers. Ugh. Then in order to go outside to the hot springs you have to walk straight through the shower section of the locker room. I can’t even. Nightmares.
So anywayssssssss, we make it out to the actual hot springs and it was so awesome!!!!! We were surveying the area when we suddenly realized that every single guy there was wearing a speedo (including Dr. Cheng…………………………….). More nightmares. There were separate pools with a variety of temperatures and once you got used to the natural sulfur smell (rotten eggs) and speedos it was one of the coolest places ever. Plus we had and awesome view of the mountains as the backdrop. So pretty!!
Sunday was a chill day of sleeping in and playing basketball for a while with some students and then grading papers for a bit. And that wraps up another amazing weekend here in Chongqing. As strange as it all was, it was the most fun I’ve had since coming here. I think a big part of it is that I’m more comfortable around everyone now and we all can just be ourselves and have a good time together whether we’re climbing a mountain or grabbing lunch in between classes. We’re finally starting to get in the swing of things here and it’s pretty exciting. Even though I’m homesick, I’m having the time of my life and I can’t wait to see what happens next.