Well, not exactly: it is Hefei but the above is a good way to pronounce it, minus the extra 'her's.
Hefei is the capital city of Anhui province, where Wuhu lies. Remember Wuhu? That was where I wanted to go to kick off my travel season. Woohoo! That is how that city's name is pronounced. I anticipate writing a wonderful entry about my exploits in Wuhu. It will have to wait.
Hefei first came to light when Sam told me of an invitation he received from a publishing house. Our school buys most of its textbooks from them and they were sponsoring a customer appreciation junket. Teachers from schools all over the country were going. Sam was our institution's designee because of all the hard work he does... or maybe he was the most available. Other teachers travel and/or go to their hometowns during the summer. Sam is stuck here because, as opposed to our faculty members who intermarry, his Penny is not a teacher. She must continue working. Sam whiles his summertime away by playing Daddy Day Care.
He just sent me a text message: he is fed up with being full-time Daddy. He just cracks me up!
Upon his return from Hefei he told me all about the wonders of that town and his time there. I got the itch. At some point this summer I should go to Hefei. It met all the qualifications: I've never been there, it is easily accessible and welcomes foreigners. I loosely penciled it in for sometime after my Shanghai-Hangzhou-Shenzhen-Guangzhou tour... which, as you know by now stopped at Hangzhou.
Hefei manifested itself again on the way to Shanghai: the train stopped there. My thoughts on visiting grew sharper. However, as you might know from the few preceding entries, upon returning home from my last, disastrous round of visiting I declared I had had my fill of traveling for the nonce and quite frankly did not want to board another train or visit with anyone else any time soon.
Now graduated student/friend Martin – he of Country Chicken/City Chicken fame (see eponymous entry posted August of last year) sent a message: would I consider traveling with him? We had talked about it idly in the past, in the tone of 'yeah, it would be great but probably won't come to pass'. After the hell-trip I was still recovering from, the very last thing I want to do is travel with yet another person who feels compelled to tell me what to do and eat. But he was going to Suzhou...
Suzhou also lies in Anhui province, north of Hefei. That train I rode to Shanghai also went through Suzhou, and Gary touted the beauty of the place. How could I resist?
Maybe I am a glutton for punishment. I am now in possession of a train ticket to Suzhou for 5 days from now. Martin will go with me, initially to sightsee but actually to find a job. He has already started counseling me about which train to take...
What about Wuhu?
I've not forgotten. I will start this trip with Martin but will leave him behind and go to Hefei by myself. Wuhu lies just below Hefei. I can take a bus there. See? All's well that ends well, and WooHoo! is on the horizon.