Long fuggin' weekend.
Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
101Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Friday was cold and windy but we rode anyway since I need to get into condition before next month
We went to our bicycle shop because Chen's bike needed some adjustment. I told him that I was going to the restaurant next door for some "Jouza" (dumplings) but he couldn't understand me. I repeated J O U Z A using every tone and inflection I could say but he gives me the "numpty" stare so common with Chinese folks. Then I went to the restaurant and said "Jouza" and they immediately provided me with a steamer basket full of dumplings. How can the restaurant understand me but not Chen? Perhaps it's because Chen speaks a Wenzhou dialect and my word was a Hangzhou dialect. This dialect thing is a big thing in China
Saturday: Fellow teacher and great world traveler "Kay" just got back from Cambodia. Apparently she discovered skin cancer while in Cambo and flew to Thailand in order to have it removed at one fifth the cost of the hospitals in the US. She was stitched up and stayed in her bed all day. I brought her some wine and strawberries and we shot the breeze for a couple hours. The new teacher "Elaine" was with us so Kay couldn't get too frisky!!~LOL (Kay is in her 60's but very brave). I always like hanging out with Kay. Glad she's ok.
I forget to mention my new neighbors. Apparently a family of three moved into the tiny concrete shed next to my motorbike parking place. Barely enough room for a few tools but this couple turned it into a home. Their kitchen table is an old piece of plywood on a brick out front, but they have moved in and turned it into a tiny cozy home of 150 square feet. The place has no heat but there is an extension cord which provides electricity. No bathroom. The man pedals a three wheeled bike and hauls stuff that he finds in the garbage
Monday: Went on a bike ride with Lil' Al and Chen. Drove the 3 miles to Al's campus, had lunch and was on the road by 1:30. Our destination: Yanguan", Started out a nice ride on an overcast day. The wind was in our face but only 7 MPH or so. So after 90 minutes of tough riding we finally made it to Yanguan. Yanguan still has many old wooden buildings with tile roofs like pre 1900's looking stuff. Carved wooden window sills and doors. Nice scenic place that is well off the tourist path. I like having the entire town to myself and no other Laowei around. Once in Yanguan it started to rain. Nothing like facing an 18 mile ride in the 48 degree rain. We put on the jets and tried to stay warm through overexertion. This worked for a while but then my legs lost much of their power and I was crippin" along pretty bad once back in Xiasha. Dropped Al off at his Uni and I had to travel 6 more waterlogged miles
Forgive the pics of the trip to Yanguan but it was cloudy and I forgot my camera. All these were shot by Lil' Al's celly cam.
Most folks who live or travel in China mainly take pics of the famous stuff (like I have done in Shanghai and Hangzhou), but since I have 4 day weekends (I never get tired of mentioning that) I have plenty of time to explore the surrounding area. Many of these places never see white people. This is what I love. I enjoy being an ambassador for the Western world and am always polite and glad to see the interested throngs of Chinese who are naturally curious about me as a specimen. I like the attention and the positive vibes that get sent my way. In America: I'm just another old shit-ass; but in China, I am someone special. I am true to them and never intentionally will do a thing to disappoint the Chinese