. One night while we were sitting around drinking some "clear liquid death" Tibetan whiskey, he told me, "tonight is good, no people". I was the only person in the dorm the first night, but the next night we were invaded by a French student group that infested the entire guest house and more importantly, my dorm. They were so loud, I could barely hear my music. The one kid I talked to was pretty kewl though. I was happy they left the next day. I was feeling a bit off since I arrived, but I figured that when you drink 8 bottles of liquid death, you are bound to not feel so well the next day. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to improve. I had a bad cough, shortness of breath, a slight headache and just felt a bit out of sorts. Here's where I take back all those jokes about the Lonely Planet being a waste of space. It's because I read about altitude sickness in the book that I was able to self diagnose what I had wasn't a simple cold, but Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) quickly heading for High Altitude Pulmonary Edema(HAPE). I mean I was in the middle of a town, not climbing the Himalayas. Who thinks about altitude sickness when your sitting in a bar? After doing some research on the net, I realized I had to get out of Dodge as soon as possible and return to a lower altitude. As my symptoms closely matched those of HAPE and what I read said that I could be hours from death if I did not descend immediately, I tried to evac by plane to Chengdu like many mountain climbers in Tibet do when they get AMS, but all flights were booked. I quickly packed up and with the help of a nice Frenchman that I had spent the last 4 days with and headed to the bus station. Unfortunately, all buses were booked for the next 3 hours. So I used my broken Mandarin to explain to the women at the gate that I could not breathe and had to get out of Shangrila as soon as possible. She spoke to a driver and he had 1 extra seat on his bus so they let me on and I got away immediately. After arriving back in Lijiang, I felt much better, but I still have the cough and cold. Now to find another way into Sichuan.
Forgive me All for it has been many weeks since my last entry. Unfortunately, or fortunately for me I am officially in the middle of nowhere, China. I am currently in the fabled Shangrila, 3200M/~10,500ft above sea level. I'm actually amazed that there in an internet connection here. I'm borrowing the laptop of a Korean guy to write this on a wifi connection "borrowed" from the bar across the alley. After several months in China, I finally feel that I am in the middle of nowhere. Sorry for my lack of confessions, but I will update my travels when I have more time and some internet access. I feel at home right now as I've taken over the bars sound system and am playing my own music in the bar right now. Nothing like chillin' in a bar with your own soundtrack playing in the background and controlling the tempo of the night. It's been awhile since I've been able to do that. I'm staying at the Harmony Guest House and Bar owned, but not run by Joey. Joey's a friendly Chinese guy that really can't be bothered to run a guest house. This place seems to be more of an inconvenience to him than anything else