God = dewey decimal system

I’m getting really bad at keeping my updates timely, or interesting….I’m trying though. So here’s my latest attempt. After leaving the lovely shanghai i made my way to nanjing which was good times, shared by water water and smart (see photos). after that i headed to quingdao which is famous for being an old german area, thus also known for their beer tsingtao, which is sold in plastic bags by the kilo. from there i went to beijing, which was lots of fun, although the tourist attractions were kinda stupid and not worth going to after being through the rest of china. I did however get to see Mr. Mao Zedong in person (although he was dead and stuffed) which makes my second stuffed communist dicator this year…If only i could get to russia in the next two months and see lenin and marx, hmmm…So anyway, about a week in beijing went by quickly and it was time to go. i went to tianjin for two nights before i went to tanggu, my last stop in china. and so it goes covering most of the country and three months later, I took the boat to korea. I got to seoul my first night. and after a long day of preparation yesterday we (me and andy (check Andrew in my friends list) and his roomate) threw a nice two keg (korean kegs are a bit small, but there was also plenty of rice wine going around) party, which leads me to today, where i haven’t really done much of anything. so yeah, I’ll be in korea for the next week or two and then i’m heading to japan, should be expensive, should be cold, should be fun. word.

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Anywhere i roam, where i lay my head is home

And now it’s time for a blog….So I’ve been to lots of places in the past few weeks and it’s been good. I headed out of guangzhou and into Macau which is suposidly full of portuguese people and food (although i didn’t see that many portuguese people but they must have been there somewhere). After Macau i took the ferry to Hong Kong which was alright, it’s actually alot like america and a little like china,..except for..all the squinty eyes. then i went to a place called xiamen which kinda sucked until i went to the little island off the coast of it which was awesome, no cars and some really old buildings, so it was a comfortable place to hang for a day or two. onwards to a place called hangzhou which isn’t all that cool, but for some reason it’s the biggest tourist attraction in china, go figure. now i’m in shanghai, i’ve been here for about 5 days now and it’s been lots of fun, except i keep forgeting to see the city cause i’m hanging out with people who like to drink lots and go to the classy night clubs and see lots of white people. so i follow. so i’ve been out a lot at night and i’ve walked around a bit during the day, i went into some big buildings and saw some cool stuff, i’m sure i’ve missed plenty but i’ll have to check it out next time…i’m leaving tomorrow. still on the road heading north towards beijing. east cost china is good, lots more foreigners and lots more expensive but it’s been a good time. anyway, i can’t think of any specific stories of weird things although there have been lots of them so you’ll have to ask nicely to get more details. so that’s where i’m at and that’s where i’m going. word…

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Strange things are afoot at the Circle K…..

well, well, well….It’s been damn near a month since my last update. where does that leave me, I could inform you of all the crazy shit that has happend but I’m not in the mood to write a book at the moment, so I’ll try and keep it somewhat short. The quick recap would be like this: out of Urumuqi to a place called Dunhuang to see some budda caves that are a few tousand years old and although they’d already been looted by both local and foriegn archeologists they were cool, next to Xi’an where i saw some terricotta warriors, they were made out of clay…like a dradel. next to shaolin temple to see the home of Kung Fu movies, there could have been some serious ass kicking had they had some evil group of ninjas to fight, although there were no ninjas I got to witness some interesting demonstrations of kung fu and see the old dudes dressed up in long robes with crazy hair and long white beards. from shaolin I went to a place called yichang in hubei province which is just about where the three gorges damn is located, so i checked that out and took a three day two night boat ride upstream through the gorges to a place called chongqing. chongqing it turns out is chinas most populated city, although it didn’t seem to be overcrouded, but then i’ve been in china for a while now and a..small city is 4 million people so maybe i don’t notice that kind of thing anymore. from chongqing i took a 35 hour train/bus ride through guiyang and luizhou to a place called yangshuo which has all the crazy little “mountain things” that make it famous (I’ll try and put up a picture otherwise you’ll have to look it up your damn self…lazy bastards). so after a few days there I made it by bus last night to the wonderful city of guangzhou. many people may disagree with me on the wonderful, and maybe i disagree with myself but it is interesting. Guangzhou is the mother of all things “made in china” you can have anything and everything mass produced here, they have streets devoted to buttons and zippers, soles of shoes, led lights, belt buckles and other clothing accessories, there is a whole mall devoted to that little paper tag that hangs off your clothes when you buy them, and the bag you take them home in. everything. it’s crazy. mad pollution but i just pretend it’s foggy (you never know, it could be). So it’s been a good trip so far and i’ve met some interesting people and slept in some interesting places (luckily many of the “hotels” I’ve stayed at don’t have white people there normally so they usually give me my own dorm room, away from the other chinese, for really cheap). China rocks, it’s lots of fun. I’ve been trying to learn chinese and i’ve gotten alright at it, and then i come here to guangzhou (formerly canton) where they speak cantonese not the mandrin i’ve been working on, although they understand my questions they answer in cantonese (bastards), so it’s more of just me nodding and smiling until something happens. what’s next on the agenda, ummm….I gotta get out of the country in the next few days cause my visa expires, so i’m heading to macau and then boat to hong kong. then back into china for a month or two on my way to shanghai and beijing, then it’s up in the air but i’m thinking india for the winter. I’m gonna go order a few hundred belt buckles with my picture on them, so I guess I’ll write more next time.

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And the walking man walks

One month in China has already gone by, and a lot of ground has been covered. I made it out of tibet on the shiny new train, the Lahsa Express, into quinhai province. I started out on the southern section of the silk road, i started in a place called geermud and headed west. after an overnight bus ride i made it into a small town near the border of xinjian province (which is where i was heading), from that town i had to take a bus to a smaller town even closer to the border. it was crazy the whole town was white, i thought it may have been dust or sand or something…there were factories, it turns out it may or may not have been asbestos, and i was inhaling lots of it. anyway, i’m alright (for now), i had to sleep for a night waiting for the jeep to fill up, there were only three of us the day before. the next morning there were ten of us (all locals except for me). so we squeezed into the jeep and into xinjian we went. i made it to the first city which is an oasis on the taklamakan desert, which takes up the majority of this province (and northwestern china). i went to buy a bus ticket and found out there wasn’t a bus for two more days, so i waited around in a tiny city, although it was nice it got boring after the first few times around the 4 blocks. so two days later i was able to go on and i made it through the desert in about two more days, and i got my visa renewed (one more month). then i got into kashgar which is the western most city (kinda) in this area, it’s on the kyrgyztan border. it’s got lots of history and all that stuff, being on the silk road and all, lots of old buildings and international traders from pakistan and tadjakstan and all over selling knives and carpets and hats….and yes, carpets made of cat hides. multiple cats (like 9) of the exact same color cut into squares of about 1ft.X2ft. and sewed together, nice and soft. so i was there for a day and then i went to a place called lake karakul which is on the way to the pakistan afganistan border and i decided to take a camel ride to the base camp of mt. muztag ata (not really world famous, i know). the camel ride actually went well, everyone who said they were uncomfortable hasn’t riden on enough pick-up truck beds, or hard bench trains, maybe. so anyway me and this chinese tourist guy i was with convinced the guide that we didn’t want to pay the entrance fee (three times more than the everest entrance fee)to the mountain, so we took the camels around a back way and up to about 5,000 meters. when we got to the base camp there were people who work for the company who aparently owns the mt. (i have no idea how that works), anyway they kept asking how we got in and if we paid, and we just kept pretnding that we had no idea what they were talking about and saying thank you, and..being intentionally confusing to people who don’t speak..much english, it was fun. then they figured out that we didn’t pay and kicked us out, my first time getting kicked out of a..central asian mountain base camp, let’s hope it’s the last. so we left and got back on the camels and headed down, anothr 3 hours or somehting and then back to the road where we hitchicked to the kyrgyztan yurt where we spent the night before, and our taxi was waiting to take us back to kashgar. so late night back to kashgar, an interesting massage (paid for by the chinese dude) and to bed so i could see the sunday market the next morning. the market was good and i saw lots of stuff i had seen earlier in the week, just more of it and more people. yesterday afternoon i was able to get on another (yes, yet another) overnight bus, through the desert again and 24 hours later here I am in Urumqui (look at a map), the capital of xinjian province. now i’m gonna get some KFC cause it’s the first US fast food restraunt i’ve seen since….thailand? then i’m off to bed. I’m not sure where i’m going from here, I think it’s time to head east.

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Rocky mountain high…

so it’s been a bit more than a week since i was last here in lahsa, tibet. oh so much has happend….unfortunately i don’t remember it all, but i supose i can try my best to recall…
so i got a bus out of lahsa, no problems for me(hot dog), jaewan(kim chi), james(meat pie), and max(vegemite). we got to shigatse and were told there were no more tickets for the bus that day but to try again the next day. next day we attempted to get tickets but were again informed that there were no tickets, after enough prodding we found out there really were no tickets, if you weren’t chinese that is (racist bastards). so we ended up renting a taxi kinda truck thing to take us to a place called latse, which was the end of the road for that guy cause he said his truck wasn’t enough for the rough road ahead, fair enough. so after lunch at about 12 o’clock we were told there was a bus coming at 2 o’clock, by 2:30 we decided it would be smart to get on the road hitchiking, so we walked out of town about 2 KM and started hitching, it took a while but eventually we got a ride in the back of an army truck, not too comfortable but plenty of space. we made it about 10 minutes before we got to a police check point where they asked us to step out of the car. we were a bit worried cause we didn’t have any permits which are supposed to be required to travel in tibet, although the police didn’t give a shit, they just told us we weren’t allowed in the army truck cause it wasn’t safe. they let us walk through the check point in order to hitch from another vehicle. so we walked out of sight of the check point and waited….and waited…..and waited (played many games of cards) about 10 minutes to six we were ready to find a comfy place outside to sleep when a truck was spotted coming down the road. we ran out and put on our saddest faces possible (please no jokes), the truck stopped and told us to hop in. it was a huge dump truck and by hop in he ment in the dump part of it. either way it was a ride, quite cold, but still a ride. so he took us.. for about half an hour until we got stuck in traffic (construction blocks the whole road from sunrise to sunset) so then we were waiting in the cold dump truck for about an hour before we got the courage to stick our heads out and see what was up. there were lots of cars waiting with us so we climbed out and were walking around talking to people, meanwhile the dump truck driver talked to the army truck driver and we were moved back to the army truck, a bit warmer no more comfortable. by about 9 o’clock we started moving again and made it all the way to tingri that night. good sleep in the dirtiest hotel yet. next morning we got a short ride to the main road which leads towards mt. everest then we started walking and hitching. i should say walking only, there were no more rides to be had that day. we ended up walking around 10 KM to the park enterance where we paid to get in and we decided to wait for a ride cause at least we were in a village. wait we did, nothing came and as it got dark around 9 o’clock we were invited into a tibetan home for dinner and sleeping. waking up in the morning we were immediately charged for the food and sleeping (nothing like the vanuatu villagers, they never would have asked for money like that) out on the road side by 7 in the morning and we had two motorcycles arranged although there were four of us, so luckily at the right moment a jeep stopped for us and two of us took the jeep while the other two took the motorcycles. we got to mt. everest at around 12 and after waiting for the slow motorcycles to show up we took a donkey cart to the base camp. we made it. lots of pictures taken, beers were drank, and cards were played again. it was good the next day we headed back this time we had three motorcycles between the four of us, we made it to tingri where we said goodbye to meatpie and vegemite. then me and kim chi headed back to lahsa on the bus. it’s been a long week but i made it to mt. everest which was sweet, perfect weather and all. tomorrow i’m heading out of tibet and into north western china. hopefully i won’t need to hitchike anymore, although i wouldn’t mind another donkey ride.

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