china dispatch #1


china2009 travel

typical tour group

I wish I had a hat.

I mean, all the other tour groups have them, so why can’t we? I
feel like I’m missing out on one of the quintessential parts of
the Chinese tour group experience.

Yup, I’m on one of *those* tours.

We get on our bus. We get shuttled to the next tourist trap while
our local guide colors us in with either history or a clever
sales pitch. We get off the bus. We follow the guide’s bouncing
flag.

Rinse. Repeat.

It’s not all bad though. The guides are indeed entertaining,
although I’ve had to get translations for more than a few of the
jokes, since apparently my parents never taught us the word for
“fornicate” in our household.

tuckered out

There’s so much to write about, but it’s past midnight local
time, and I’m plum tuckered out. You get that way when you see
every single tourist attraction in Beijing in two days, have
already taken two in-country flights, and haven’t been sleeping
at all due to agonizing foot pain.

We’re in Li Jiang (麗江) now and are supposedly going to some
mountain pass at 4500m tomorrow. Luckily, I have an extreme
adventure cane that only cost 30 RMB ($4 USD), a borrowed ACE
bandage, crazy Chinese aerosol spray medicine, Chinese foot
plaster wraps, and tiger balm, so I expect nothing but smooth
sailing.

Til next time…