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Archive for August, 2006

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Real Head-Turners, Us

Monday, August 14th, 2006

After being here in China for three months, it’s hard to believe that we’ve not yet learned to blend in. We consistently leave a slew of astonished locals in our wake no matter where we are. Not only are we the single-most leading cause of whiplash in these here parts, but the distraction we cause can be downright dangerous at times.
Just today on our way back from the ‘net cafe, we were trying to cross the road but weren’t having much luck. Heavy traffic wasn’t the problem; it was merely our presence.
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Notable Expectations

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

Somewhere on my last prolonged overseas trip, I met a guy who spun a yarn about how horrifiing Chinese toilets are. I don’t remember the guy at all, nor what kind of traveller he was, but I have a vivid image I created in my mind about a toilet he used.
He told me about how he’d entered a public toilet where it was so dark he could barely make out the urinal trough along the wall. He kept slipping as he made his way towards the trough, and when he looked down he saw thousands of maggots. Slipping and sliding, he ran right back out.
Now, the guy had made it sound like he’d waded through a sea of maggots up to his ankles, and he ended his tale saying Chinese toilets were the worst in the world.
Before coming to China I’d braced myself for the possibility of facing this exact scenario. So far I haven’t found the public toilets too bad, and it wasn’t until yesterday that I experienced anything close to the above tale.
While out finishing our missed kilometers into Jingtai, Ig and I stopped after 9k for our first break in front of a petrol station. Although there was a much preferred corn field across the street, I opted to unleash the beacon in their squatter, as there were people around. Squatting and settling in, I looked down at my feet, where I had about thirty new buddies dancing about to keep me company.
Reeling back a bit, I suddenly had no urge whatsoever to pee.
“Just pee, just pee,” I urged. “The sooner you do, the sooner yer outta here.”
It took nearly an entire agonizing minute to start my biz, but once back outside and in the fresh air, I wondered about the guy’s story. Surely he was someone who didn’t get outta the squeaky clean cities often and his tale was exaggerated.
I’m not going to go as far as saying the toilets here are clean, but a couple maggots in comparison to some of the real baddies I’ve seen and used is nuthin’. I mean, I’d rather have maggot slime stuck to the bottom of my boots than…other schtuff.
Anyone have any disgusting toilet tales to share?

Double Dang…

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

So at six am this morning, back in good spirits and ready to hike, The Ig looked outside only to see that it was pouring rain. At seven am it was still pouring, and who wants to hike and then set up camp in that crap when you’re still nestled up in a warm bed?
It’s 9:30 am now, cold and still pouring. We’re trying to wait it out, but if it keeps up all day and early evening, then we’ll once again be staying in Jingbian…*sigh*. I’m actually more than ready to get to Yulin; we’re now officially half-way, and I wanna make more tracks.
In fact, according to our Encarta map, we’re more than half-way. It’s a bit hard to tell though, as the mountains will definitely add distance.
Also, sorry about not being able to view the last pics. Tried to add pics today, but something seems to be amiss with my photos.
I’m sure the savvy bootsnall guys will have it straightened out as soon their weekend’s over!

Outbreak Of Apathy

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

After all the fun we had on Ig’s birthday we both took a serious down-slide. We spent the day after lazing about and recovering, and the next day? Well, we just couldn’t be bothered hiking. The day after that we bussed back out to the last kilometer rock we’d left. Huang Guilin had bussed half-way out with us so he could visit his Aunt, and the plan was to hike 15k back to Guilin’s Aunt’s to have lunch, fart around for a bit, then hike another 10-15k. After lunch (oy crap; I brought my camera to add photos from the lunch, but grabbed the wrong cord–doh!! I’ll add ’em next time.) Ig joked, “After we’re done hiking, let’s take a bus back to Jingbian and sleep in a bed.”
Again, I utterly stunned him when, after less than a minute, I agreed.
“Have we switched brains?” he asked.
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The Birthday Kegger

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

So what exactly do you get a guy who’s turning 38 while carrying his entire life in a bag on his back? While getting him a keepsake would’ve been a nice gesture, it’s really nothing other than unwanted extra weight right now.
“Here, I got you the straw that broke the camel’s back! Happy birthday!”
We knew we’d be out in the middle of nowhere on Ig’s birthday, and so back in Dingbian I shopped around for Western food items I knew he’d like. I found a can of Sprite, two “Euro-style” muffins, and I cleaned out the store’s entire stock of Western chocolate by purchasing a single Snickers bar. The store in Dingbian had no candles, but I was able to find a bottle rocket-sized one a couple days later down the road.
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Request For A Giant Lizard Suit

Friday, August 4th, 2006

With a lack of cool stuff to find in the desert for Ig’s 38th birthday on August 8th, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to get him.
Although we always create an excited stir when entering a new town, the redundant scene has become a bit of a yawn for us. To put the fun back in it, Ig’s joked many times that he’d like to stroll into a town wearing a giant lizard suit. Hard as I’ve tried, I just can’t find one here big enough to fit him.
If anyone happens to come across one of these, please send it on. If not, then just send on well-wishes to the birfday boy!

Fess Up, Yoos!

Friday, August 4th, 2006

While still at home preparing for this trip, my brother passed on a comment my father had made.
“You know,” he’d said to my brother, “I think your sister’s going to find out she’s not as in shape as she thinks she is!”
He knows me all too well and was merely stating a fact, but he had one thing wrong; I knew how outta shape I was. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t be bothered to work out as much as I needed to. When I joked that, “I’ll just get in shape as I go–the first 800 miles are flat,” I subconciously knew this would be the case.
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Ding-Ding Dingbian

Friday, August 4th, 2006

Made it to checkpoint city of Dingbian this afternoon. The majority of the day was a fantastic hike, starting with meeting the Wall again right at the edge of the city. As you can see, a nice park was built right beside it.
(Rob and Marsh; photos show the wall right next to a park, and it being early morning–6:30am–there are people out and about exercising.)

wall n park.JPG wall n park2.JPG
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Jack Of All Charades

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

As ole Shakespere said, all the world’s a stage, and lemme tell ya brothas, sistahs, it was decked out in full yesterday, and I was a one-woman show.
Yesterday’s play, written and produced by the Great Cosmic Joke & Company, is brought to you by we here at Have I Mentioned How Much I Hate The *Censored* Desert Dot Com.
Grab yer Goobers, yer sodas, yer opera glasses, yer whatever, slouch down in yer chairs in yer nice air-conditioned rooms and enjoy the show, you lucky *censored*.
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