Thursday, December 27, 2007

magic moment

So last night i am sitting in a cafe in yangshuo nd a canadian bar tender from the bar across the street comes in completely hammered see's all of us sitting around asks us why we arethere tells us there are no girlsin thebar and he know a bar up the street packed full of beautiful women and we should all go there. he then tells us he is going to gotake a shit and when he comesback be ready. he then goes to the bathroom and is gone for 25 minutes ... when he comes back he says goodbye. one guy askedabout the going to the other bar and he is like "uhh... no thats off". I think we were all relieved he lost interest.

ten minutes later he returnsholding his bottom lip which is bleeding a tiny bit. he tellsus someone just punched him in the face. I ask him who punched him. his reponse was classic:
"a girl who apparently doesn't want to have sex with me!"

it was downhill from there.

xmas in yangshuo

so the cold in beijing was really getting to me. nick mentioned he was gonna bail down to yangshuo for xmason a 600 kuai flight. I followed.

now i am down in yangshuo it is freezing and raining.

not only that my atm card isn't working and i have like $100.

hopfully somethingwill work it self out a long ass train ride back will be a few hundred kuai and i can survive a few more daysthan i will just roll back to beijing on a train.

karma wise i must be fucked. and i imagine it will only get more worse in india....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

making a new demo reel.

so my hard drive stop working about 6 months ago and i have been trying to make a new demo reel ever since.

i bought all the bootleg dvd's and have been unsuccessfully trying to rip them ever since.

on a mac in osx does anyone know how to rip the files so they are usable to edit in after effects.

before i ripped them with mac the ripper and converted them to quicktime movies in handbrake which worked great but now its taking for hours to turn the the vob files into mp4 and they are to slow to use???

if anyone has advice please let me know.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

chinese wisdom

Don't lend wings to a tiger. If it had wings it would fly to the cities, seize the people and eat them.
Nan Fei, Prince of the State of Han

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

forgot one


forgot to post this one. this was in langmusi a little tibetean village on the border of sichuan and gansu province. this is where and when i had the yak burger that made me ... uhm yak.

it had snowed and was freezing cold in this village.

Monday, December 17, 2007

black and white photos


more results from round one i so far have 5 rolls of b&w and 5 of color back.

i varied up the b&w a bit but these are all tmax 400 rolls. i didn't use a filter and right now kind of wish i did i am not really happy with the way these came out i think the portraits in yangshuo were much stronger because of the higher contrast.

?I am digging the look on the color though bright sunny dessert days combined with kodak 400vc resulted in a really high contrast look and washed out colors which was what i was hoping for.

anyways would love to here some thoughts. got lots more in the lab so next week should have more.

b&w pt 1





black and white photos pt2





pictures 1





got about 10 rolls of film developed to make sure they survived the trip. got like 40 more to go. so here is a brief preview of some of the color photos. also got lots of B&W to post tomorrow. Thought comments questions are always encouraged.

pt 2





Wednesday, December 12, 2007

blog poll

seeing as there was a comment regarding an anonymous betting pool on when i will meet my demise. ( when... not if ) I am wondering who reads this crap.

If you are reading this please hook a brother up and leave a comment and in it post your name ( gang aliases are OK ), location ,and which super friend you identify with most.

red china blues

this quote from my cousin makes me laugh:
"take some photos of hookers drinking Russian vodka under a neon sign espousing the virtues of the worker’s paradise."

this was in reference to embassy district over by ritan park. he had visited beijing when i was gone and we were chatting about the sketchy-ness of the neighborhood. he got a little too close to the North korean embassy and got chased away by a commie! I told him i had to go ther this morning for my indian visa. anyways i forgot my camera but at 10:30 in the morning all the elements were in place.

but the "worker's paradise" thing is what makes me laugh. the professional man of leisure is having employment issues...errrr i mean finance issues... as in after india i will have none.

so about a months ago I got a random call from an australian studio the one that did that penguin movie happy feet. they had offered me a position on happy ffet which i declined because the offer sucked and they were shady... and i was also rather busy meeting the robinsons... then happy feet won an oscar and M.T.R. ends up being as bad as black cauldron....just the thought of M.T.R. makes me never want to work in animation again.

anyways they sent me an e-mail out of the blue asking if i was interested in working on the live action film of "where the wild things are" directed by spike jonez. DREAM PROJECT. and it was in sydney australia and it is now summer in sydney as oppossed to winter in beijing. but the problem is about half a dozen people warned me not to work at this studio... and they were all right.

anyways long story short it was an experience similiar to buying a used car i expressed a lot of interest and they made me the worst offer ever but tried to make it look like they were doing me a huge favor by letting me work at their 3rd world studio. they lied to me about a bunch of stuff got really shady telling me the weekly rate was based of a 45 hour week but it was really 50 hours with free lunch break ( no free food ) but the math was still 50 hours so they made it look like it was a higher hourly rate than it really was....and the offer was only 2/3 thirds of what they offered me before and with currency conversions less than i have EVER made in my life which is crazy because the australian dollar is rocking right now. if their shitty currency went back down i would have made like $6hr. the deal all around sucked but they kept trying to leverage me with the fact they were letting me work on a dream project and live in sydney. aso that was short story long but the moral is FUCK ANIMAL LOGIC!

Anyways i should have handled it more professionally and probabely could have negotiated a better deal but when i was offered the worst deal EVER. Instead of asking for a better deal and negotiating like a professional I simply told them i have never recieved such a low offer and i was not now or ever interested in working for them. in otherwords i got all LA on them and acted like an asshole. i could hear the flames burning my bridge to australia all the way in china.

Not sure what to do now employment wise. in chengdu i randomly ended up filling in for a guy who couldn't work and taught english for 2 days. it was the worst experience ever. i made around $150 for 10 hours work which wasn't bad for china. the thing is most people enjoy giving a little back every once in a while... I DO NOT. the kids were evil godless little bastards. and each class had about 40 of the little commie devils. the chinese assistants were evil bitches as well. whenever the kids got crazy they pulled the old "im just the assistant your the the one making all the money so i am sure you can handle it." it was hell. wont ever do it again. i used to love kids and as a career i have made quality entertainment for children. fuck i even worked on "Veggie Tales"... now i HATE children. i tell you one can only be punched in the balls so many times before you want to bite their little ears off. I also think the fact that my name "Ben" means stupid in chinese put as at odds right from the start.

anyways I am currently talking to a number of chinese CG studios looking for alternatives and it is hell. 1st thing is i lost all my data on my hard drive and now i am having to make a new reel from scratch which is a massive pain.

But other than that i hate being scrutinized by people who wouldn't be hired as interns back in the US. I figured a chinese company would love to have me but they seem to be looking for reasons to hate me.

Tomorrow I am going to visit a studio with some people brought in from the US as supervisors. I hope they will be different but I am showing up right away without a reel which make me the guy who shows up for class with out his homework. might as well set the pace and keep it real because.... i really am that guy.

anyways this whole W-word thing is stressing me out. I have been making cartoons for the past 5 years and have been getting paid way more than anyone my age should. I dont really know how to do anything else and i am not used to being financially restricted. maybe it will be character building.

Monday, December 10, 2007

whats next?

So out of the blue one night i literally packed all my shit and went to the trains tation and jumped a midnight overnight sleeper train back to beijing.

Lots of changes in beijing some new faces in the crowd and a few of the oldtimers are moving on. the weather is also very different from when i left.

nly time will tell what the coming year will bring. I don't know much but what i do know this the weather here is completely miserable. its what i imagine winter is like in jersey. So i decided i must find someplace warm to go even though i just got back from someplace warm.

I just bought a ticket for dehli. so even though i just got back in a couple weeks i am off to India for around 10 weeks.

Monday, December 3, 2007

yangste river booze cruise

too many stories....

So I was in chongching and i took the 4 day river cruise down the yangste to see hte 3 gorges. i/ got some chinese book and intended to spend 4 days studying chinese chatting with the locals and soaking up the picturesque chinese landscape. well all of that went horribly awry. This first sign of this was the fact that the titanic soundtrack was playing over the ships loudspeakers.

The first night I got on board about 7pm and checked out my swanking 3rd class cabin and introduced myself to the 5 40 something chinese ladies i would be rommies with for the next 4 days. they spoke zero english and it was clear they were not thrilled to have a lao wai in their room escpecially one as handsome as me. so i decided the best thing to do was hydrATE FOR THE JOURNEY AHEAD. I headed to the top deck where they charged people 55kuai for a "VIP" pass. Wherever i roll i do IT in style so i got a vip pass and a beer. i in chinese chatted with the 2 girls working there. was getting my chinese practice on. After a while the rest of the foriegners on board all kind of congregated up there. there were 6 others who i joined for a few beverages. night one we swapped stories and had a few MORE beverages and they kept joking about it being a booze cruise. By the time the boat got under way I was feeling he dou le. after a few hours we realised we were the only people in there all the chinese people went off to bed to get ready for the 6am tour. when it closing time they told me to go to sleep and take all the other white people with me. I played the dumb foriegner game and just kept repeating "i don't understand, I don't speak chinese" then they proceeded to tell me that earlier i understood them. i then told them "i forgot how to speak chinese" they then asked if i forgot how come i understood them asking me about earlier. damn those tricky little xiao jies. I then told them it was going to be like this everynight and resistance was futile. then we discovered 2 of the other lao waiis had a 1st class room to themselves! the party continued.

Next morning i awoke around 6:30am to my new roomates chatting in a rather boisterous manner. around 10:30am i decided to stop hiding under the covers and went to look for food. it was at this point i discovered i had missed the breakfast, the hot water, and the morning tour. It was foggy outside so i decided to grab a book and head to the vip lounge. The rest of the white people were already there chantting booze cruise and someone handed me a rather lage bottle of beer.
I then realized they were cleary intent on drinking themsleves to death before the boat got down river. They had no intention of anything other than having a booze cruise. the next 3 days are blurry.

At one point along the cruise they hearded us into seperate boats to tour the 3 little gorges. they then decided to divide and conquor us by seperating the shit faced white people into seperate small boats. at the end we all got back around 6:30 and were handed tickets to something and 3 of us were put on a bus not knowing where the others were or where we were going the tourguide who spoke bad english pointed to an old chinese couple and told us to follow them. the bus head up this incredible steep hill from the docks and through what appeared to be a red light district. then we arrived in from on a massive square filled with old chinese people doing line dancing and were directed to a communist party building. we were then told the show didnt start for and hour. we found a resturant and had a little snack. the proprietor of the resturant asked my all kinds of questions in chinese. the standard ones foreigners hear all the time. ni shi na guo ren -where r u from. ni zou shenme- whats your job. having heard this a million times i decided to fuck with him. in chinese told him i was and american and that i was a porn star. ( huang pian ming xing ) and i was here on vacation for 2 weeks. he then asked me how i could speak chinese. i told him in america everyone speaks fluent chinese. he was fucking flabbergasted. now that we were old friends he confided in me that we should not go to the show that it sucked and he offered to take us to any one of the vast nuber of brothels this port town possed and that he could take us to one that only cost 50 kuai. SCARY.

We then went to the show which was an interpetational dance of a family giving up its residence in order for the chinese government to build the dam which rose the water level 250 meters and displace millions of people. It was a beautiful tale of sacrifice and the audience FUCKING LOVED IT. I thought it resembles the dance performance the big lebowksi landlord did before the met aurther digby sellars son lary and went to the in and out burger on radford.

we were then hearded back onto buses and down through the redlight district seeing all the chinese men returning to the boat while there wives looked out from the bus from the dance show. this town obviously has something for everybody.

we got back to the boat and the rest of the booze cruise crew was no where to be found. We then hit the VIP and it was also earily empty. I then asked the girls working in the VIP lounge why it was empty they told me that everyone was off in the town froliking. I then felt incredibly stupid and asked when the boat left they told me not until 7am the next morning. MUTHERFUCKERS. we could been out exploring hidden kareoke hotspots on the yangste but instead we ended up at some lame ass modern dance thing. i was feeling swindled by the tour guides who were obviously keeping this information from us in fear that they might loose one of the white people. We then decided to right some wrongs and hit the town.

On the way outside the tour guide asked us where we were going i said "nowhere" the other guy wanted confirmation of when the boat was leaving. so i in chinese i asked when the boat was leaving in crystal clear english i got the response "DO NOT LEAVE THE BOAT" i said if someone were toleave the boat what time should they be back she then reiterated her point and said "DO NOT LEAVE THE BOAT". I said if one were to perhaps want to sing karoke in town then return she again said "DO NOT LEAVE THE BOAT". I was determined to make a break for it when i heard a sudden cry and a splash and then one of the other guys ran after me saying "quick come with me"

our freind thomas had apparently jumped out of 4th storie window into the waters below. we saw him swimming then everyone else on the boat came looking from balconies.

next thin i know thomas was gone and all the chinese people had designated me there official lao wai embassador. they came to me and asked what my friend did. I told them "i don't have any friends" they asked about the other white people i insisted i didn't know them they assured me they had seen us together. then asked me a variety of question that when laowais from other countries chat what language do they speak in. i told them "lao wai yu".

I then proceeded to buy the rest of the beer on the boat ( about 12 big bottles ) and head to the first class cabin that thomas obviously jumped out of. When i got there it was a scene out of hunter s thomspon book. the 4 of them had managed to drink a few bottles of vodka and a bottle of bacardi.... hence thomas diving out a window. i ran back down stairs and bought a bottle of chinese rice wine and ran back up to keep the festivites alive.

After a while thomas was unable to stand so he went off to bed and the rest of went for a walk around the ship loooking for trouble. which of course we managed to find in a cabin full of drunk chinese people. they were drinking the strongest bijiu i have ever tasted. And as it appeared from the look of them they were clearly not on thier first bottle. they wanted to know who jumped off the boat and after a few to many bijiu i told them it was thomas and they all cheered and wanted to meet him fo rhtem selves. so we sent peter to go get thomas out of bed and bring the celebrity down to meet his new family. when he got back he was the greatest white person they ever met. i was the one translating or trying to translate under a haze of cheap chinese hooch. I then told of the guys friend said he looked like his cousing ( chinese pickup line ) one chinese guy then wanted to kick his ass while the other guy kept trying to grab it. you never know how a joke in chinese will translate... just when we were polishing of the last of the booze the ship security came and told us all to go to bed. we then snuck up to the empty VIP lounge for a roof top view and to finish the booze before bed.

after that the next day was lackluster we finished the cruise and were of to wuhan. i was going to go to shanghai from there but decided their was not much point. after the great boat ride of my life pretty much everythign else is all down hill.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Chongqing

I was in kunming it is a really nice city really nothing special about it... at all. they do have a "best buy" though which is kind of cool but not really since you can buy shrek 9 DVD's on the streets already for $1... So I left there and I am in Chongqing right now.

So I am just chilling in Chongqing getting ready to take a 4 day cruise down the Yangtze river. Chongqing is like hong Kong looks in old movies. i maze of streets lots of massive cramped buildings with laundry hanging out every window. i have spent the past 2 days soo lost i keep having to take little 50 cent taxi rides to get to landmarks. its embarrassing. Another interesting thing I am starting to get annoyed with is not being able to read chinese. my chinese is now good enough where i can tell a taxi driver where i want to go or buy tickets or something. I am proud becasue the boat ticket guy tried to tell me to "come back later because I don't speak english" which would have meant fuck all to me if i didn't speak chinese and couldn't understand him anyways i was able to say "no problem, i want a 3rd class ticket for the 4 day cruise. how much you crazy old bastard". the other thing is walking around i cant tell what half the shops are in chingching. its not as clear. and the signs mean nothing most storefronts just have people sittting around playing cards. are they insurance salemen, real estate, dentists, tatoo parlors... i cant figure it out. The ones with the 50 year old ladies in knee high white go-go boots with the look that says "I want too love you long time" those are clearly chinese language schools. but the rest ellude me. they all have big neon signs i guess the next step is to just learn to read.

tonight i leave for the cruise though. the Yangtze river cruise used to be something special because you pass through the 3 gorges but those are all filled up now due to the massive dam that china built in it. I always wanted to do the cruise so i will do it anyways.

I did go to the Chongqing 3 gorges dam museum which had cool videos and photos of all the villages that were flooded for the dam it also had exhibits of all the cultural stuff that is now under water. as well as a cool wildlife exhibit of all the species that are now drowned and or extinct. In fact recently the Yangtze river dolphin one of like 3 species of freshwater dolphin is now officially extinct. it is the first endangered species to become extinct in like 20 years or something. its a real shame because i heard they were delicious.

Anyway I am on a boat for the next 3 days contemplating my future because when i return to Beijing next week i am officially broke. if anyone has any career advice or job opportunities for me I am all ears.

i really wish i got on the ball with that pay pal donation button.

thanksgiving chinese style


I completely forgot it was thanksgiving. Thank you to troop 5 scout leader john "okie" o'conner for reminding. I had a delicious mexican chicken wrap for dinner. salsa is the new cranberry sauce.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

tiger leaping gorge.





I just got back from hiking tiger leaping gorge it was 20 km at around 2800meters.


and me and this engish guy did it in around 7 hours. Then we drank about 12 beers and I


slept for about 12 hours.




here are some photos i got of google images.

random quote

So I walk into a cafe in Dali and next to me next to me I see a couple of guys talking and I hear one say in a thick french accent:

"we french might be gay but we fuck your wife"

this just struck me as really funny.

Friday, November 16, 2007

dali

n 25.69208
e 100.15671


Its been a while. i have been in dali....

Dali is basically the bermuda triangle for backpackers. It is and old villiage next to a lake and srrounded by mountains. It also has all the pleasures of south east asia such as tons of little cafes and burritos.

I basically realized i have been here 2 weeks and need to escape. I am eagerly waiting for the bus now.

not really sure what to say. I originally came here met up with a group of australians that i met in urumuqi and stalked ever since. they came played some musc and moved on and then i never left. i have basically been hanging in cafes drinking tea and reading "100 years of solitude", at night been hanging out drinking absinthe and playing jenga with the locals. I have also gone for hikes in the mountains and some amazing trips around the lake to villages.

I have pretty much been hanging with the locals since i got here and got to go on an amazing trips across the lake to a famous chinese designers mansion. It is his show case piece of art. words cannot describe. I also have gotten off the beaten path to some special scenic spots.

another interesting fact is dali is the jamaica of china. there is ganja EVERYWHERE. little 60 year old ladies harass you wherever you go they chase after you saying "ganja, ganja, you want smokey some ganja". the bars have ganja cocktails, its growing wild everwhere. i was at some locals house and there where boxes of ganja everywhere and a whole room full of it. it is surreal like something out of a cheech and chong movie.

I am currently contemplating buying a bar/cafe and moving here forever.

next i am off to lijiang to hike tiger leaping gorge.

Monday, November 5, 2007

chendu wrap up

So there was that saying come to chengdu when your young.....

I planned on passing through for 3 days and then ended up staying 2 weeks. Chengdu is like the austin texas of china. I can't say there was anything special everyday something just came up.

I spent my days reading books in the tea houses while the chinese people gambled. At night i would peruse the various evening refreshment facilities which were plentiful.

panda breeding center- paid like $10 to go to the panda breeding center it was very cool. pandas are just very cool animals. the tour got there around 8am the pandas came out frolicked a bit ate some bamboo and by 9 am they were back in there little house sleeping. leaving me to wander around a panda park for 2 hours until the tour bus brought me back to my hostel. On the tour with me was another american roughly 40 years old. major hippie in fact not only was he a major hippie but he spends most of the time travelling because he is the very successful owner of a head-shop called space cowboy in breckinridge colorado. He also told me the story of how he was arrested in thailand for possession of pot and had to buy his way out of prison and the country. which was possible because hi aunt apparently worked in the state department or something. scary shit.

hemp house - very mellow reggae-esque bar. the bar was owned by a couple got into some crazy adventures there. One incident involved me leaving at the end of the night and someone giving me a chunk of hash and telling me in chinese it was to help me sleep. I tried to reject the offer explaining that I'm an american we don't have hash and i don't really want it or know what to do with it. he forced me to take it then i jumped in a cab fell asleep woke up early and hit and internet cafe only to remember i had a chunk of hash in my pants pocket. then i remembered the story of the other guy getting arrested in thailand I started to have these paranoid fantasies. for one i text a friend saying how some random chinese guy gave me the chunk of hash and then i was even more paranoid because of those stupid bourne movies I was convinced the chinese government was tracking my cellphone. I kept thinking of that shitty ass movie whre vince vaugn wewnt to malaysia and then had to go back to share a prison sentence for possessing hash so that his buddy didn't get hanged. I kept thinking about doing life in a chinese prison with vince vaughn in the next cell saying "VEGAS BABY, VEGAS". anyways needless to say i went back to the hostel and chucked the hash and lived to tell the tale.

the little bar - this bar was cool it is a famous indie rock music bar in chengdu but looks more like a east coast pub. it was a regular pub which is rare in china because chinese people likey themselves shiny lights and karaoke. What made it more interesting was that it was fool of chinese hipsters. which were actually kind of hip. i went there one night to see a band ended up showing up late and chatting in chinese with the locals. I tended to go there every evening to meet up with the crew and chat. they taught me more chinese in 2 weeks then i learned in 6 months in beijing.

the jia bar - this was another reggae bar on the river. it ha a bunch of musical instruments and every night locals would go there to jam. it was very cool and one of the coolest hangouts i ever been to travelling. one night we were there and around 2-3ish the owner was telling us he was closing and tries to kick everyone out then ended up playing the drums him self until around 5.

I must also mention the australians i have been stalking. Way back when in urumqi these 2 australian girls offered me a free book and i then gave them a copy of for whom the bell tolls. after that i bumped into them every step along the way. and then one day i was walking along the river i heard my name called and there they were outside of the jia bar. prior to travelling in china they had been working in ocean park as musicians. their friend mickey meet up with them in chengdu so they played every night at the jia bar. They are probably the most famous people on the road right now. everywhere i went in chengdu people would ask me "where are your friends" where i would steal my friend tim's line but in chinese "wo mei you peng you" ( i dont have friends ) after which they would ask for the Australians i would say i dont know and people would shrug and turn away.

another funny australians story is from hip hop night at the hemp house. there was some american who came to chengdu and apparently decided he wanted to be the next eminem. at best he was mama-huhu. then after he was done KT started beatboxing and mickey started rapping totally on a whole higher level then then main event. the wannabe eminem just sat silently and watched with a sad look in his eye and a single tear rolling down one cheek. his dream to be a white rap superstar in china was dashed.

afterwards we went next store to a bar called the queen bee where the sign said ladies only but i got to go in because i was translater for one of the australian. I worked more magic for here than i ever worked for myslef in my whole life. we went back over to the hemp house to meet her boyfriend???? anyways he sat across from her we were on either side of her as the australian girl held he hand and stroked her hair. she kept telling me how shy she was so i was busting out in chinese shit like " your hair is beautiful it smells like flowers." and crazy shit like that. I love the fact she was all over this dudes girlfriend while right in front of him while the whole time telling me how shy she is.... right. i tried to work more magic but she said her boyfriend was there so I told her in chinese "no problem it will be our secret" and then she gave the australian girl her number.

I am like some fucked up poor chinese version of Cyrano.

08-08-2008

The lottery is over and i got notice for my 2008 Olympics tickets. I signed up for 10 events but only got 5.

they are as follows:

08-10-2008 Basketball 2 tickets
08-12-2008 Wrestling 2 tickets
08-14-2008 Table Tennis 2 tickets
08-16-2008 Basketball 4 tickets
08-23-2008 Taekwondo 2 tickets.


Apparently the was a large demand for womens judo because i was notable to get tickets for that.

Anyone out there want to come help me watch olympic ping pong?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

party at my house this friday!


party at my house friday nov 2 8pm.... all are invited please spread the word!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

chengdu

There is a saying in china... Visit in chengdu when you are old because if you visit when you are young you will never leave.

It's kind of looking that way. Today is day 7 and i can't seem to escape. In fact 4 people i have met in various places during this trip are now all planning to extend their trips indefinately and become chengdu residents. not joking.

I really do not understand why this is. the weather is always cloudy and cool. there is really nothing here to make you want to stay but its hard to describe everything is just really easy and comfortable.

also the food is amazing and i have also never seen so many beautiful women in my life. everywhere you go there are dozens and dozens of beautiful women... which all want absolutely nothing to do with me.

people are also throwing employment offers my way. in fact i was offered 500 kuai to teach for 1 day. crazy.

there arelots of crazy chengdu stories to tells some are extremely shady
might have to be written up later or told in person.

i need to coordinate a cohesive escape strategery. maybe thursday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

songpan

songpan
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e 103.59671

Sonpan was beautiful. Hung out at a cool cafe called Emma's ate a chilli beef burrito ( green chillis and beef chinese style inside a calzone like pocket )

Also went to the park call huanglong. or gold dragon. I took a 1.5 hour bus out there to find out it was 200 kuai to get in...200 kuai. that is fucking insane. 200 kuai is the exact cost of 200 LARGE 500ml sized bottles of beer. that is the equivalent to paying $250.00 to go to a park in america... the type of park that doesn't have roller coasters just trees and birds and shit.

Anyways it was 7:30 am when i got off the 6am ( the only ) bus out there. was pissed off but the sign said they had pandas so i went in.

It was over 4km to the top so i hiked up looking for pandas at 7:30 in the freezing cold. It was a pretty place but of course i didn't see any pandas , gnawed at bamboo stalks, or any piles of panda poop anywhere. I had been had.

Anyways a little disgruntled at no pandas i got to the top and there was a little temple and the the 5 colored pools.. which are pools of water and the the stone on the outside was yellow and on the inside was blue. apparently the other 3 colors are on vacation right now but that was okay because it was pretty and because of the time and the 4+km hike i was the only person up there and got to enjoy it all in peace.

about 2 minutes later a bunch of old chinese people got there and started to use the photography skills the japanese taught them. they all wanted to have their picture with me after 30 minutes there were thousands of them... thousands. I could not fathom how they got up there. they must have been all hopped up on jasmine tea and fortune cookies. I politely asked asked what they thought of the hike up there. the one guy laughed he said they didn't they rode a cable car up.

MUTHERFUCKER!

i was all annoyed going back down thru the endless sea of rich old chinese people with the flyest canon and nikon gear anyone has ever seen. I was annoyed because they jacked up the price of entering a park because of the cable car. Then i got back down i went looking for a hot dog on a stick back in the visitor center and then saw the sign for the cable car... extra 80 kuai. all these Chinese people had just paid 280 kuai to go to a park with no pandas and have their photo taken with a smelly white boy. the funny thing is i bet they will frame these photos and hang them up in their mistresses apartment and tell the story for years to come.

anyways i am just bitter.

for 200 kuai not only should you get to see a panda you should be able to sample some panda sashimi and you should be able to wash it down with beer served in a commemorative mug made from the skull of a panda.

tomorrow i go to visit the panda breeding center maybe i will get lucky and play seven minutes in heaven with a panda.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

enlightenment

so there i was in xia he checking out the monestary. I was doing the circuit of prayer wheels with the rest of the pilgrams looking for a little enlightenment. Then i walk past what was apparently a car wash outside the monestaries entrance. I saw a monk clad in his scarlet robes washing a black audi A6 the chinese official car of officials. I thought to myslef those chinese bastards are oppressing the peace loving tibetean people yet again by having the monks wash the cadres cars for them.

Then fuck me in the goat ass, suddenly the monk turns off the hose jumps in and drives away.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

frolic room


I have been gone almost a year but i have not been forgotten by the staff of the frolic room. not sure if thats good or bad.


my buddy tim gave me this report:

you are missed here. the bartender at the frollick asked about you. no kidding. he said, where's your friend? i said, i don't have friends. he said, yeah. the little guy with blond hair. i said, china. he lives in china. newcastle, please. and that was that.

langmusi

langmusi
gps coming!
elevation 3500m

So still on my way south through the mountains on my way to sichuan from gansu. In fact i am in this small tibetean town on the border. There is a river...actually a poop brown stream that divides the town on one side is sichuan the other side is gansu.

It is a cool little place and it snows at night and in the morning everything is covered with snow. Today i hiked up to a monestary and took some pitures. then hiked over to some other tiny tibetean village. overall this is a pretty amazing place.

My bout with river butt has passed. after not eating for a few days i finally scarfed down a yak burger... it was burger-like and unfortunately it lived up to its name. 2 hours later I got that not so fresh feeling and headed for the hotels bathroom. I ended up in your average chinese bathroom... no walls and 3 holes in the floor with 2 of the holes occupado by chinese guys enjoying a poop while reading the newspaper and having a cigarette. they didn't even flinch when i expelled my yak burger and half of my lower intestines. Next place I am going to splurge on a fancier hotel with $3 rooms. maybe even one that has bathrooms with at the very least a door or some sort of dividing mechanism.

maybe the altitude is kicking my butt. i am at around 3500meters according to my gps. not sure what exactly that means. the whole metric system eludes me but i know i am high up because of the clouds out side my room all the yaks chilling out.

I am on a white rice and pijiu only diet until i hit chengdu where i am going to FUCK UP some kentucky fried chicken.

Monday, October 15, 2007

xiahe

xiahe
n 35.19654
e 102.51235

Chilling in xia he a tibetean town thats not on the plateu of tibet. its a mountain region a little east. Overall it looks like tibet and is very simila except geographically it is in a mountain valley surrounded by forests.

it is also the largest monestary out side of tibet and there are about 1000 monks hanging out. mostly in the internet cafes playing 1st person shooter games. not sure how that conforms with the whole non violence thing.

today i have a serious bout of la duzi ( river butt ). and on top of that there is a hail storm outside.

tomorrow i take a bus south through the mountains and more tibetean settlements towards chengdu. Chengdu is the ancestoral home of gung bao ji ding.. or as we call it kung pao chicken.
I cannot wait to sample kung pao chicken in its natural habitat!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

xia he

now in xiahe a tibetean town on the edge of sichuan qinhai and gansu.

very wierd i am typing this from a internet cafe full of monks watching tom and jerry carttons and chatting on QQ ( the chinese MSN ). i wonder if they are trying to meet chicks online?

my holga is gonna get a workout here!

jiayuguan

jiayuguan
39.85415
98.17014

I stopped off at jiayuguan on my way out. this is the end of the great wall. nothing too exciting just rented a bike and rode out there climbed up and chilled out and listened to my ipod. I have now been to the two ends of the great wall where it begins in the ocean and now where it ends in the desert where china met the rest of the world on the silk road..... call it a day. then back on a train to lanzhou.

dunhuang

dunhuang
n 40.09296
e 94.67037

I stopped off in dunhaung which is an ancient city on the silk road into china. It is also one of the most important places in the history of buddhist art. This is where art from rome and india converged on its wayy into china and fused to form the beginnings of chinese buddhist art.

This was an ancient buddhist monastary where erlier in the century all the world plundered china for its ancients scrolls and manuscripts. as detailed in hopkirks book foreign devils on the silk road.

I wanted to see the famouse magao caves and this art. Unforunately it was like $30. A girl i knew in the hostel told me she knew a way to sneek in. So i looked inwards and summonded my inner ninja and follwed her to sneek in. What she neglected to tell me was although it was easy to jump the fence visitors cannot freely roam around and look at the caves. When you pay ur $30 they put wou in a tour group of 10 people. each of the caves is locked with a big metal door and unlocked by the guides for each group.

We jumped the fence and saw a group and decided to follow them into a cave. so there i was in the middle of a chinese tour group of 10.... and i was blonde number 12. not only could i not blend but the tour was in chinese and the only thing i understood was lao hu ( tiger ). Sure enough at the end of her talk a sucurity guard entered the cave and the guide pointed at me. I smile and shrugged the guard just laughed and i bailed out of that cave and didn't look back.

The girl from the hostel suggested we sneak over to the beginning and joing a group from there. The tour guide was way cool and let me get away with my stupid laowai act and i followed along. I then started jumping in with private groups seeing cabes not on the main path.

overall it was one of the most cool cultural things i have seen.

other than that dunhuang was great. the hostel was amazing and an old chinese courtyard out on the edge of the desert sand dunes. it was only 20 yuan a night. the father of the owner was a shufa ( calligraphy master 0 and i got to see him doo his thing every morning. he said he would teach me for free if i stayed. if it wasn't getting so col i would have!

the night market served up deliciuos rou jia mou or "roger moores" as i call them. they are the shredded meat in a bun like a chinese sloppy joe.

I also sampled the local specialty of spicy donkey intestines... which was not a good i dea before my 6 hour train ride.

wulumuqi

So posts are a long time over due.

urumqi (click for map)
n 43.80082
e 87.59531

I ended up in urumqi on my way out of xinjiang province. Nothing to exciting there its a big modern city full of rich chinese people didn't have much in the way of good food or interesting sights. The only thing that happened while there was i met up with a couple guys from france and a guy from new zealand in the hostel. that night france played NZ in the rugby world cup. we found a cool pub in town owned buy a kiwi and it was the only expat bar in all of xinjiang. unfortunately they didn't have the game but the foreigners in town chipped in for a hotel room in a 5 star place with satelite tv to watch the game so i ended in a suite watching rugby at 3am with a bunch of frenchmen and 2 kiwis. thats all i have to say about that.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

relationship advice UNCUT

I have been recieving various complaints regarding the wholesome ontent of my love advice column so i will post some of the articles i sent before my editor "polished" them up. I don't know if they are any better or not. We all know I am the least qualified guy on the planet fro this job anyways.

Dear Ben,
I'm trapped in a complex situation which disturbsme often. Whether I'm bragging or not, I have to admitthat I'm a good-looking girl. I have a normalboyfriend who I feel at home with. There is anotherboy who is one class higher than me. My friends sayhe matches me very well because he's so handsome.Theysay we'll be the most shiny scenery on campus if weare together. Though I know they are just joking,there actually exists a wondrous relationship betweenus which have not told anyone about. Every time weencounter each other on the campus path we always makeeye contact at the same time, then walk away as ifnothing has happened. This makes my heart beat fastand excites me in ways which I can not get from myboyfriend. Gradually I've been addicted to this game,looking forward to seeing him and expecting somethingwill happen. However, I feel guilty when seeing myboyfriend and pours his love all over me. I feelmiserable am I a bad girl?
bad girl

I would have to say your not that much of a bad girl you just seem to want to be a bad girl and on the verge of making some potentially bad choices. There is nothing wrong with admiring another boy because he is handsome. It's O.K. to lookbut don't touch, and you needn't feel miserable for a little harmless flirting. But before you do go any further and potentially wreck your current relationship you should consider that you hardly know this boy and a couple of lingering glances hardly constitutes a wondrous relationship. There is more tolife than being "shiniest scenery on campus". I suggest before you make a big mistake end arelationship with someone who loves you and treats youwell, you might want you make sure that you havesomething in common with Mr. Handsome, other thanbeing really really good looking and the fact that you both seem to like to swim in the shallow end of the pool.

Dear Ben,
I need some advice about a girl i recently met. I havea crush on a foreign exchange student. She is aCanadian and I am worried about all the culturalobstacles I must overcome in order to win her heart.For example I am afraid she might like different foodsfrom me. Would it be possible for you to give me somerecipes so that I could cook dinner for her. Could youalso give me some recipes for romance so i can get thecourage to tell her about how I feel.
dark horse

I think you are in luck because Canadian people loveChinese food. I used to live in Toronto and the onlydifference I could see between the food there and thefood here in China is that there everything is servedwith french fries. The thing you should realize isthat this girl came to study in China because she digsChina and wants to learn about Chinese culture. She ishere to learn, try new foods, and to experience allkinds of new things. This puts you in a really goodspot because if you play your cards right you can bethe guy to show her all these new and exciting things.Take it slow though, she is in a new place and youdon't want to intimidate her. I suggest next time youand some of the other classmates go out together youinvite her along. Start off trying to hang out withher in a group environment to see if you have anychemistry. If you find that there is some magic thenmaybe you can invite her out for dinner and take itfrom there.

Dear Ben,
I recently graduated from university, my girlfriendis still still finishing her studies and for the firsttime we are living far way from each other. Thedistance makes things hard but we call and chaton-lineeveryday.Recently I discovered she has been spending alot of time chatting on-line with two different boys.One of them is her old boy friend from high school,theother is one of her classmates who asked her to be hisgirlfriend last year and was refused by her.Sometimes they send each other messages late at nightafter I have said goodnight to her. We had a big fightabout this and she insists that they are just friendsand I am just being jealous. If they are chatting thismuch I don't think that heir intentions areinnocent.This is beginning to drive me crazy and Idon't know what I should do!jack

This is a tough situation you seem to be in, if youdon't play your cards right you are going to be introuble. I wouldn't worry to much about theex-boyfriend he is harmless, you need to watch out forthis other guy because there is no question in my mindthat he has set his sights on your girlfriend. Theroot of the problem is that you are having trustissues, if you can't trust her than this relationshipisn't going to last. She is probably completelyinnocent thinking this other guy is just being a goodfriend and has no clue to his real intentions. Youneed to keep a cool head and don't make anyaccusations at your girlfriend. If youstart being too jealous and acting like you don'ttrust her you are just going to drive her away fromyou and into the arms of this other guy. You shouldtalk to your girlfriend smooth things over and let herknow that regardless of everything that you are sorryfor being jealous and that you trust her, but also lether know that you feel this other guys intentions areless than honorable and that if they become more thanfriends then that is not okay.Then i suggest you keepan I on what this other guy is doing and watch himlike a hawk!

heading to urumqi

I thik i have accomplished all that I am going to in kuqa. I am now held up in a wang ba reading up on latest brittany news waiting for the overnight bus to urumqi.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kuqa

Kuqa:
n 41.71095
e 82.97170

So I finally left Kashgar. I took a 10 hour train hard seat. The only real obstacle was getting all of the giant knives I bought on the train. I didn't think it would be a problem but apperently it is. I got busted by the jing cha( cops ) for having 9 crocidile nundee sized knives. The told me i couldn't bring them on the train so i tried to talk my weay out of it then they looked at my passport and started all thesewierd converstaions about knives asking how much i payed saying i got a really good deal they asked my if i went to the knife factory. they liked my mao zedong bag. I think the whole time they wanted me to bribe them. i didn't but i told a few funny stories and tried to teach them how to play spoons. then they let me take the knives on the train.

So I arrived in kuqa around 10:30 pm took a taxi to the cheapest hotel ( $7 too damn expensive ). on the way we drove past more brothels then i have ever seen in my life. There must have been 30 storefronts with pink lights on either side of the street. I tried to do the math kuqa is a tiny place with 60,000 people with easily 50+ brothels multiply that times the numbers of speciale evening ladies subtract that number from number of...I just can't crunch the numbers. I am beginning to think xinjiang is the las vegas of china!

Anyways I I checked in dumped my stuff and went on the search for bbq.. priorites. after that i wandered around the town sqaure and eventually gor dragged into a chinese disco by locals. This place was freaking crazy but nothing to out of the ordinary. lots of shows kareoke room yadyada I had a few drinks their chatted with the locals and crashed at the hotel.

Today the weather sucks so i walked out to the mosque to cloudy for pictures so i am here typingt this blog post.

Did i mention it is ramadan now and during the day all the resturants are closed. it is beginning to get on my nerves.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I am here!

I amde a cool hybrid google map so you can see where I am.

click this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=zh-CN&geocode=&q=39.47213+75.98536&ie=UTF8&ll=40.044438,76.025391&spn=31.628048,38.847656&t=h&z=4&iwloc=addr&om=1

Adventures in Durkadurkistan

Not sure what to report. Life has been pretty mellow.

I am still in kashgar and have been meandering here for about a week. It is a pretty cool place. It is the cross roads of the old silk road. From here you can head on the Karakorum pass straight to Islamabad in Pakistan or over to Kyrgyzstan up to Kazakhstan down into Tibet or back into china.

The city of kashgar is amazing. It is very Islamic and it is very much like durkidurkistan in team america world police. there is definitely some chinese modernization but there is still plenty of charm. It is by far one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. I have mostly just been wandering around taking pictures and at night meeting with other travellers and hitting the night markets eating grilled liver and local breads washing it all down with pomegranate juice and melon slices. life has been simple but good. I have been searching the city for that fucked up bar where han shot gredo ( first ) but it has eluded me thus far.

The bread here is amazing especially after almost a year of rice. The bread comes in two varieties the flat nan pizza crust variety or the sesame seed bagel variety. Unfortunately there isn't mozzarella or cream cheese within a 2000km from here.

The "great" sunday market was good but not all too different from the large flea markets in georgia. This is going to sound very american but whenever i read about massive markets and beautiful lakes I leave unimpressed. they pale in comparison to things i have seen in america. I am beginning to realize how much cool shit we have in north america that the rest of the world doesn't have. As far as natural wonder you really can't beat alaska or loon mountain in new hampshire. These things always seems to impress english people though, i have never been to london but i guess if you lived in a world of grey wet rainy weather just about anything is impressive.

I also want to rant about travellers. these guys are soo kooky they sell insurance all year then they grow a ponytail buy a big floppy funny hat come to china and get all hard core. They always direct the conversations to how much they hate cities and how real things are in the country. It is always the same. I met one guy and when i told him how I am now living in beijing he then tells me "I spent 2 days in beijing I don't like it its a city and cities they are all the same". fuck that! all cities are not the same and where does this person live.... london??? no that one doesn't count at all!!!! I have to disagree cities are not all the same and I tend to experience more in the cities then I ever have sleeping in a yurt and shitting in a field. I am also getting annoyed by the travellers i meet who bash america while drinking a coke, wearing an NBA shirt, and a $100 pair of nikes. WTF!

as for me the plan is "evolving" I had originally planned to go into kygezstan or Kazakhstan but the more i hear from travellers the more i think i will focus my energy on gansu province in china. The stan's seem to be largely open and full of natural wonder... ie very boring. I have been chatting a lot in chinese I am feeling confident and I now want to spend more time in china and see if i can improve my han yu!

My current plan is to follow the silk road over to xining then head south through the tibetean villages towards sichuan province and chengdu and from there ride the yangste river to shanghai. hopefully along the way I can get into some adventures and if I am lucky eat some endangered species.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hotan To Southern Silk Road/Kashgar

Kashgar
n 39.47213
e 75.98536

So I spent a day wandering around hotan. It was a typical xinjiang. had some lamb took some photos spent the night in the happy hotel which was 30 kuai an evening. Then the next day i jumped a 10am bus to Karghilik to explore the southern route of the silk road. The bus was a 5 hour trip which would put us in karghilik around 3 which was prime time for me to hit the bazaar and take some photos in good lighting.I had not sleep very well because i spent the entire night shitting in the public toilet at the happy hotel. The bus wasn't very grounded and luxurious almost up to the american greydog standards. I dozed off to catch some zzz's. I woke up and looked at the big red digital clock at the front of the bus and it said 2pm which was perfect I only had an hour left to go so i busted out my ipod and listened to some chinese lessons. Then around 3pm we never stopped i figured i missed something when i was asleep and we were just late then 4pm rolled around and we were in the middle of the dessrt with no end in sight. I got a little concerned and looked at my cellphone. It said 6pm! motherfuckers! China doesn't have different timezones and the people of xinjiang hate chinese people and disregard the rest of the country and decided to use their own arbitrary time system. So I had actually woken up at 4pm an hour after i missed my stop. Most of the towns in between where i wanted to go and where I was going had no hotels for foreigners and i didn't actual have a ticket to go to kashgar, so i decided to keep my mouth shout and ride all the way to kashgar.

On a brighter note the ticket to kashgar was like $20 and the ticket i bought was only $6!

So I am now in kashgar the heart of the silk road were all of central asia goes to every sunday to pedal their wares!

it is good here and sunday is the market and i plan on buying a big fucking knife!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Korla to Hotan

Korla
GPS:
n 41.78498
e 86.15059

So I left turpan on a 6 hour bus to Korla. A city that was not in my lonely planet but according to the map it was at the northern entrance to the Taklamaka Desert which i needed to cross by bus. I arrived in Korla and it was a big modern city full i skyscrapers... it didn't look fun or cheap. I decided to get my next ongoing ticket for Hotan right away and a chinese guy in line asked me where i was going and what i was doing i told him i was making my way towards kashgar. He told me i should skip Korla and go on south he asked the bus people about tickets for me and told me they leave every night at 6pm and its a 15 hour ride. It was 3 o'clock so i tried to get one for 6pm. I was then told that that bus was at another station so i got directions... ( in chinese ) and headed over to the other bus station... it was the one with no pavement and the a bunch of sheep.I got my bus ticket then got some noodles before the trip across the dessert ( in the A/C sleeper bus )

The Taklamaka desert is one of the famous legendary evil deserts were tons of people dies while crossing the silk road back i the day. I can't imagine them travelling by camel through sandstorms was any worse than the pre-communist revolution 1937 piece of shit bus i had to ride on. It made the shitty tibet bus I rode in 2002 look like the rolls royce of buses. Inside the Bus had throw rows of bunk beds I of course had one in the middle and luckily for me the bus gods had welded a television in the space where my body was supposed to go. the beds are all slanted and staggered so your head is over someones feet and your feet are under someones head. the TV was 4 inches above my chest and 4 inches in front of my face. The movie showing was an american movie in chinese starring the rock and the stiffler from american pie. I could understand it but I assume it didn't win any academy awards. During the film the people kept yelling at me to move my big head so they could see the screen. Just when i got comfortable and got to see some tiny asian kid...playing a south american, kick the rocks ass it was lights out and everything shut down.

The desert itself was way more hardcore than other desserts i have seen. wy more hard core than the gobi, las vegas, and palm springs. the only thing of interest was we were plowing through well over a 100km and hour during the night I awoke to the bus slowing down. It was around 1am and we were passing through what is apparently the las vegas of xinjiang. On either side of the street all there were was a bunch of brothels. They were glass store fronts with glowing pink lights and girls waving to the bus. Other than the special evening ladies I could only see a handful of chinese guys eating bbq and drinking beers. In the background were oil towers with giant flames burning on to of them. It was a scene like out of a post apocalyptic mad maxian-Esq film. Unfortunately we did not stop.. so i could take a photo.

Other than that the rest of the night i couldn't sleep so i listened to a american history audio book on my ipod ( i was trying to sleep ). unfortunately it was narrated by matt damon and it felt as though Jason Bourne was beating me down with historical facts and then i was too afraid to sleep.

I then arrived in Hotan and wandered aimlessly around looking for moderately priced place to crash only to realize i lost my chinese phrasebook on the bus... fuck.

Hotan
n 37.11738
e 79.92417

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Turpan

GPS:
n 42.93820
e 39.18497

So It's been like a week so i will try and give a round up.

I arrived off the train to the capital of urumqi. I obviously made no lodging arrangements. I expected to be hounded by touts from guest house on arrival. this unfortunately was not the case. I wandered around the city a bit a was unable to find any moderately prices accommodation ANYWHERE. one guy offered to let me slept in some make shift room in his store for 30 kuai. i thanked him and than head back to the train station to find a train to anywhere. the line for the kashgar train was huge so i looked through my trusty lonely planet looking for an alternative destination. I found the city of turpan. next thing i knew i went right from a 40 hour train ride to a 3 hour bus ride.

Right out of the bus station turpan was beautiful. across the street was a market with people selling fruits nuts and breads. xinjiang was good. i hoofed it down the street found a sweet little hotel full of old tour groups. they gave me a common room for 30 yuan ($4) In the dorm was only one other guy a Japanese kid doing a tour of the silk road his name was uda or some shit like that. It was way too hard to pronounce so i called him "Utah" ( as in johnny "I AM AN FBI AGENT" Utah or "utah get me two!"). The first day utah showed me around town I took butt loads of pictures witht he holgas. the Uighur people are very photogenic and do not mind having their photos taken at all. Utah also showed me the pleasures of the night markets. BBQ as far as the eye can see. vegetables are afraid to show themselves in a place like xinjiang.

The city of Turpin itself is amazing. there are pedestrian sidewalks of marble 15 feet overhead are lattices of grapes. there is a nice balance between old and new in xinjiang. In the middle of town is a massive fountain that has these weird choreographed music fountain shows... this is an obvious chinese influence. the hotel also had a great outside cafe covered in grapes and that had pretty much been the norm ever since no vegetables but free grapes and melon everywhere you go. are grapes and watermelon an adequate scurvy fighting vegetable substitute?

The next day utah was off so i hit the old town exploring and visiting mosques. That night I hit the night market han solo. some han chinese saw me invited me over offered me some goat intestines and a glass full of magic... bijiu. this is the 47% chinese wine made from sorghum whatever the fuck that is. anyways this stuff is nasty. I had a glass...or shot because it is unsippable. I started chatting with my new chinese friends as you do. i was feeling really good because i was able to converse. they understood me and i understood them and when they said something i didn't understand i was able to say so and they would explain until i did. my chinese was kickin.... as was the bijiu. then on my 5th shot I recreated some the magic of the fountain show down the street. Bijiu and white chunks of intestines shot out of my mouth uncontrollably. i covered my mouth with my hand and that only broke the vomit into multiple streams. the chinese guys laughed... most likely because this is what they had been waiting for all alog and is why they invited me over and gave my bijiu in the first place.

after my interpretational fountain of vomit show was finished they then gave me a pijiu and I sat back down to refill my now empty belly with more intestines and a few liver schwarr.

anyways after a few more drinks and a few more laughs. i busted out my chinese joke ( i can tell one joke in chinese.. its an old joke about an american a frenchman and a chinese guy and a genie ) then the chinese man alcohol bijiu situation followed its only logical course. every time i tried to leave magically another pijiu materialized in front of me and then they started to get competitive after the 2nd bottle of bijiu was empty. they kept challenging me who could drink more and more and more. they were getting redder and redder and were soon as red as mao zedongs heart and they started asking me if i loved ma zedong. i gave the obvious answer that everyone loves mao zedong. but unfortunately for me I was sadly mistaken and that was the wrong answer. i was told only chinese people can have have mao zedong in their heart. I was then told that I was not chinese and stupid. At least that is what i think was being said who the fuck knows. at thins point i excused myself to the bathroom and snuck home.

The next day i hooked up with a danish guy and an Israeli to split to cost of a car. they took us to some cool silk road ruins and we checked out the flaming mountains and all kinds of things. The only exciting thing to mention was we made a pit stop in the middle of the desert at some hotel construction site to see some muslim resort that is being built the guy brought us there because his friend is overseeing construction. this place was crazy looking and very opulent and the drivers friend was so drunk he could barely stand. he was all by himself and from the lookes of it had been by himself for a very very long time. I think he wanted to hump us. I marched ahead of the group in hopes that is someone was going to squel like a piggie it would be the danish student. we all got out of there with out any humpage and made it back safe and sound. the night was followed but a rather inexpensive dinner with some isreali's.

the next day i head out for the next town.









the next night