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Wuhan, China

Thursday September 10th
We walked for about two hours up Mulan mountain along a well-maintained walk-way. The going was easy, and the efforts to maintain the area have been successful in preserving several scenic views. The mountain provided a pleasant taste of the natural climate and vegetation in this part of the world. At one point I ducked away from the group to follow a little dirt side-trail, along which I found an exceptionally large smushed centipede, about 6 inches long and 1 inch in circumference. Unfortunately, although I hoped to go unnoticed, I realized and regretted that my excursion was rather inconsiderate, because by the time I returned to the main trail, the group had caught wind of my disappearance and had grown slightly concerned.

At the top of Mulan mountain, several of us enjoyed a zip-line ride over a stretch of Mulan Lake, before heading back down the mountain via a different route. The hiking procedure in the park is to walk in a 6 mile loop, and visitors are only allowed to travel in one direction around the loop. This makes encounters with other tourists less frequent, so that they detract less from the scenery. On the return route we descended many, many, many steps. Actually, I counted 1040 of them total, + or - 20. Everybody napped on the way home to Wuhan.

Saturday September 12th.
As to be expected, the last few days have not been quite as striking or eventful as the beginning of the trip. I have still not had any indications of when I will actually start teaching classes, although I was finally assigned a schedule for some menial tasks. As of now I will start giving spoken placement tests to determine where prospective students should enter their course sequences. Fairly dry stuff.

I did, however, manage to spend the better part of a day asking around and looking for a ping-pong table, and I managed to spend the better part of an evening getting myself lost in a nearby park, with Robert, Karen and one of her friends. As it turns out, everything in China is different. Instead of walking through the park and out the other side, (which I repeatedly insisted we were nearly about to reach), we ended up walking the entirety of the park's perimeter. After a couple hours of hiking hilly terrain in a large loop, much to my chagrin we finally returned to the one and only entrance to the park. On the bright side of living in a jimungus city, there is constantly plenty of smog and light. Even while we were lost enough that all sounds of the city had faded and we couldn't see any buildings, the light from the city reflected down from the smog allowed us to proceed easily in the midst of the graveyard forest. Oh, did I mention the park was built as a graveyard memorial to Chinese soldiers? (The girls seemed a bit spooked by this).

I suppose another success of our adventure in the park is that, on our way out we came across a little “playground,” which Chinese consider to be the equivalent of a public exercise gymnasium. It was in this little playground that for the first time in my life I saw someone do a truly one-armed pull-up. He wasn't anything particularly amazing to look at, he didn't have muscles coming out of his ears or anything, but the little ripped Chinese guy hopped on and did four one-armed pull-ups, two with each arm. Masterflex: 0 Little Chinese guy: Ten Billion

permalink written by  smartwater on October 12, 2009 from Wuhan, China
from the travel blog: The easy way. Wuhan, China, fall 2009
tagged NotSoSoMuch

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Ahahaha Masterflex!!

We miss you! Keep up the blog posts!

permalink written by  Yilok on November 2, 2009

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