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The easy way. Wuhan, China, fall 2009

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James Nichole
James Nichole

Back to the "Closer to the Present"

Wuhan, China

As I prepare to compose an epic blog entry, I have set some cool music and turned off all the lights, leaving only the dimmed reading lights on to keep from straining my eyes. And as I slowly close my eyes, I'm off!

Well, let's see, there's been so much since the last entry that it's difficult to decide where to begin. Perhaps I'll start from where I left off, right before JD left, (he was another intern), on the day that we went for a shopping trip to another one of Wuhan's large and modern shopping malls. Although I found the architecture and layout to be intriguing, (hence the many pictures), the outing didn't result in many memorable highlights. We ate some delicious strange sushi, and I had my first encounter with energy-saving escalators, which don't start moving until you happen to lean on one casually for a little rest. (SURPRISE!)

Wait a minute, I've gotten ahead of myself again. Lest the pictures don't speak for themselves, I would like to jump back to the completion of the “naked man” bicycle excursion. Mainly, take a look at the pictures of the people cracking whips to spin large heavy wooden “tops.” It's too bad that I can't upload videos, because the sound is quite impressive. In the same park, several people spun around in large circles holding paper-birds on strings, controlling the birds and making them dip, dive and soar every which way...

I suppose the next notable event would be the Chinese celebration of fall festival, a time of full moon, family gathering, a week long paid vacation, and copious amounts of moon-cake offering all around. This year, fall festival coincided with Chinese “independence” day, or rather the celebration of when the current political party first came into power 60 years ago. In honor of the occasion the city planned to put on a magnificent fire-work show over the Yangtze river. Karen and I decided to attend the display after wandering the streets of Hankou for a while, eating a variety of odd foods at a food fair that had most types of food I can imagine. The fireworks were due to start at 8:00pm, but by seven o'clock I convinced Karen (who thought she had gotten us lost again), that a reasonable strategy might be to follow the rapidly increasing swell of migrating people, all walking in the same direction-- a decent clue as to which way we should be headed. By the time we had walked for 20 minutes the general flow had become a full-on torrent of people, all walking with one common purpose: to see the fireworks!!! After being swept along for a couple of miles we flowed onto the 50 yard wide river-side boulevard of Hankou, 20 minutes before the fireworks started. I was astonished to realize that people could be even more tightly packed together. A rough estimate suggested that considering how smushed together we were, the number of people along the river boulevard probably exceeded 70,000 and when the first fire-works went off miles away in the night sky, it was not the gun-powder but a roaring explosion of tens of thousands of excited Chinese throats that deafened me. (My estimate of 70,000 people is based on my recollection of what 40,000 people look like at the C.U. Buff's stadium). At a certain point a police vehicle attempting to make its way through the crowd created an opportunity for eddy currents of people to sweep in behind it, and Karen and I managed to take advantage of this to mindlessly penetrate an extra hundred yards into the impenetrable mob, for no particular reason other than that I thought it would be fun. The experience was what some might call “un bain de foule,” and perhaps the only place I've been more packed was on the bus we took to reach the fireworks. (See the pictures!)

A few days later I was having a bit of a down day for a number of now-forgotten reasons. Mainly, what I remember is feeling like I had been inconsiderate, and was shirking my social responsibilities of being an upstanding human being. I think I had failed to find it within-myself to contribute to several sincerely helpless beggars, among them some with talent, and one talented and well meaning mutilated street artist. In addition to this I had been surly in the morning about my work stuff (or lack thereof), and to exacerbate my feelings of being an ingrate, I had repeatedly ridden my bicycle inconsiderately and forced others to yield when I should have done so. So by the end of my day on the town, I was feeling rather sorry and ready to cheer up with a 10 yuan 45minute foot-and-back massage, though I was of the distinct notion that this luxury capped off the day with unjustly rewarding my nuisance of a self. The point is that I wasn't feeling too great on my way to the massage parlor, when I passed a well-dressed man sitting in the road on one of the main busy boulevards, at the heart of Wuchang City. He was hunched over and seemed to border on unconsciousness. Apparently he was invisible to the hundreds of people walking by on the sidewalk, not ten yards away from where he sat. I passed him on my bike and continued on my way, wondering absent-mindedly whether he was drunk or whether he'd been nicked by a car. I've seen birds in a similar looking daze when they've been hit by a sling-shot stone, as they slowly drift off into the soft embrace of death. I wondered idly whether the man would get out of the street soon enough to avoid an inevitable car trundling along ready to break both his legs and probably kill him. Then, partly because I'd had a guilty day and partly because I was jolted by the languidness with which I pictured such a scene, while I myself was on my way to enjoy a comfortable posh pedicure and back massage, I decided I was a shit. Even if the guy did happen to be drunk, there was no guaranteeing he was a drunkard, and who hasn't had their low times when they drank themselves into a stupor and proceeded to sit in the middle of a busy street? I imagined if it were Loic (my brother) sitting there twenty-five years from now, or any one of my family or friends, and how passionately enraged I would be to see people walking by ignoring the ones I love. I realized the man was a fellow human, and thought of his possible future days of happiness, and the family that might be wondering where he was right now.

So I doubled back and made my way to the man siting in the street, noting again his nice clothes. I realized that these alone were likely what evoked in me the form of sympathy and compassion that snapped me into doing something. I thought back to what we were taught in psychology 101, all the way back in New York, so many miles away. Then, ever so tentatively I nudged the man's foot with my front bicycle tire, trying my best to form appropriate Chinese greetings and to raise the man to consciousness. If I could just get him out of the road, I would have considered my duty sufficiently fulfilled. But the man wouldn't budge. I could see that he was still breathing, and if his heart was stopped he would have been dead by now. He didn't have any visible open wounds, so I was well convinced that I needn't approach him too closely. But it did look like he might need to be carried out of the road. I was conscious of the attention I was drawing, as a foreigner looking semi-helplessly and poking a guy sitting in the road. I continued to nudge the man, more and more vigorously, and to raise my voice to try to get him to stir. He drooled a bit, then tipped over sideways, now fully laying on the street. Several cars coming by tried to get me to move to let them through more easily, but I firmly kept my bicycle between the cars and the man's foot. It had only been five minutes since I found the guy, but by now I knew he would have been broken in one way or another. Within a few more minutes, some pedestrians and mo-ped people stopped--mostly couples--to try to figure out what to do. Most of them wandered off as they had come, but by chance one of them managed to communicate to me the local emergency number. I dialed it, and after several minutes the voices on the other end managed to find someone capable of speaking broken English on the line. I explained the situation. I was assured that “later we will send someone.” As I waited obstinately for this “later” time to arrive, another young couple pulled up on their motorcycle, and earnestly asked about the man before making a call themselves. The guy seem also determined to wait for the ambulance, and assured me that if I needed to go somewhere, I could leave. He spoke English well, and we occupied ourselves in friendly conversation for fifteen minutes next to the man in the road, drawing a crowd of thoroughly confused onlookers, who were clearly having trouble making sense of a foreigner and a young Chinese college student, calmly talking about the weather, while apparently unconcerned about a guy lying in the road immediately next to them. As we waited for the ambulance, a troupe of marching military men walked by and joined the scene, inquiring about the situation and then trying unsuccessfully to revive the unconscious (though still breathing), man. Even what looked to be a professional photographer joined the scene briefly, just long enough to snap a picture of a tall foreigner sitting on a bicycle and chatting next to a sprawled Chinese body in the road. Eventually the ambulance arrived. By now after much laborious effort and assistance, the military squad had almost managed to get the man to sit up, and with the help of the medical staff they got the man onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. I bade my newfound “good Samaritan” friend good-bye, and finding a common interest in ping-pong, we exchanged phone numbers. I went to the massage parlor, and was told to return the next day, because it was now too late. I felt redeemed, and returned home light-of heart.

permalink written by  smartwater on November 1, 2009 from Wuhan, China
from the travel blog: The easy way. Wuhan, China, fall 2009
tagged BackToTheCloserToThePresent

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The Magical Little Tibetan Guy

Wuhan, China

Monday September 14th.

Yesterday I bought a bicycle for 50 yuan. (Molly paid 300 for hers in Beijing. Boo yeah!) I purchased my fancy ride from a little Tibetan magical guy, who is around my age. He is an exceptionally talented pool player, and it was a privilege to watch him play. For several games in a row, he waited patiently for me to get one or two balls in, before clobbering me in about two turns. Unfortunately, since I lost my eyesight and felt all of the symptoms of a migraine headache coming on, I eventually decided to declare myself the loser of the night. Because he is magical, as I accompanied him back to his apartment, the little Tibetan guy's demeanor, his words, and the cool night air were so refreshing that they soothed my burgeoning headache, and caused it to subside for a time. Taylor, (that is his English name), invited me up to his apartment, which seemed from the outside to be located in a run-down, slummy building of questionable integrity. But when he opened the door to his humble abode, we were greeted by a house as modern as in any American catalog. The living room was floored with shiny, intricate tiles, and housed three comfortable couches as well as a hearth, built into a section of modern refinished stone wall. The rest of the house was equally elegant. Taylor showed me to a seat, and disappeared for a few seconds, to return with what looked like several gumballs. He told me they were Yak-jerky from Tibet. Although I tasted them and discovered they were delicious, when I found out they could not be purchased in Wuhan I firmly refused to accept the additional handfuls he tried to press into my palms. Then we went to look at his bicycle. I have been inquiring about bicycles since I arrived, because they seem to be an especially efficient way to get around the city. As I mentioned, he sold the bike to me for 50 yuan, and even included a dirty all purpose rag. After a bit of fixing up and pimping out, I think my new ride will be perfect. It is a small one-speed ladies bike of the sort that even in China, no one could conceive of stealing. ...and it came with a lock!

Tuesday September 15th
This morning I found a place to get my bike fixed for the sum of 5 Yuan. But after forty-five minutes of work and clear honesty, I insisted on paying six. I felt so generous. Now that I have procured a set of wheels, I feel I have been set free. I explored the neighborhood, and found a market with fresh vegetables and other interesting merchandise. (See the pictures).

Friday September 18th
Nice! On Wednesday... an abandoned outdoor climbing wall was found! Unfortunately, by day the area is guarded by security men who wouldn't let me climb it for my own safety. I will have to go back and climb it by night, when the security is thinner and they can't see me.
On Thursday, as to be expected my presentation didn't turn out that great, but it doesn't really matter. I guess the head honcho didn't have the same idea as I did about flexible interactive teaching styles. Oh well.
Today, Karen and another one of her friends took me to visit “Hankou,” which is considered to be the “commercial” city, of the three cities comprising Wuhan. We went under the pretext of looking for a climbing wall, but I think that Karen was actually more interested in going shopping at Wuhan Plaza, the biggest mall in Wuhan. While Karen and her friend shopped, I enjoyed visiting the toy store, playing some random video game at an arcade, riding the escalators up and down, and the myriad other entertaining activities that are available in giant malls.

Monday, September 21st
On Saturday I decided it would be a good idea to ride my bike to Hankou, since I wanted to have it there for a while to explore the area. On my way to work, just as I was about to get on the Bridge to cross the Yangtze river, I saw a naked Chinese man. For a brief instant I saw him wearing a shirt and adjusting a camera on a tripod, and then suddenly he removed his shirt to reveal his stark nakedness. He placed himself in front of his camera, hurriedly began doing push-ups on the landing of a busy access flight of steps for pedestrians going up to cross the bridge. I wonder why he wanted to film himself doing naked push-ups on the steps leading to the Yangtze bridge? Thirty yards after seeing the naked guy on the steps, I passed a police officer who was chatting calmly with a friend. He seemed fairly oblivious to the naked guy.
I got lost, (in spite of my map,) and the ride to work took me about an hour and a half, instead of the hour I was anticipating. In the midst of sky-scrapers and the bustling city of Hankou I was fortunate enough to happen to stop to look at my map at just the right place, and then to happen to be accosted by a friendly Chinese lady who happened to speak English and who happened to know exactly where the New Oriental School was located. She showed me where I was on the map, and told me to go straight down a little side-street until I would pretty much dead-end into the school. I got there two minutes later, but I was still twenty-five minutes late to my first day of work. Too bad Chinese are PUNC-TU-AL. Hmm... doing great Noah...
Since my Chinese co-partner was not very outgoing to recruit interviewees, we spent the day watching his favorite wrestling movies and South Park. He also showed me where I could get my treasured Corsican sandals fixed for 10cuay, as well as where the French ambassador lives in Wuhan. There is a decent French population people here, because one of France's super-store chains, (Carrefour), has managed to establish itself successfully in the area.

permalink written by  smartwater on October 19, 2009 from Wuhan, China
from the travel blog: The easy way. Wuhan, China, fall 2009
tagged ALittleMagicalTibetanGuy

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Not So So Much

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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Wuhan University and Mulan Mountain

Wuhan, China

Sept 8th
Tuesday morning in Wuhan. I went to the super-market and made my first random friend. His name is Michael, and he latched on to me as soon as I walked in looking for breakfast. He helped me find a power strip for my computer, and seemed like a fairly friendly guy. He left and won't be back for several months. Oh well. At around noon Karen picked me up at the hotel and we took a bus to her university, which I was informed happens to be “The most beautiful university in China.” It is indeed scenic, and contains a temple-ish building right in the middle of the campus, alongside “cherry blossom lane” and above the ramparts of several-century-old dormitories. It sits overlooking the university from the top of a big hill and a couple hundred steps. Wuhan University also enjoys a reputation as one of the more prestigious universities in China. We ate a yummy mushroom lunch at the University cafeteria, before Karen left me to sightsee while she went to classes for four hours. When I had sight-seen to my satisfaction, I found a wooded place on the temple hillside where there were pleasant shade and scattered stone picnic tables and benches. I had just begun to settle down for a nap to the lullaby of noisy cicadas, when my attention was diverted by a particularly large table with a row of bricks laid across its center. Clearly this was meant to be a rudimentary ping-pong table, and as I watched, a group of about six young college students walked along the trail past me, glanced furtively in my direction, giggled and chuckled at my foreignness, and then approached the cement table for a bit of ping-pong.

I couldn't resist getting a better look, so I moved closer and watched a few of their games. After a time, I took the liberty of approaching the group with a friendly (though evidently incomprehensible) greeting, and within a few minutes I was playing ping-pong with them. I wondered what they must think of me, and for some reason I thought of Clint Eastwood movies, where he just sort of barges into the middle of something foreign with no invitation at all. I spent another three hours with three of the most friendly-looking students in the group, and we walked around the campus, taught each other card-games, and shared little bits of each-other's language. I had quite a good time, and ended up making three new random friends by the names of “Juan Wen Po,” “Jueh Singh Whey,” and “Noah y Sha.” They are freshmen at Wuhan University, and will be beginning one month of mandatory military service in the next couple days.

September 9th
Wednesday morning I was embarked on an “educational” expedition away from Wuhan to Mulan Mountain. It is in fact the same Mulan mountain claimed to be near where the famous Mulan Disney character lived. A two hour bus ride north brought us through farmlands and rice paddies to Mulan Mountain and the Hotel where we left our belongings. We enjoyed a lunch of pig's blood with other assorted oddities, and after a 10 minute nap time, we piled back into the bus for an hour ride to the “village” where we were to “teach a class.” In fact, our service was to be used as marketing and educational creatures of interest, promoting the New Oriental School teaching academy to a local Middle School. Our arrival at the Middle School was spectacular. Can you picture the crowded streets and balconies in photos of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain each year? Or maybe a bit like movies with hordes of inmates waving their arms while leaning over railings and jeering down at new reviled prisoners filing in on the ground level. Suffices to say there must have been upwards of one thousand middle-schools students buzzing and shouting, ecstatic that we were about to come and visit their class-rooms. We were first split up into four groups of four foreigners, to spend an hour discussing teaching tactics with the local teachers, who themselves were only capable of broken English. Then we were split up again, each one of us individually tossed in front of a class. We were given a room too small to budge the desks, filled with about sixty students packed together, (my class had 64 students.) We had one hour to “do our thing.” The only reasonable to do, I thought, was to play Simon Says, with all 64 of them. After I was formally introduced to the class, I shouted: “Teacher says everybody stand up.” The game was on. “Teacher says everybody touch your head,” “teacher says put your hands under your desk.” It was just the right level. After fifteen minutes of “teacher says,” we proceeded to play “secretary,” and then finished with five minutes of “teacher says” to review the new vocabulary from the beginning of the class. The strategy was a success. Nearly all of the students had retained eight brand new words! : )

An interesting observation I noted while teaching the class was that although the students in the class should ideally have been at similar levels, there was clearly a broad span of English proficiency within the same classroom. While some students could easily read most simple sentences and understand a spoken phrase, others did not understand even the most basic structures of English, in spite of a couple of years of classes. It seems it is the sheer numbers of students, not to mention the widespread lack of enthusiasm for studying, that the teachers here must struggle against.

After our classes had ended, we were led down into the central courtyard, and swamped by a mob of Middle School students jamming pens into our hands and notebooks in front of our noses. For 5 minutes I was trapped signing notebooks at the center of a middle-school horde, before our New Oriental School guides muscled us out of the crowd and towards our bus. We were treated like celebrities... And all because we are WHITE.

permalink written by  smartwater on October 2, 2009 from Wuhan, China
from the travel blog: The easy way. Wuhan, China, fall 2009
tagged WuhanUniversityAndMulanMountain

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From Boulder to Wuhan

Wuhan, China

Although most of the trip from Denver to Wuhan was smooth and uneventful, I will briefly note a couple of worthy observations.

1) For international flights out of the Los Angeles airport, you should count at least two hours layover time to complete the change from the arrival to the departure flight. You have to take an airport bus to reach the international terminal, and you will probably have to wait in the check-in line to get your boarding pass for the outgoing international flight. (Even though your bag may be checked all of the way through). I also had to go through security again, and because I forgot to empty Molly's sigg water bottle, I was directed to leave the security perimeter, where I drank the water and then proceeded to go through security a second time. (Odd I thought, since they usually let you drink it on the spot if you offer).

2) The passengers on the flight to Shanghai consisted of about 80% Asians, 10% business men, and 10% other assorted foreigners. I happened to be seated next to an American businessman who provided me with copious amounts of pestulence for fourteen hours straight. This alone turned the experience into what was by far my most unpleasant flight to date.

3) About a half-hour before our arrival in Shanghai, a video came on showing airline stewardesses and pilots doing exercises while in their seats. I was amused and surprised to see that the majority of the passengers on the flight began imitating the characters in the video, stretching, flexing, limb-smacking and bending every which way with virtually no qualms about looking positively silly!

4) We arrived in Shanghai one hour ahead of schedule (I'm not quite sure how,) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that customs did not require me to retrieve and re-check my bag. After going through security to reach my gate, I still had a couple of hours until my flight to Wuhan. I promptly settled down for a nap. Unfortunately, I slept right through the cell-phone alarm I had set, and awoke to what I suppose was an unusual quietness in the nearly empty room. As it turned out I was the last person left to check in and go through the doors to reach the plane! Phew, I came about five minutes from missing my flight! On this plane, I was the only white person.

AND THEN I arrived in Wuhan. As I walked out into the public area of the airport, I was relieved to hear a friendly voice exclaim tentatively, “Nooo-ah?!” It was Rachel Qiu, the one and only person I knew in this city of 9 million. Boy what a relief! Apparently, Chinese people don't hug, they don't give a greeting kiss, they don't bow, they just sort of stand and wave timidly to say hello and goodbye. Rachel guided me outside to an awaiting taxi, and as we exited the airport, a wall of thick, hot, muggy Florida-style air hit us in the face and enveloped us with stickyness. Professor Stephen Li wasn't kidding. In the summertime Wuhan is HOT. The ride back to the hotel at midnight was about an hour long. At the hotel we found that a room had not been reserved, and no rooms were available. So it goes. Fortunately, this was the same hotel where other summer interns were being housed, so Rachel and I managed to find some friendly British interns willing to share a bit of floor-space for the night. (Rachel's dorm locks her out after 11pm). The first thing I was told when I met one of the many interns was: “your in for the worst four months of your life.” I felt embarrassed for Rachel, but was otherwise not too concerned. As I suspected and quickly confirmed over a midnight dinner of sketchy fried rice, the experience really depends on what one makes of it. Judging by the break-neck driving and relaxed disorganization I have seen so far, I already have a strong suspicion it's going to be a blast.

Sept 7th
My first morning, Rachel said she would come get me at 9:30 to show me around the area. I set my alarm for 9:30, and as my alarm was going off, Rachel knocked on the door. She accompanied me to a food-market/cafeteria/shopping-mart, where I bought my breakfast of sweet bread and soy-milk for 3 yuan. (7 yuan = 7 cuay = 1 dollar) I was then turned over to another @er. (@er is short for AIESECer, which is short for something else. AIESEC is the name of the student-run organization that connects students with international jobs. They're the ones who found a job for me here in Wuhan.) Her name is Karen, and she took me down a long and busy hectic road, to buy a local sim-card for the Chinese phone that Molly is loaning me. On this same expedition we made a trip to an ATM, where it turns out money can be easily withdrawn using all of the same normal U.S. Plasic. More interestingly, this trip was my first opportunity to get acquainted with the local traffic.

Excluding massive numbers of pedestrians, the traffic percentage breakdown is about 30% automobiles, 30% mopeds and motorcycles, and 30% bicycles. Random weird stuff comprises the other 10%. It seems that, at least in this part of China, the traffic rules recommended by stoplights, traffic lanes, traffic police, and conventional traffic directions, are just that-- “recommended.” Although I would consider I have seen a fair amount of disordered driving in my few years of life, this level of chaos was undoubtedly a step up from past experiences. As Alejandra warned, crossing the street can prove a tricky task, and on one of my earlier attempts I learned an important lesson. Rather than considering the roads to consist of individual lanes with traffic in separated directions, it is more accurate to consider the traffic as a “flow” with general trends of movement, like a large thick flow of lava slowly easing around obstructions. However, in spite of this general flow, at any given time there remains a finite and significant probability of encountering a vehicle of any size or shape, moving in an entirely arbitrary direction. I suppose it's a bit like quantum mechanics. I said this was an important lesson, because I almost learned it the hard way, (or maybe I wouldn't have learned anything at all). As I diligently looked down the road to my left in preparation to cross the closest, “first lane” of traffic, a blue truck approaching me from the right made a valiant attempt on my life. But that's okay. It's a very good way to remember the lesson. I might start wearing a helmet around town too, just for good measure you know...

After completing our errands, Karen and I went to a cafeteria where we put 30 cuay worth of credit on plastic/magnetic cards, purchased our fill of typical Wuhan “dry noodles,” and then returned our cards for the 20 cuay we had not used. A bit confusing really. It was time for a nap, so I took a healthy five hour one. I would blame it on jet-lag, but considering my preferred napping habits, that may be somewhat of a half-truth. The good news is that Chinese people are very understanding and encouraging when it comes to naps. I like Chinese.

permalink written by  smartwater on September 29, 2009 from Wuhan, China
from the travel blog: The easy way. Wuhan, China, fall 2009
tagged PicturesForEntryFromBoulderToWuhan

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