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The Trip Starts July 3, 2005 and ends August 25, 2005 (see route & schedule)
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No Hot Water Until 6pm - 142 kilometers
Luoyang -- Sat, Jul 16, 2005

The day's biking summary is at the bottom of this post.

I definitely took the little things for granted in the US. You just never really think that a toilet might not have a seat or that hot water only comes on after a certain time (if you have it at all). But in China, these are things you quickly get accustomed to (or you complain way too damn much).

I left Ray Wen behind in Zhengzhou today so he could buy his cousin a bike. For some reason, I get more adventurous when I'm alone in China -- maybe not smart, but fun. I decided to look for a hotel a little off the beaten path -- one that you won't find in the lonely planet. Well I found it...

They had never had an American guest before and didn't really know what to do with me. They had to call the manager to make sure it was ok. We figured out how to fill out the paper work together and then they took me to my room. It is actually relatively normal and has a toilet seat unlike my hotel last night -- but I definitely wouldn't call it nice.

I was pretty happy that I had found a relatively cheap hotel (altough the difference between this place and a 5 star hotel is probably $10US) that a bunch of Chinese people were staying at (althoug they are in the shared rooms -- I thought about it, but with the bike... probably not a good idea).

But then the manager lady -- who was bossing the two fuwuyans (general helper/maids/attendents etc) around -- told me that hot water comes on after 6pm. Ah, I knew I should have checked for that. Not really a big deal, but after a long day of biking, a warm shower is really nice.

Now let me note for some of you that have been to China before -- yes 6pm is early, and I am lucky there was hot water at all... but you're in the know... Most of us still take these things forgranted and I was pampered at my university with my own hot water tank.

I had a realization though during my hot shower. My Malaysian friend has said that she would never date a Chinese boy because they don't shower and smell. Now although this is a gross overgeneralization -- I did come to the conclusion that if I had to take a freezing cold shower, I probably wouldn't shower that well either. Its an interesting in and out routine that makes scrubing difficult.

And the final realization -- ah that is the reason for the scrub boy... read the story at:



Today was the first day of real uphilll climbing -- it was a cool day with sprinkles throughout.









 

Trip Diary
Pre-trip
Stage 1: Shanghai - Nanjing (7/3 - 7/6)
Stage 2: Nanjing - Hefei (7/8 - 7/9)
Stage 3: Hefei - Xi'an (7/11 - 7/19)
Stage 4: Xi'an - Lanzhou (7/22 - 7/27)
Stage 5: Lanzhou - Jiayuguan (7/29 - 8/5)
Stage 6: Jiayuguan - Turpan (8/7 - 8/16)
Stage 7: Turpan - Urumqi (8/18 - 8/19)
Stage 8: Urumqi - Korgaz (8/22 - 8/28)

Date Title Location
Aug 23 Sweet Pain -- We Made It Korgaz
Aug 22 Uphill to Wind Lake Salima Hu
Aug 21 Biking The Prisoneer Highway Along the Red Pepper Mountains JingHe
Aug 20 Chinese Mothers TunHe
Aug 19 The Final Volunteer Day Urumqi
Aug 18 Urumqi, What a City Urumqi
Aug 17 The Last Day for Wen Ray and Fang Wen Guang Urumqi
Aug 16 Rugged Desert and The Police
Aug 15 The Second Lowest Place in the World Turpan
Aug 14 Toilet Paper vs. Prostitutes QiKeTai
Aug 13 Sunset is Nice, Biking in the Dark Isn't YiWanQuan
Aug 12 Meeting Our Match Hami
Aug 11 Dry to the bone Hami
Aug 11 Gobi Down Hami
Aug 10 Small Town China Small town on edge of desert
Aug 9 Chinese Customer Service (Negotations) Dunhuang
Aug 8 Let's Talk About The Roads Dunhuang
Aug 7 Kao, Kao, Kao Lamb's Barn
Aug 6 Sick Returns Yumen
Aug 5 Volunteer Day in Jiayuguan Jiayuguan
Aug 4 Being a Chinese Wingman Jiayuguan
Aug 3 The Desert Has Arrived QingShui
Aug 2 Talking Politics in China Zhengye
Aug 1 Biking the Great Wall Zhengye
Jul 31 Where's the Beef... No Lamb? Small Village
Jul 30 A Toilet Seat Would Be Nice WuWei
Jul 29 Being a Celebrity TienJou
Jul 29 The Faces We Pass TienJou
Jul 28 Volunteer Day in Lanzhou Lanzhou
Jul 27 I got a visa ;) Lanzhou
Jul 26 The Six Questions Lanzhou
Jul 25 Why Bike Across China? HuiNing
Jul 24 The Mountain Climbs Begin LongDe
Jul 23 The West Has Arrived YongChuang
Jul 22 Sick or Not the Kilometers Must Go On YongShou
Jul 22 Three Stages Down -- Five to Go YongShou
Jul 21 A Full Volunteer Day in Xi'an Xi'an
Jul 20 Leaving Relics at the Terracotta Warriors Xi'an
Jul 19 And I thought I was ok... Xian
Jul 17 Longest day ever TongGuang
Jul 16 No Hot Water Until 6pm Luoyang
Jul 15 Volunteer Day in ZhengZhou ZhengZhou
Jul 14 XuChang to ZhengZhou ZhengZhou
Jul 13 Zhumadian to XuChang XuChang
Jul 12 News Clip from Nanjing Newspaper Zhumadian
Jul 12 10 Days Down Zhumadian
Jul 11 Chinese law is not always written Xin Yang
Jul 10 Biking at Night Huang An
Jul 9 Easy Day to Lu'an Lu'an
Jul 8 Sad I Don't Have the Answer Hefei
Jul 7 The Chinese Countryside Quan Jiao
Jul 6 Teaching English in Nanjing Nanjing
Jul 5 Rain is a beautiful thing Nanjing
Jul 4 Happy Independence Day in China Changzhou
Jul 3 Hot, hot, hot in Suzhou Suzhou
Jul 2 Autism in Shanghai Shanghai
Jun 23 Autism In China -- An Amazing Day Beijing
Jun 18 Training -- Beijing to Baoding Baoding

 

   
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