Friday, October 2, 2009

a friendly reminder

you can still win the book... today's your last chance to send me a story! i'm kind of sad because i haven't gotten very many entries. (so your chances are very good!) it doesn't have to be long. heck, it can be three sentences if you want. e-mail or comment it to me by tonight.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I've been torn between a lot of things to be honest... but here goes!

Two summers ago I went to China for 7 weeks - that in and of itself a little bit of a jump into crazy-town. I lived in the dorms on the campus there, took classes, lived life. But one experience stood above the rest.

One of my new Chinese friends met me in the lobby of our dorm the night before (it was definitely late) and told me that him and a club he was involved with on campus were going to visit a museum the next day. I asked when they were leaving, and they said "about 5am." Shock. No. HECK NO. So early and it's already late. But then it hit me... who cares!?! I'll never be able to do this again. So I woke up around 4:30am and met him in the lobby again.

We walked from there to the other side of campus (about a half hour walk) where the front entrance was. There we met about 20 more chinese students all hanging out by a huge station of Chairman Mao. Crazy. From there we walked to a bus station and got on the bus. When we got on it was standing room only, packed like sardines. We rode on it for about a half hour or more up a mountain out of the city and into a smaller village town.

Upon entering the village I realized I'd made a good choice. The streets were filled with people selling and buying stuff. My friend even pointed out to me a doctor that "was taking advantage of the dumb farm people" by trying to sell them fake/crappy medicine. It was insane... people selling food, carrying huge baskets of peppers on their shoulders, quite the unique situation. The smells were incredible.

From there we walked through the rest of the village then down a weird side alley. The alley opened up to where we were looking down a hill... like a pretty steep hill. They were growing corn on it! I'd never seen corn grown at an angle like that. We walked down the hill to the base of it where a tributary of the Yangtze River was located. At the edge of the river was a really really ramshackled looking boat. All of us fit on it though luckily and we were rowed across the river.

Upon reaching the other side of the river I asked my friend, "how long is this trip to the museum going to take?" He said it'd be about another 45 minutes of walking. He was wrong. 3 hours of walking through hilly farm land, through even tinier villages, under huge train-track-bridges, crossing a creek (not joking, this hike had everything), we finally arrived at the museum.

The doors were locked. It was closed on the weekend.

...

Luckily and old lady was there (and I mean OLD) and she let us in when she saw me and another one of my American friends that had gone with us. The museum was boring as crap. There was literally nothing to look at. All it had were framed pictures of the same guy over and over with huge descriptions of that period of time in his life next to the pictures. And it was all in mandarin so I was clueless as to what anything said.

But the best part of the whole trip is what I heard before we left. The old lady told my Chinese friend that the last time an American had been to that museum was in the 1940s when she had just started working there as a teenager. We were the first Americans she'd seen in 70 years!

Thankfully, the trip back was easier... only hiked about a half hour before we hit a smaller village and grabbed a cab back to campus.

The End!