Truly, the Maitian Hostel threw me in front of individuals who were to change the course of the journey I am undertaking. It was at this hostel, a relaxed haven from the armed guards and tanks of Urumqi, China that I met both Gonzalo and Ilona. I joined the former – a hitchhiker famous among his Argentine countrymen and women – the day after we met for six hundred kilometres of thumbing through China’s far northwest. However, my journey with Ilona wasn’t to start so quickly. We agreed to rendezvous in a few weeks time, in a different country and a different region, for a two thousand kilometre bicycle ride.
If you’re feeling in a mood to reach a bit, as I clearly am, the week Christine and I spent in Yangshuo (Guanxi Province) was kind of like a spa retreat but it also totally wasn’t. So yeah…humour me.
The woman was sitting alone in an alcove. Beyond her view of the small charcoal grill the main path was visible, but we could not watch it – we faced the woman.
The man came into focus behind me on the road. It had been a while since I had faced the rear in a vehicle, but this had little else in common with being turned around in the back of an old station wagon. The man eventually overtook us but he didn’t seem rushed. He drove alone. His was full of hay, ours was full of new friends.
I’m just going to throw it out there that it’s way easier, thanks to gender stereotypes, to be a young woman writing a post about taking pictures of children, and not feel particularly creepy about it.
There was a time not too long ago that I took a 41-hour train from Kunming, Yunnan Province to Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. I was in hard seat class, which is short on arm rests but long on humanity (600 words).