A Day of Opposites

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Thursday, January 13, 2011

With my camera #$%^-up, I need to decide the reason why it happened. Am I being told that I'm hauling too much crap? Is the Universe testing my resolve about money being there to complete this trip. To replace this lens is at least $1000, if I can even find one in the places I'll be in over the next month. The credit I have left is being depleted quite quickly and I will be flat broke(for the upteenth time) once I get back, or sooner, if anything else unexpected happens.

I decide to go exploring. I did bring along my underwater pocket camera. I can at least document my exploring with that (with less quality). I had asked the Chinese host at the hostel if there were any camera stores nearby. He indicates nothing with the equipment I am looking for. The locals couldn't afford it.

I start off at the restaurant where Shawn and I had supper last night. I'm all alone in the restaurant. The waitress knows a little english. As she put the utensils down on the table she asks for advice on the placement of the cutlery. Which way does the knife blade face? Outwards, or towards the plate?

Off exploring. Come across a new mall. All high end merchandise. Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Jewelry, Prada, and other luxury goods. Continue walking and clothing stores everywhere. Then I turn down a lane and I come to the other extreme. Small stalls of farm goods. Fruits, vegetables, chickens, and pigs. Walk through that for a while, then back to the hostel to meet Shawn. He's leaving for Hanoi today on the bus. I need to purchase my bus ticket for tomorrow and have decided to join him on the trek to the station

My ticket purchased I get back onto the city bus. Cost 1 yuan. About $0.15. Instead of getting off at the hostel's stop I continue in the opposite direction. I get off a few kilometers away and start walking back. Throughout all my walking I haven't come across another caucasian. I stick out like an African American at a Klu Klux Klan convention, but with the opposite effect. Curiosity, kindness, indifference, and lots and lots of smiles, especially from the young women (why? I do not know).

Walking back I get lost. I'm trying to follow the #6 bus route back but must have missed one of its turns. I arrive at a roundabout and head off in the wrong direction. I double back and find a #6 bus stop.

I'm make it back to the hostel. There, Kim (Toronto), Adrian (San Francisco), and the Chris (Melbourne) are about to watch a movie, "The Time Travelers Wife". They ask me if I'm interested in watching with them. I agree, just have to put my things away. I'm in my room when this South American couple (Ana & ?) I had met earlier walk by. They say Hi. A couple minutes later the guy comes back and asks me to open the cap on his coke bottle. He's a much bigger and younger guy then me. An easy twist and the cap is off. Hmmm.

At some point in time I meet Marie from Finland, an older lady who is also taking the bus to Hanoi tomorrow. She's asking Winston, the hostel owner about getting to the bus station. She's purchased her ticket at the hostel paying a sevice fee. She'll be taking a taxi. Since she's on the same bus as me I offer to share a cab. She agrees to meet up in the morning.

It's midnight and the 3 movie watchers head to the bar. I head to bed. KIm and Adrian are bunked in my room. The three of them are also on the same bus to Hanoi.

Think It! Feel It! Live It! Love It!
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