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September 27, 2006 - Guyuan, China

It's an 8-Seat Town

Dragon Attack!

National Day.

October 1.

1.3 billion people on vacation. And not a train seat to be found.

Went to the bank to open my new account - a story within itself, imagine banking woes in another language - and tried to buy a train ticket. First I asked for a ticket to Taiyuan in Shanxi.

The grumpy lady looked over the top of her glasses,

Mei you.”

Deja vu. Just like trying to get to Guyuan from Nanjing. I think a job requirement of all train ticket people is to be as bloody cantankerous as possible. Everybody else is happy to talk to me in my choppy putonghua - but the train people? No way, my mere presence makes them unhappy. I must have offended the patron saint of train tickets.


Then I tried for a ticket to Xining out West. Nobody wants to go West, right?

It was if I had asked her if she had a third head,

Mei you.”

Finally I asked if she had a ticket. That’s right a ticket. To anywhere.

And you know what she said…

I found out later from a friend that there are 8 seats out of Guyuan each day. 8.

» Link lovin’

The Bamboo Cube - Forget the Arm & Hammers, give the cube a try.

Tilt-Shift Photo - A great example of tilt-shift photography, subtle yet forceful. Notice all those b-e-a-u-tiful straight lines.

Tin Foil - Hasn’t been tin for 100 years but that’s what we call it. Making-of video (with cheesy voiceover).

so are you stuck at home for your first vacation? in transit? what does mei you mean? you are bold. i guess the worst thing that could happen is that you board and end up in outer mongolia.........................and that's where you wanted to be, right?

- judy on a Sunday
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