Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sleeping on the Great Wall: Part I and II

During the past month, I have had the opportunity to spend the night on the Great Wall twice. Both trips were full of adventure and very relaxing. Part I can be found at the end of this post, here is Part II:

I took off on my 2nd trip to spend the night on the wall with 7 other students. We hired a driver and van to take us 3 hours outside of the city to a section of the wall that is literally in ruins: Jiankou. We climbed up and over crumbling sections of the wall that most people never have the chance to visit. It was beautiful and amazing.

And we're off like a herd of turtles (as my grandfather would say!):

Here we are:

We need wood for the fire, Wang Shifu negotiates a good price:

Here we go:

Our first look at the wall:

A few of us take off to investigate by climbing up this steep and crumbling section of the wall:

We decide to stop here:

Rory of Atlanta, Ga:
Les Francais, Baptiste and Gael:Prunelle (France) and Andrea (Mexico):
Arturo (Mexico):
Nestor (Mexico):
More climbing:

Dancin' on the Wall:
Saucisson and Red Wine:
All the campers:

Me sleeping on the wall:
Everyone still sleeping:

Part I:
The first excursion to spend the night on the wall was begun just as the sun was going down. We could have planned a little better. We arrived at Simatai around 7pm.

Then we had to talk these guys into letting us go up.

Even after dark, it was very hot and the climb was quite steep.
But once we got to a nice spot, it was all worth it. We drank some wine, listened to music and looked up at the stars and of course, waking up at sunrise was beautiful.

In the light of day, it was apparent just how steep the wall is at this particular section.

From left: Murilo (Brazil), Jonathan (France), Me, Malte (Germany by way of Pennsylvania) and Adrian in the front (Romania).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Party Animals

This past Sunday we went to a little play at a school theater only to find the latest copy of City Weekend's 2007 Restaurant and Bar Guide. While randomly flipping through the pages, what did we find:

Hilarious! How did this happen?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I have now been in China for almost 4 months. It is at this point that my cultural adjustment is the most tangible and recognizable. I can look back and see my process of integration.

During the past 4 months, I've experienced 3 major states: (1) Wow....China, (2) Damn China!, (3) This is China. Right now I am continually bouncing between all three.

It is also startling and remarkable to be surrounded by people, things and places that are unrecognizable. I, as a result, am unrecognizable. At times, this is particularly uncomfortable. But it is also in this state that one is able to discover new aspects of ourselves. So that is where I am: unrecognizable to everything and everyone around me and at times, unrecognizable to myself. Let it Go, So it goes, Let's us Grow.