The sun is shining, the tomato plants are full, and the Israeli kids next door are whining and crying.
Yes, it’s good to be home and find that nothing’s changed.
Exhausted. Full of curry. Ready to come home. That’s the problem with trying to do travelogues: you do so much that when you have time to update, you’re too damn tired.
All panels were excellent, and I feel lucky as hell to have talked about blogging, virtual worlds and the future of searching for ponies on the internet. Made some new friends, passed around a lot of business cards, and the food. Did I mention the food? Good God, I wish we could stay just to keep eating.
But I’m ready to see the garden bloom, eat the last of the tomatoes, and get back on the bike. See you in eighteen hours, Los Angeles!
The water is drinkable, the room is tiny, and the fun’s about to start. We’re in Yokohama!
Today, I made myself get out of the hotel, walk out into the pounding rain and get my own food. Granted, I went to the same street Ken and Yuki took me to yesterday (the one where I got incredibly good noodles), and it took me three laps around the block to work up the bottle to approach a stall and do the point and order, and my pants are entirely soaked, but, dammit, I got what I wanted: two bao and one of these scallion omelettes. The bao were filled with sweet and spicy meatballs rather than the shreds of pork I’m used to, and the dumpling itself was thick and chewy. The omelette is crispy, almost like bread, with a light dabbing of chili paste. They may turn my intestines into Swiss cheese in a few hours, but, right now, they were the best thing I’ve eaten this entire trip. And all for 3.6 Y, or about fifty cents.
Blogspot, LiveJournal and the BBC’s site are all blocked by the Great Firewall. Flickr’s interface comes through, but the photos themselves don’t. I have no idea if anything I’ve posted to my photo stream are really there or if they’ve all turned into sad-faced cartoon Mao icons (because mocking the central government makes the Baby Mao cry).
What does come through is this New York Times article about China’s pollution crisis. I’ve only been in country a few days, so I can’t attest to the horrific conditions the article talks about. Shanghai has the good fortune of being next to the water, and a strong wind was blowing last night and today when we went out for lunch. But there are noxious smells that pop up out of spaces in the ground, smells worse than anything I can remember from doing plumbing. The clouds of exhaust from diesel trucks and scooters are real, but whether they’re as bad as, say, San Pedro, I can’t tell.
Something else: it’s nothing but Chinese tv in this hotel, but the Samsara in Chengdu had BBC World, which was a pleasant surprise. However, whether it was a feed meant for China (ie free of anything negative about China) or the real McCoy, I couldn’t tell.
Anyway. If you’re on LJ, you can see me, but I can’t see you. Drop a line in the comment section if you’ve got any interesting links to see when I get home.
Pudong Skyline, as viewed from the Bund
Welcome to the Blade Runner skyline.