An Accident, My Battery, And The No. 1 Motorcycle Club of Zoucheng

Hitting Bottom on Day 11- Second To Last Day of The Trip I think there comes a time for many ex-pats living in China, particularly those that don’t live in first tier cities like Beijing or Shanghai, where you sort of hit a psychological bottom and just want out. This usually happens as a result of being surrounded by a different culture, language, food, etc. from what you’re comfortable with from back home. With nearly two years and only 1 two week holiday back home though, I’ve been generally content with life in China. Today however, I think I finally felt like I had had enough. The weather didn’t help much either as last night a dense cloud of pollution had descended upon the east coast of China. The road today (mainly G104) was under heavy construction too, so in addition to all the pollution, everything was covered in dust
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Day 10- My Battery Exploded and It Smells Like Rotten Egg

Since I was a little behind schedule from the day before, I tried to get an early start today (which I more or less succeeded in doing). When I asked about breakfast at the front desk of the Hanting, the guy brought me outside and around the corner to a little hole in the wall where there was porridge, egg, steamed buns, and dumplings. The lady the night before said it was western style, but for 8 RMB ($1.25), I can’t really complain. Enter Nanjing I found myself going through Nanjing today as my route got somewhat adjusted due to my missed target the day before. Seeing as how I had food poisoning the last time I was in the city a few days earlier, I took the time to do some more site seeing, and despite putting me two hours behind schedule, I’m glad I did! Nanjing is a
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Day 9- The Road Back To Beijing And The Most Expensive Giant Buddha in China

It turns out there were some growing pains I needed to go through with my Chinese turn by turn GPS direction apps. Though I think that by the end of the day I got everything working quite smoothly it wasn’t so easy the whole day. My final goal (originally, but more on that later) for today was to reach 扬州 (Yangzhou) a city just across the Yangtze, but before I headed there, I wanted to go through a city called 无锡 (Wuxi) that was supposed to have some nice tourist attractions and it was pretty much on the way. Luckily, I was able to get on the expressway leaving Shanghai (normally motorcycles aren’t allowed on but I assume Shanghai is similar to Beijing as they aren’t as strict about it), but then, nearly two thirds of the way to Wuxi, my GPS was telling me in Chinese in my headphones
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U-Turn Back To Beijing

A quick summary of the few days off from the motorcycle: Said hi to Amy’s dad and took the dog for a walk Enjoyed a lovely fancy duck dinner on the Bund in Shanghai Took the high speed train from Shanghai to Nanjing (but went to the wrong train station so had to change tickets) Arrived in Nanjing, dropped off bags at the hotel, and had lunch Went to visit a Confucius temple that was celebrating his two thousandth something birthday. It was really crowded Walked along the old city wall (longest and biggest in China/the world) Had drinks and dinner at the Sheraton hotel and then soon after got food poisoning. Changed hotels to the Westin and then spent my last 24 hours in Nanjing sick in bed Next day, good as new, breakfast then train to Suzhou, visited the “Humble Administrator’s” garden and Tiger Hill and then back
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Days 3 & 4 To Shanghai: Weddings and Bridges and Fireworks Oh My!

The National Holidays in China are a very popular time for holding marriage ceremonies around the country. Apparently this is because it’s a time when everyone is home for the holidays and so they can gather the whole family together to celebrate. We found this was the case last year when we traveled to Qingdao; as there were several van-fulls of matrimonial couples dressed up in what were most likely rented outfits from the photography company lining up to take pictures in front of the big church in Qingdao (left over from the European concessions in the area). This time around was no different as we passed maybe a dozen wedding processions on the road. The way this typically works is you have a train of about 5 cars, usually either black Audis or red Fords, with ribbons tied all over them and their license plates covered in red Chinese
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