Me-go: Around-the-World

Lanzhou, Third Time’s a Charm


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I wrote a very long and insightful post about my ride from Hohhot to Yinchuan to Lanzhou but then the computer jerks here shut down my computer. They work on a pre-payment system but I have no idea what messages popping up on my screen in Chinese are so I lost it all. I did copy it to my clipboard, of course, but the entire computer shuts down when your time is up so it’s not saved. I would try to access the controls but all of Windows is in Chinese and they have disabled the English language version. What gets me is I went up to the desk to ask why all these things were popping up on my screen and she just shrugged and shooed me off.

So, unfortunately fo you, I am in an especially foul mood and will no longer repeat all of the nice things I said about Lanzhou. Or the three midgets I saw in Hohhot. Or the dog riding in a bicycle basket.

I made it to Yinchuan by bus early, without any sleep, and got on the magical K43 train. Unfortunately, everyone in Hohhot was wrong because today it’s running to Lanzhou, not Jiayuguan like I was told. So I took a seat for 8 hours to Lanzhou and tried to buy a ticket for the night train to Jiayuguan but all of the night trains were sold out. I managed to get a ticket for tomorrow night’s train and resigned myself to a day and a half in Lanzhou. Back during Phase 1 I passed through here twice on my way to Xiahe and then to Chengdu but I never really stopped.

On the good side, I finally found a shop in China that carries Diet Coke (aka Coke Light) but on the bad side I was only given a standard hotel room (half the price of the one I was offered) after I refused to pay and then sat in the lobby with my compass and photocopied map of Lanzhou trying to figure out which way to walk. I also found a theater playing Superman but it’s only in Chinese so I was forced to buy the DVD for less than $2 to watch on my laptop.

I looked for the showers on my floor and only found sinks so I am still filthy and sweaty but I blend in to China quite well in that way. It’s getting pretty late so I am on my way back to the mean hotel to find a shower, watch Superman and drink a Diet Coke.

6 responses to “Lanzhou, Third Time’s a Charm”

  1. Nina Avatar

    Man, that sounds rough, especially the shower part. I hope things start getting better for you soon.

  2. dis Avatar

    See, this? Is why I admire your moxy in undertaking these RTW trips.

  3. lucas Avatar

    come on, you have to at least tell us about the midgets

  4. Warden Avatar

    The dog in the basket was lunch.

  5. Jim Avatar

    Still not doin’ much for my China plans…

    I hope to hear that improves as you move west!

  6. Megan Avatar

    It’s not so bad and after a while you feel pretty normal being so dirty. I have dirt on my pants from the Gobi that I can’t get out still after two washings.

    Lucas, I’ll tell you that I’m pretty sure that one of the midgets was a prostitute.

    Chinese differentiate between Chinese dogs (for eating) and foregin dogs which are cute and are their pets.

    Jim, China is extremely frustrating but also fascinating. The fascination has just worn off for me. You should definately come here and experience it for yourself.