Tag Archives: Three Gorges 三峡

Up the Yangtze, Heart of Darkness

Looking upriver from Badong, our point of departure.Last night, not fifteen minutes after embarkation, I met our neighbors across the hall. (This is easy to do in China, where people routinely leave their doors wide open in hotels and trains and anywhere else where they are separate by walls: something about wanting to chat, or not miss a moment, I suppose.) “Hey,” the man called cheerfully from his bed, where he was chewing sunflower seeds and spitting shells on the floor. “Does your bathroom stink or not stink?!”

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Filed under Foreign-er Travel, Up the Yin-Yangze

Up Piss Creek

Looking upriver from Badong, our point of departure.Imagine: The “Yangtze Sightseeing No. 3 Ferry,” your mode of transportation/home for the next 1.5 days, arrives at the pier a full hour later than its 9:30PM scheduled departure. Baby is exhausted, wife is annoyed. Upon embarking, it becomes clear that the sights on this so-called sightseeing boat will actually be the drunks, tramps, and old workers calling out from the steerage section that you are a spy. Glancing toward your second-class (of three) berthing section, you see shafts of bright incandescent light piercing through thick clouds of cigarette smoke. Then, as you complete yet another registration form that lets China keep track of you, the frumpy clerk says, “Hey, Old Foreigner, move up to first class for $50USD. You’ll have your own room…” three 100RMB bills are out on the counter before she can even finish“…and a private toilet.”

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Postcard from not quite all the way to the Three Gorges Dam

Not Quite the Three Gorges DamA great start to the trip so far! We’re currently in a dark, self-styled “cafe” with American 90’s soft-rock muzak playing at a highly-unnecessay loud volume. On right now: “Beauty and the Beast.” Why are we here? A look back at the last 18 hours…

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Filed under Foreign-er Travel, Up the Yin-Yangze