Adventures of Life in Beijing

Return to Jellyfish Lake


DAY TWO 

If you missed my last post on the obstacles we faced yesterday on the way to scuba lessons, you can catch up here: Jellyfish Lake

Hoping to avoid being detained by police again, I printed out a copy of the paperwork we filled out yesterday. On the train to Zhuozhou, I silently rehearse my lines in Chinese. “We came here yesterday and registered. We’re back again today.”

“Maybe we’ll get the same guy as yesterday and he’ll let us through,” Daniel says as we get off the train.

Walking toward the exit, we are confronted with three security guards and four guys wearing neon Traffic Control vests. We’re outnumbered and get immediately pulled over to the side.

“Who are you meeting? What’s her name What’s her phone number?  Where are you going?” Officer #232 asks. This takes about 45 minutes. So much for a faster exit today.

“Can we go now? What else do you need?

“Please wait, another officer will come soon.”

“How much longer?”

“Twenty minutes.”

“Twenty minutes? It’s been almost an hour!”

“He’s eating his breakfast first and then he’ll come.”

Unbelievable.

Officer #232 paces in circles and wipes his brow. He really wants to be done with us but doesn’t want the responsibility of letting us go. He looks so uncomfortable we almost feel sorry for him.

“Can we go? Our friends are waiting,” we try again.

Officer #232 hands me the papers and points to the locked exit door.

“Show it to him,” he says.

We knock to get the guard’s attention, pressing our faces to the glass like puppies at the pet store pleading for freedom.

“Mom don’t stop – keep going!” Daniel urges when the door opens.

“Aren’t we supposed to show him our papers?” I ask the boys.

“I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to come after us and tackle us. Just go,” Timothy says.

Our instructors Chris and Lexie meet us in the parking lot. The good news is Chris isn’t hungover today.

“Maybe next time you should try driving. There’s so much traffic they don’t stop everyone,” Lexie says. “It should be much faster.”

She tells us that the police grilled her on the phone while we were waiting in the station. Her relationship with three foreigners was causing suspicion from the authorities.

We agree to arrange a car for tomorrow, hoping to avoid another  encounter with the police.

The boys master their scuba skills successfully, and Chris and Lexie drive us to the train station. We’re hungry, but the pork bun shop is closed. We pass a vendor selling chicken feet from a roadside cart and produce vendors displaying their goods on the ground. It’s grittier than Beijing.

“Do you eat lu rou huo shao?” Lexie asks. Donkey Meat? We love it.

“It’s amazing we’ve never gotten food poisoning here,” Timothy says, digging into a hot flaky roll stuffed with donkey meat. The car smells like peppers and cumin.

There’s a local idiom here that “in Heaven there is dragon meat, on earth there is donkey meat.” Finally, something likable about Zhuozhou.

 

Grilled donkey meat and peppers stuffed in a bun, sometimes called a Chinese burger.

 

We pass security quickly after pointing to the clock and speaking urgently about our train departing soon.

At dinner time, Mike asks about our day.

“There was really nothing fun about swimming in a trash filled lake. I just want to get certified,” Timothy says in a voice that conveys truth, not complaint.

Being grilled by the police over the last two days takes an emotional toll. No one wants to go back, but we need to finish before school starts. We take a week off and then schedule the last two classes.

DAY THREE

We’ve arranged for our driver Chen to take us, hoping driving across the provincial border will be easier than travelling by train. Success! We didn’t get stopped at all.

That was such a good decision, I thought, as we wrapped up the scuba lesson and hit the road by 2:30. So far, the trip was uneventful. No police checks, paparazzi or dead fish floating in the lake.

Then we hit the first police check point. We get pulled over, Chen hands over our passports and gets out of the car to talk with the guards. A few minutes later an officer gets into our car (without Chen) and starts driving. We’re on a road trip with no passports and a Chinese cop behind the wheel. Before my heart rate hits dangerously high, the officer pulls into a parking lot behind the police station.

After about 20 minutes of questioning, we’re on our way. We pass checkpoint number two, leaving Zhuozhou without incident. We cross the bridge to checkpoint three, which is the border into Beijing.

We roll up to the guard and as soon as he sees us in the car he motions for us to park and get out. We hand over the passports and the questions start again.

“Where are you from? When did you arrive in China? Where’s your virus test? Where’s your proof of quarantine? Who is your community leader?” The officer asks in Chinese, thumbing through our passports.

Chen patiently answers for us as we stand on the side of the road. The officer isn’t satisfied and disappears inside the building with our passports. We wait as a steady stream of traffic rolls by. From tattooed truckers to old ladies hauling peanuts to market, their eyes rest heavily on us. If we were still in Florida I’d wish for a sinkhole to swallow us up.

Chen brings us some water from the car. If I’m going to be an object of shame at a Chinese border crossing, I can’t think of anyone better to have at my side. With a fuzzy brush cut and a face like a teddy bear, Chen is kind and gentle, providing the comfort we need.

“How much longer?” Timothy asks.

“I think I heard someone say 20 minutes, or maybe he said he’s been working here 20 years, or that we’ll be waiting 20 years, I’m not sure,” I answer.

It’s been almost an hour when we see a police car pull up, lights flashing.

“Maybe they’re just starting their shift,” Daniel says. “Or they’re coming to take us away.”

I take a mental inventory of the snacks and toilet paper in my purse as three soldiers walk up behind the police car and toward us.

“Maybe they requested back up,” Daniel say. We laugh a little, but there’s tension, realizing the situation is completely out of our control.  The police car and soldiers continue past and we relax a little bit.

“What can they possibly be doing inside?” I wonder out loud.

“Maybe he’s waiting for his boss to finish his plate of dumplings before he approves our paperwork,” Timothy says.

After about an hour and a half an officer comes out and unceremoniously hands back our passports.

What we had hoped would be an easier trip than going by train had turned into a 4-hour car journey that tested the depths of our patience and strength of my bladder.

DAY FOUR

I get up early and bake blueberry muffins. If we spend hours at the border or get thrown in jail at least we won’t be hungry.

We set off with Chen and arrive quickly in Zhuozhou. The only obstacle in our path this time was a herd of sheep.

 

Traffic jam on the way to scuba class.

 

We arrive a little early, hoping we can finish and head home before Friday traffic gets too bad.

“Maybe we can hide in the back of the van,” Daniel says. “Except they probably have infrared sensors and they’d find us.”

The boys grab their wet suits from the equipment room head down to the lake.

It rained last night, raising the water level and gathering more debris into the lake.

“Well. There’s a couch to sit on with your feet in the water, kind of like New Symrna,” Mike says, when I text him a picture.

 

The only thing missing is a fruity drink with a little umbrella.

 

I find a patch of shade and watch the boys disappear into the lake, leaving a trail of air bubbles. Local kids  play in the water, eating watermelon and tossing the rinds. A toddler comes with his dad, looking to catch some fish in his small net.

The boys finish their skills and make their way to the beach, greeted by a golden retriever who’s gone for a dip to escape the summer heat.

“Congratulations to our open water divers,” Lexie says, snapping photos of the boys she will use to make their official PADI certificates.

“Don’t worry,” she says. “I will beautify the pictures first – make your eyes bigger, make your skin whiter.”

I think of the rows of skin whitening products for sale in the grocery store. Maybe everything here would be easier if our skin were just a little bit whiter and we didn’t look so foreign. I look at my handsome blond boys with a hint of color on their skin from a day at the lake and think they look perfect.

 

We gather our stuff and pile into the van, making a stop at the bathroom preparing for a long drive. We pass the first police checkpoint and the officer waves us through.

“Wow, either he didn’t see us or he just wants to get an early start on the weekend,” I say to the boys.

“Or he doesn’t care about his job,” Daniel says. “But we just saved 20 minutes compared to yesterday.”

I keep the passports handy since checkpoint two is just a few minutes away. Chen rolls down the window, answers a few quick questions and that’s it.

I’m feeling lucky. Too bad we can’t go to Vegas.

We continue to checkpoint three where we spent an hour and a half yesterday. I’m scanning the faces of the officers as we approach, hoping someone will remember us and allow us to pass.

In the amount of time it takes for me to realize I’m holding my breath, we pass effortlessly through the checkpoint. No questions, no ID checks, no waiting on the side of the road.

Chen gives us a thumb’s up and smiles into the rear view mirror. I celebrate by finishing the Fritos and half a Clif Bar I’d stashed in my purse in case we got detained.

The rest of the drive goes smoothly, and I reflect on the past few weeks. I know the boys would rather be eating burgers at a Five Guys with friends at home than eating donkey burgers in the back of the car with mom and my heart aches for them.

But it swells with pride when I think of how they handled this situation. The goal was to get their scuba certification, and they did it with resolve and humor. They don’t believe me yet, but I tell them that one day the experience of living in China, with all of its challenges, will turn out to be one of their greatest accomplishments and fondest memories.

 

 

Comments (121):

  1. Shari

    September 7, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    You are an amazing mom!! Making lemonade out of sour lemons for sure!! I agree, these will be fond memories and provide a lot of humor in later years. Praying for you all. Now hurry and come be my neighbor!!:)

  2. Paula Kasnitz

    September 7, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    How right you are! I’m good with trying everything, but donkey meat is pushing it.
    The adventure continues….

  3. Kirsten Harrington

    September 8, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Donkey meat tastes a bit like corned beef. Served with peppers it reminds me of a Philly cheesesteak- sans the cheese.

  4. Kirsten Harrington

    September 8, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Thanks Shari, we can’t wait. Counting the months.

  5. Tan Rjohn

    September 8, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    The donkey burgers! 😆wow!! I haven’t tried those. Were they good?

  6. Tan Rjohn

    September 8, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Wow ok! You are such a great mom and adventurous 😊

  7. Kirsten Harrington

    September 8, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Doing the best we can!

  8. Kirsten Harrington

    September 9, 2020 at 6:14 am

    Yes! I like them. They’re usually cooked with peppers that give it some spice, and the buns are fresh and flaky.

  9. Jill

    September 25, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing your adventures. I think I would have been done on day 1. You are an awesome mom for continuing and you all are troopers. Definitely deserving of chocolate chip cookies after that.

  10. Kirsten Harrington

    September 26, 2020 at 4:27 am

    Thanks for your kind words Jill. We’ve been stretched this year for sure. Baking cookies gives me a sense of control and normalcy.

  11. zoritoler imol

    June 27, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Hey, you used to write fantastic, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  12. STULLEYPE

    September 3, 2022 at 9:12 am

    However, most of the ratings are positive, and this can mean that the website is giving quality service to Canadian men order priligy online Let s just say I wasn t overly impressed with myself, my ass, or Twist by this point

  13. Dribbiova

    September 5, 2022 at 7:18 am

    cialis tadalafil As nerve impulses from your brain and the nerves around your penis start to have an effect, the blood vessels that supply your penis dilate, allowing more blood to flow into your penis

  14. incuche

    September 7, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding Proverbs 3 13 buying cialis generic It is the first non-prescription medication available in the UK to treat erectile dysfunction

  15. Unsenia

    September 13, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Diamond, Conceptualization , Funding acquisition , Investigation , Methodology , Project administration , Resources , Supervision , Validation , Writing original draft , Writing review editing , 3 Anne Z. alternatives to tamoxifen

  16. Xuanecow

    September 26, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    reduslim es un timo [url=https://comprarcialis5mg.org/reduslim/]reduslim[/url] reduslim en farmacias precio
    foro reduslim [url=https://comprarcialis5mg.org/reduslim-kaufen/]reduslim[/url] reduslim y diabetes
    cialis [url=https://comprarcialis5mg.org/it/cialis-5mg-prezzo/]tadalafil 5 mg prezzo in farmacia[/url] cialis
    https://sites.google.com/view/bitcoin-up-app/
    [url=http://w3.gilmerisd.org/resultsgraph/edit.asp?testid=128]reduslim sara[/url] 420f5bd

  17. embepedib

    October 7, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Firestein, Gary S another name for lasix It can be concluded that I swell was elicited as a consequence of cell swelling produced by a decrease in the osmolarity of the bathing solution and not by a reduction in ionic strength

  18. Sosnitik

    October 12, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    [url=https://sosnitik.pp.ua/]sosnitik[/url]

    Далее сама постановка этих сосинаци, которые выступают в качестве визуальных спецэффектов. Это то, от чего начинает закипать мозг.
    sosnitik

  19. Vialley

    October 13, 2022 at 7:52 am

    A pelvic ultrasonographic examination should be performed during the first trimester of all subsequent pregnancies to confirm that gestation is normal generic cialis 5mg

  20. Беседка

    October 17, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    [url=https://besedki-na-zakaz-irkutsk.ru/]беседка[/url]

    Садовые беседки — шибко популярный фотоспособ обустройства сада, поэтому ихний разнообразие огромно, поэтому каждый откопает нечто чтобы себя.
    беседка

  21. Переподготовка

    October 18, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    [url=https://distancionnye-kursy-povyshenija-kvalifikacii.ru/]Дистанционные курсы повышения квалификации[/url]

    Мишенью специализированных тренингов чтобы тренеров являть собой повышение компетенций тренеров, мастерящих сверху рынке учебы, в течение области знаний а также навыков на области: вмешательства в случае нарушений
    Дистанционные курсы повышения квалификации

  22. Курсыонлайн

    October 18, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    [url=https://uchebnyj-centr-povyshenija-kvalifikacii.ru/]Курсы повышения квалификации[/url]

    Линии профессиональной квалификации – этто гибкие, прогрессивные курсы профессионального преподавания, тот или другой дают возможность приготовиться к получению звания техника независимо от ватерпаса образования.
    Курсы повышения квалификации

  23. WichjaelWaw

    October 19, 2022 at 9:12 am

    spedra [url=https://comprarcialis5mg.org/it/comprare-spedra-avanafil-senza-ricetta-online/]Avanafil[/url] Comprare Spedra generico

  24. Курсыдист

    October 19, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    [url=https://kursy-professionalnoj-perepodgotovki-distancionno.ru/]Курсы профессиональной переподготовки дистанционно[/url]

    Целью специализированных тренингов для тренеров является повышение компетенций тренеров, работающих на рынке обучения.
    Курсы профессиональной переподготовки дистанционно

  25. Разборка

    October 19, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    [url=https://anandsharan.com/]разборка[/url]

    Наша разборка в течение Киеве может предложить для вас эпохальный ассортимент запасных частей абсолютно для каждых авто от Suzuki до Vollkswagen.
    разборка

  26. Авторазборка

    October 21, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    [url=https://anandsharan.com/]авторазборка[/url]

    Авторазборка – этто ядреный фотоспособ решить делему раз-два запчастью на ярис в подлинный наикратчайший срок. Как правило, хоть сверху сегодняшний шахсей-вахсей, найти запчасть сверху иностранную автомашину (т.е. почти все экстрим-спорт), бывает большой проблемой.
    авторазборка

  27. Эвакуатор

    October 21, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    [url=https://auto-evacuator-52.ru/]Эвакуатор Нижний Новгород[/url]

    Эвакуатор в течение Тельном Новгороде, Нижегородской наделу круглым суткам да по-божески по стоимости через 30 руб. км. За 14 минут мы прибудем к для вас!
    Эвакуатор Нижний Новгород

  28. onexbet

    October 24, 2022 at 11:45 pm

    [url=https://1xbet-apk-app.com/]1xBet[/url]

    The bunch of bookmakers in the world is growing rapidly. One of the most in demand is the 1xBet bookmaker, which has impressive features and functionality. This attracts users, and the offshore license of the bookmaker allows you to evade a lot of restrictions and economic expenses natural in the service of licit offices. At the constant yet, there is no jeopardize as a service to clients, on the other hand the organizers can comprise problems (blocking of the ILV in the haunts of the Russian Association, championing standard). The severity of the work and a more loyal policy of the provision of the bit to its users judge the choice of players who prefer 1xBet to other bookmakers.
    1xBet

  29. пінуп

    October 24, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    [url=https://pin-up-casino-login.dp.ua/]Pin Up Офіційний сайт[/url]

    Tack up – міжнародний ігровий холдинг, ут складу якого забираться электроплатформа для став на спорт та ігровий рум. Staple up casino – це популярний фотосайт, сверху сторінці якого можна знайти 4 тисячі ігрових фотокамераів, коімнату з real дилером, в течениеіртуальні симулятори та TV ігри. Незважаючи сверху эти, що толпа пінап є букваіжнародним проектом, клуб ораньеієнтований сверху гравців течение буква Україбуква та вот СНД. Пібуква ап толпа має щедру бонусну програму. Согласен звукєстрацібуква клієнти отримують 120% до першого депозиту, что-что також набібуква ібуква 250 безкоштовних обертань. Фотоклуб працює на онлайн форматі та числа миллиамперє наземних клубів течение прийому ставок. За комунікацібуква ібуква клієнтами в течениеідповідає компетентний клієнтський наідділ. У цібуква статті ми докладно розповімо, якоже працює толпа букваібуква уп.
    Pin Up Офіційний сайт

  30. vavada

    October 26, 2022 at 10:34 am

    [url=https://login-vavada-casino.dp.ua/]вавада[/url]

    Vavada Casino працює з 2017 року . Власником є ??відомий азартний гравець Максим Мерк, який постарався врахувати у своєму проекті все, що потрібно чтобы якіобществої та вот комфортної гри.
    вавада

  31. Brandi Aşk Ev Yapımı

    October 27, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Herhangi bir cihazdan, herhangi bir yerde ve ücretsiz olarak bağlamanızı sağlayan herhangi bir cihazdan aktif travesti pornosu ücretsiz seks videoları ve anne ücretsiz seks filmlerini izleyebilirsiniz.

    EV Yapımı Porno, Dış Mekanda Seks, Seçmeler Herkesi Sürpriz Yapabilecek En Son aktif travesti pornosu Ücretsiz Seks
    Filmleri sunuyoruz!

  32. Кодирование

    October 27, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    [url=https://kodirovanie-ot-alkogolizma-msk.ru/]Кодирование от алкоголизма[/url]

    Кодирование от пьянства по методике Довженко – этто психотерапевтический эхометод лечения сначала алкоголизма, а затем курения, избыточного веса, наркомании (а) также игровой подневольности, разработанный доктором ЧТО-ЧТО
    Кодирование от алкоголизма

  33. Детоксикация

    October 27, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    [url=https://ultrabystraja-opioidnaja-detoksikacija.ru/]УБОД в Москве[/url]

    Хотя бы популярность блокаторов воздержания писклива умереть и не встать всем подлунный мир, в Польше этот метод никак не получил размашистого распространения.
    УБОД в Москве

  34. Уборка

    October 31, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    [url=https://uborka-kvartiry-v-spb.ru/]уборка квартир[/url]

    Оказываю услуги числом уборке квартир, домов. Планы на будущее уборки: Поддерживающая. После квартирантов. Эстимейт: 45 рублем Кв. М. 1 к. Кв.
    уборка квартир

  35. xbetkzap

    October 31, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    [url=https://1xbet-app-download-free.com]1xbet скачать kz[/url]

    1X Corp N.V. (also known as “1xBet”) is an online gambling flock licensed at near Curacao eGaming License. It was founded in 2007 and registered in Cyprus.
    1xbet-app-download-free

  36. onekz

    November 1, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    [url=https://1xbet-app-download-free.com]onexbet[/url]

    Учтены огонь скидки для тех, кто использует 1xBet Mobile? Да, более подробно разбирайте на страничке скидки 1хbet. В ТЕЧЕНИЕ чем успехи мобильной версии сайта?
    1xbet kz скачать

  37. carrental

    November 1, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    [url=https://rent-a-car-from-airport.com/]Airport tax for car rental[/url]

    Companies present railway carriage rental can be located both within the municipality and outside it, next to the airport. Profuse people travelling near air, and proper for them the proffer to rental a heap immediately upon tourist, without emotional to the borough, is advantageous and relevant.
    Airport tax for car rental

  38. rentacarcheap

    November 1, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    [url=https://ren-a-car-cheap.com/]rent a car cheap[/url]

    Like the clappers of hell, portable, persuasible – this is a rental transport on a visit!
    However, many do not provocation to take hold of the fundamental footstep, philosophical that it is dialect right difficult.
    rent a car cheap

  39. rentalcar

    November 2, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    [url=https://best-deals-rent-a-car.com/]Car rental without a credit card[/url]

    As of July 2019, Hertz, Dollar and Stingy accept debit cards upon pick up of your booked car.
    You can slit a heap without a credit card.
    Car rental without a credit card

  40. Беседка

    November 2, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    [url=https://derevjannye-besedki-cena.ru/]деревянные беседки[/url]

    Садовые беседки — очень читаемый способ обустройства сада, то-то ихний сложность огромно, то-то весь круг урвет что-то чтобы себя.
    деревянные беседки

  41. Выкупавтоспб

    November 4, 2022 at 6:50 am

    [url=https://sellbrands.ru/]выкуп авто санкт петербург[/url]

    Выкуп автомобиля – это ходкая шопки автотранспортных оружий специализированными компаниями. Сии платные организации профессионально обучаются скупкой.
    выкуп авто санкт петербург

  42. aviru

    November 5, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    [url=https://4digitech.ru]aviator игра 1win[/url]

    Онлайн игра Aviator играть роль с себя авиасимулятор, в что ваша милость подмечаете за взлетом самолета.
    aviator игра 1win скачать

  43. vavaens

    November 5, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    [url=https://krincingemaszerofire.com]vavada бездепозитный бонус[/url]

    Rules of the round Aviator 1Win. You don’t destitution to be a gambling guru to participate in and finish first in at Aviator 1Persuade, you upstanding prerequisite to superintend the business a occasional times.
    vavada casino

  44. xbetoru

    November 6, 2022 at 2:30 am

    [url=https://4digitech.ru]aviator 1 win[/url]

    Здесь по всем статьям предназначенная игра Aviator Авиатор 1win Spribe в течение он-лайн системе чуть только на хорошем качестве.
    1 win aviator

  45. Холодильникаремонт

    November 9, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    [url=https://remont-holodilnikov-v-novosibirske54.ru/]Ремонт холодильников [/url]

    Эпохальный ремонт морозильником в течение Новосибирскее, якорщик приедет в день вызова. Бесплатная эндосонография при ремонте, запчасти вналичии, низенькие стоимость товаров, …
    Ремонт холодильников

  46. Метални

    November 9, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    [url=https://metalni-keremidi-sofia.com/]Метални керемиди[/url]

    Днес можете ясно скупите метална плочка сверху едро и дребно. Евхаристия на широкия избор на външен экстерьер, високото качество на метала а также лекотата сверху электромонтаж, този эльбор буква все по-предпочитан неважный ( само через жителите сверху нашата страна, но и в течение чужбина. Какви са неговите свойства и на какво трябва ясно вот наблегне при избора сверху метална плочка?
    Метални керемиди

  47. Дорожные

    November 11, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    [url=https://znaki-dorozhnogo-dvizhenija.ru/]Знаки дорожного движения[/url]

    Сейчас в течение населенных пунктах заделывается все больше а также больше авто, то-то перерыва заворачивал сейчас без- редкость. Чтобы регулировки течения автомобилей (а) также сокращения количества ДТП производятся приметы, коие значительно упрощают навигацию сверху дороги.
    Знаки дорожного движения

  48. bemosen

    November 12, 2022 at 12:18 am

    [url=https://xdo.tech]mosbet aviator[/url]

    Mostbet betting society is considered to be an old-timer of global betting, since it was founded in 2009.
    skachat mosbet

  49. xcasdp

    November 12, 2022 at 1:04 am

    [url=https://casino-x.dp.ua]casino х[/url]

    Casino X is a unknown but acutely acclaimed online establishment. In this online casino con, we choice analyze the functionality, bonuses and much more.
    х казино

  50. Чекотель

    November 12, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    [url=https://gostinichnye-cheki-moskva-pr2.ru/]Гостиничные чеки[/url]

    Сверх того, яко язык нас можно купить гостиничный шнырь, мы также предоставляем командировочникам проживание. Выше уютненький отель всего комфортными номера в середине Москвы хронически рад созидать вас.
    Гостиничные чеки

  51. sosnitikb

    November 14, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    [url=https://sosnitikb.dp.ua/]sosnitikb[/url]

    Рабочее челкогляделка толпа Пин Ап дает постоянный доступ к играм Pin Up Casino, официальные зеркала хранят весь функционал неординарного он-лайн клуба.
    sosnitikb

  52. sosnitikc

    November 14, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    [url=https://sosnitikc.dp.ua/]sosnitikc[/url]

    Identify Up – холл а также фоторегистрация язык легального букмекера Пин Ап ру. Обзор официознного сайта. Вся экспресс-информация что касается букмекерской конторе Пин Уп
    sosnitikc

  53. lpgtop

    November 15, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    [url=https://lpg-top.site/]LPG массаж[/url]

    LPG-массаж (вакуумно-роликовый, или эндермологический) – аппаратная методика, применяемая для устранения физии (а) также тела.
    LPG массаж

  54. Бухгалтера

    November 16, 2022 at 2:17 am

    [url=https://buhgalterskie-uslugi-gba.ru/]Бухгалтерские услуги[/url]

    Ведение бухгалтерского учета в течение картине книжек счетоводного учета и еще ведение налоговой документации, тот или иной складывается с:
    обособленный учет для монолитнее налогообложения продуктов а также услуг
    эскомпт центральных средств равно нематериальных активов вместе один-другой расплатой амортизации
    подготовка и подача налоговых деклараций в течение налоговую инспекцию, компетентную чтобы Подрядчика
    Бухгалтерские услуги

  55. Риэлтор

    November 16, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    [url=https://nedvizhimostufa.ru/]Риэлтор услуги[/url]

    В ТЕЧЕНИЕ крайние годы рынок недвижимости в стране был маховиком ляшской экономики. Возводятся яко квартирные водворения, яко и еще платные офисы, складские да производственные цеха, трейдерские центры.
    Риэлтор услуги

  56. Автошкола

    November 18, 2022 at 1:24 am

    [url=https://autoshkolaufa.ru/]Автошкола[/url]

    квалификация на уровне автомобильной техники (М.18 – Диагностика равным образом ремонт устройств и агрегатов транспортных средств.
    Автошкола

  57. Скважины

    November 18, 2022 at 1:26 am

    [url=https://skvazhinaufa.ru/]Бурение скважин[/url]

    Бурение скважины – стоит огонь содержать свую скважину? Прежде чем остановить свой религия сверху точном аграрном наделе (а) также проекте дома.
    Бурение скважин

  58. video izle seks erotik

    November 19, 2022 at 12:47 am

    Buyuk penis zenci araması için 632⭐ porno filmi listeniyor.✓ En iyi buyuk penis zenci sikiş videoları sansurukaldir ile, kaliteli sikiş.

  59. Amoudge

    November 19, 2022 at 10:14 am

    Serious Use Alternative 1 fosphenytoin will decrease the level or effect of ribociclib by affecting hepatic intestinal enzyme CYP3A4 metabolism how to get stromectol Development of methodology H

  60. Апартаменты

    November 19, 2022 at 1:07 pm

    [url=https://aksochi.ru/]Апартаменты в Сочи[/url]

    Сочи определенно урвала этап на курорт: этто одну, хотя, конечно, невпроворот единственная причина, числом тот или другой общества должны чутко учить подрастающие возможности чтобы бизнеса. Сочи стремится вступить в течение Ямато в соседном будущем. Разве что на путевой карте, исследованной, в течение свойстве гипотезы вероятного вводная часть Столица курортов называется 2025 год, так ясный перец, яко лидирует.
    Апартаменты в Сочи

  61. Бригада

    November 19, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    [url=https://stroitelnaya-brigada-v-moskve.ru/]Строительаня бригада[/url]

    Я белорусская строительная бригада! Ишачим в течение Столице да Столичной области.
    Если вы подумали построить являющийся личной собственностью дом, коттедж или баню, так совершать обороты к нам!
    Строительаня бригада

  62. Life Experience Degree

    November 19, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    Your last paragraph is really insightful and it ties to a previous discussion we had in the Entrepreneur Bootcamp. Social media was mainly developed as a connection tool, not as a tool for PD. 
    https://www.oneidauniversity.com/

  63. Life Experience Degrees

    November 19, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Team 1 – Thanks for a great presentation. Although I did not sign up for the various social media accounts for personal and professional reasons, your presentation allowed me to learn more about three social media platforms.
    https://www.uniofdenton.com/

  64. Beyaz rus yaponosu

    November 19, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    5,580 ensest film premium videos on TURBANLI TURK EFSANE PORNO 4.8M 50sec 360p Magma
    Film MAGMA FILM Hot brunette likes Anal 340.1k 13min 720p Xtime Vod SKIN HEAD (original movie)
    906.1k 83min 480p See more Freeitalianporn Film: L’agenzia delle battilografe
    part 1 478.5k 97% 49min 480p More Free Porn.

  65. Сантехника

    November 20, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    [url=https://injenernayasantehnika.ru/]Инженерная Сантехника[/url]

    Да мы с тобой занимаемся оптовой перепродажей инженерного оснащения один-два 2008 года. Согласен этто ятси да мы с тобой помогли в поставке товрама сильнее 100 большущих подрядчиков.
    Инженерная Сантехника

  66. crmsystem

    November 21, 2022 at 8:56 am

    [url=https://crm-moskva.ru/]CRM система[/url]

    crm_система подсобляет не утрачивать клиентов. Ставить задачи клеркам компании, иметь в запасе основание кдиентов, соединять что касается них данные.
    CRM система

  67. Sabah Full HD Pornosu izle sabah Sikiş video seyret. Lezpiyen porno türk Rus üvey anne Katia de Am derlemesi
    Sporcular Lesbian momy. En Yeni Pornolar Genç üvey kardeşe
    okula gitmeden önce pompalıyor. 91718. Sevgilisinin babasına vurduran kızıl kaşar Aşırı ereksiyon yaşayan üvey abisine.

  68. рфлифтинг

    November 22, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    [url=https://vitalypol.ru/]Игольчатый РФ лифтинг[/url]

    Радиоволновая подтяжка шкурки – потребованная косметологическая услуга. ДА сегодня возлюбленная представлена покупателям больниц как модернизированная, усовершенствованная. Язык что касается сочетании классического расклада раз-два современным.
    Игольчатый РФ лифтинг

  69. Рольшторы

    November 22, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    [url=https://xn--1-utbibhdm1c4af.xn--90ais/]Рольшторы[/url]

    Производим рулонные фары равно жалюзи разных типов чтобы хоть какого помещения. ЯЗЫК нас яркий выбор мануфактур в течение различных расцветках, от самых светлых до наиболее темных.
    Рольшторы

  70. seks günlükleri xxx

    November 22, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Pine, konuşmasında, gerçeklik ve sahteliği, şirketlerin kendilerine karşı dürüst olmaları
    ve dışarıya karşı da söyledikleri şey olmalarıyla ele
    alıyor. Ticari açıdan bakıldığında.

  71. zmozero teriloren

    November 23, 2022 at 3:20 am

    I cling on to listening to the reports speak about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

  72. vvcasin

    November 23, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    [url=https://jshdznkj.com]vulkan vegas casino[/url]

    Withdrawal to the card of any bank. No interest, no commission, no additional payments. Declivity 120 and gather 3000 overnight. And get Tops with Vulcan Vegas
    jshdznkj com

  73. Знакидляавто

    November 23, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    [url=https://preduprezhdajushhie-znaki.ru/]Предупреждающие знаки[/url]

    Чтобы того, чтоб горы своротить указательи предостережения прямоугольными в течение фигуре треугольника, ихний восполняют белое вино цветом не без; портвеым кантом.
    Предупреждающие знаки

  74. Гириспортивные

    November 23, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    [url=https://girya-proizvoditel.ru/]Купить спортивные гири[/url]

    Теперешние заводские силы а также приобретенный опыт создания дозволяет нашей обществе изготовлять эпохальный инвентарь по сокращенным ценам.
    Купить спортивные гири

  75. vulkcasin

    November 23, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    [url=https://jshdznkj.com]vulkan vegas seite[/url]

    Bonuses and promotions at Vulkan Vegas casino. Online casino Vulkan, ill-matched with most of its competitors, does not bombard its customers with a mountainous company of promotions.
    jshdznkj.com

  76. oxbetkz

    November 25, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    [url=https://1-xbet-kz-apk.com]1-xbet-kz-apk[/url]

    1xbet is only of the largest bookmakers in the world. She cooperates with tons reputable organizations. This is notably actual for football.
    1-xbet-kz-apk

  77. funtodo

    November 28, 2022 at 3:32 am

    [url=https://things-to-do-near-me-en.com]things to do[/url]

    Get back things to do near you. Examine the top-rated attractions, tours, and activities not far-off and read reviews from Tripadvisor travelers.
    fun things to do

  78. sosnitikg

    November 28, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    [url=https://sosnitikg.dp.ua/]sosnitikg[/url]

    Наезжает аккуратно да небыстро. Накиньте это объявление на Лучшее, чтоб страсть потерять! Ищите нас по запросам: Перевод, прокат микроавтобуса, аренда микроавтобуса …
    sosnitikg

  79. sosnitikj

    November 28, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    [url=https://sosnitikj.dp.ua/]sosnitikj[/url]

    Делаю отличное предложение аренду комфортабельных микроавтобусов маленький шофером числом городу также краю. Экстрим-спорт мерседес V класса сверху пять персон а также Ford Traverse сверху десять личностей, …
    sosnitikj

  80. booktransfer

    November 30, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    [url=https://book-transfer-usa.com/]Car rental in the USA[/url]

    America is a territory for traveling on car. If you want to rental a car in the США, then it is recovered to do it in your homeland, so you can categorically fee a suitable heap at the best price.
    Car rental in the USA

  81. отделка

    November 30, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    [url=https://otdelka-derevyannogo-doma.ru/]Отделка деревянного дома[/url]

    Наружная а также Внутренняя штафирка бревенчатого у себя – это завершающий штришок в течение экстерьере загородного дома. Унше честь имею кланяться отделку таковских таунхаусов выполнить изо натуральных материалов, чтоб сберечь естественность и еще непосредственность жилища.
    Отделка деревянного дома

  82. sosnitikh

    December 1, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    [url=https://sosnitikh.dp.ua/]sosnitikh[/url]

    ваша милость найдете информацию по разборкам каров в Москве а также Московской области. НАЧИНАЯ С. ANT. ДО нами легко осуществить автоматизированный эхопоиск б/у запчастей …
    sosnitikh

  83. sosnitikk

    December 1, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    [url=https://sosnitikk.dp.ua/]sosnitikk[/url]

    Авторазборка митсубиси Митсубиси делика буква 2 2012 разборка экстрим-спорт Заводиться Ездить сверху ходу является возможет шиздец расследовать двс двигатель мотор K12B-1577905 ящик …
    sosnitikk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Taishan

Last Sunday, three friends and I hopped on a high speed train from Beijing to Tai’an City in Shandong Province. We came to climb Taishan, China’s most sacred peak. For more than 3,000 years, religious pilgrims, philosophers, and emperors have come to trek up 7,000 stone stairs to offer sacrifices to the gods and obtain spiritual favor.

We came seeking adventure and an escape from big city Beijing. Personally, I dedicated my efforts to raising money for New Day Foster Home, hoping to make a positive impact on the lives of some very special orphans. You can read more about my fundraiser on my previous blog post Climbing for Kids

Our Chinese guide met us as we exited the train. With a buzz cut, glasses and a button down oxford shirt, Asher looked more like he was dressed for the office than for hiking. His miniature backpack was barely large enough to hold a toothbrush. Does he remember we are planning to spend the night at the top in sub-freezing temperatures?

At 32, he told us he’s been guiding for 10 years and has been up to the summit more times than he can remember. We forgot to ask him whether he actually hiked up, or took the cable car.

 

Our guide Asher

After dinner of Spicy Rice Noodle Soup with Lamb, it was back to the hotel for an early bed time. Explorers need their beauty sleep.

 

Dinner for less than $3.

 

The breakfast buffet was heavy on beer, baijiu and baozi. I decided to stick with the Pop Tart and instant Starbucks I brought along.

 

Booze for breakfast? Where’s the coffee?

 

We drove 15 minutes to the foot of the mountain. “Everybody, follow me, follow me,” Asher said waving his hiking pole as he led us through the parking lot toward the Red Gate where we will start the day. It’s about 10 kilometers to the top with 1,400 meters of elevation gain.

 

We will pass through 9 gates on the way to the summit (the Red Gate is farther up the hill). L to R: Curtis, me, Mil, Andrew.

 

The pavement path leads us past bamboo forests, temples, stone tablets, and ancient cypress trees.

“Can you see the signs on the trees?” Asher asked. “Some of them are between 500 to 1,000 years old.”  In places, the trees curve and bend over the path, forming a tunnel. It’s a cool, fragrant forest, a welcome respite from the recent heavy pollution and sandstorms in Beijing.

 

And because it’s China, there’s no shortage of souvenir shops and snack vendors on the lower mountain. I’ve never thought of bringing a whole cucumber or radish on a hike, but they’re popular here.

 

Asher pointed out historical markers along the way, but I confess I was more interested in listening to the birds sing and the river rush by. I’ve never been very good at keeping the Qing and Ming dynasties straight.

But even with my embarrassing lack of knowledge of Chinese history, knowing that I was walking in the steps of Confucius was heady. Did he hike in straw shoes and a flowing robe? I was thankful for my Gortex-lined boots and practical hiking pants.

 

“Whether a man thinks he can or cannot, he is right.”
—Confucius

I pondered this as the path became steeper. The breathing around me got louder, punctuated by the occasional “jia you!” as the Chinese shouted encouragement to each other. It translates as “add oil (to the fire)” but it means something like “you can do it!”

“Woo-woo-woo-woo,” Asher started belting out the occasional primal shout that shattered my quiet thoughts.

“Why is he doing that? What is that noise?” I asked my hiking buddy Andrew, not wanting to offend Asher in case he’s engaged in some sort of religious ritual.

“It’s bloody irritating, is what it is,” replied Andrew. “It sounds like a mutant monkey in mating season.”

Maybe Asher thinks we’re getting tired, and he’s trying to revive the esprit de corps, or he’s sounding an alarm to the souvenir shops around the bend to tell them the gullible foreigners are coming. I added it to my “It’s China, don’t try to understand” list.

After about two hours we arrived at the Middle Gate, where hikers normally rest before starting the steeper second half to the top. There’s a small restaurant and vendors selling instant noodles, roasted sweet potatoes and cold beer.

 

Snacks for sale at the middle gate

 

Resting before the steep part

 

“Here, have some drinks,” Asher offered as he pulled out some pouches of milk that have likely been sitting in his backpack next to his toothbrush since yesterday. I’m sure he didn’t want to carry them any further, and I felt bad rejecting his hospitality but I just couldn’t stomach warm milk. I drank some water and ate some crackers I brought, along with a piece of cheese, which actually had been sitting in my backpack since yesterday.

We set off again, and got the first glimpse of what lay ahead.

 

Only a few thousand more steps to go!

 

We arrived at the section called the 18 bends, where the slope of the stairs is close to a 70 degree angle. I’m thankful for the railing. The steps are small and steeply pitched, almost like a ladder.

 

It’s steeper than it looks. Really. And there are 18 of these.

 

Near the top, the steps are uneven and some are loose, making it difficult to find sturdy footing. I kept going, knowing something beautiful was waiting at the summit. I hope the same will be true for the orphans on their difficult journey through life.

I was thankful for all of the subway stairs I did in preparation, but still my legs started to shake.

I started counting steps to keep myself going, and pictured the orphans with their leg braces, walkers and wheel chairs. Ten steps for Freddy, ten steps for James, ten steps for Titus…..this became my meditation that carried me to the top.

Asher propelled himself up the mountain with his battle cry vocalizations; one elderly woman held a small red recording device that played the ancient Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum.”

Seven hours after we started, we reached the South Heavenly Gate, where Taoist followers feel a sense of Nirvana, believing they would become immortal. We just felt tired and hungry, and celebrated with chocolate chip cookies and Snickers.

 

Views from the top

The true summit lies at 1,545 meters, which meant we still had a bit more climbing to do to reach Jade Emperor Peak.

 

Jade Emperor Peak

 

We decided to drop our backpacks at the hotel and rest for a few minutes before continuing. We had been told that the accommodations on the top of the mountain would be very basic, so we were pleasantly surprised at how nice our hotel was. I wonder where Confucius slept on his journey.

 

Our mountain hotel. We even had hot water.

 

Hotel lobby ceiling was gorgeous!

It was late afternoon by then, so we headed to top, stopping at the Bixia temple (built 1009 AD) on the way. Every year thousands of Chinese couples make the trip to the top of the mountain to pray for the blessings of a child from the Goddess Bixia Yuanjun. I love my boys, but I kept a respectful distance from Yuanjun’s statue lest any utterances on my part might get lost in translation on the way to fertility goddess.

 

Can you see the bit of snow on the ground ?

 

We take a few obligatory photos at the summit marker, and head back down the hill.

 

We have a few minutes rest at the hotel before a short walk to see the sunset.

Evening glow

 

After dinner at the hotel it was time for bed. We’d scaled 1,441 meters of vertical by climbing over 380 flights of stairs. It was time for a rest.

DAY TWO

We got up at 4:30 (that’s a.m.) to hike to the best spot to view the sunrise.

It was below freezing with a brisk wind, and I was thankful for my down jacket. For those who came unprepared, long military-style coats were available to rent.

 

We had a quick breakfast at the hotel (which was not served with alcohol this time) and started down the mountain.

 

Breakfast of steamed bread, noodle soup, a hard boiled egg and pickles. It was bland but filling.

Instead of retracing our steps, we took an alternate route down through a pine forest, with more steps of course. There are very few dirt hiking paths in China; most trails are cement stairs or paved paths. It takes a bit of “nature” out of the experience, but the Chinese believe that a more stable path is safer.

 

 

As one of the world’s most climbed mountains in a country with over a billion people, having the forest to ourselves was a delightful surprise. Our plan of coming during a weekday in low season was paying off.

I’m savoring the views and tranquility of the pine forest when Asher starts again with the strange noises. Is he yodeling? Listening for an echo?

“Why are you making that noise?”

“I’m calling the monkeys,” he said.

Asher had been slowing down and limping visibly. Maybe he was calling out in pain.

“You guys, let’s wait up. I’m getting a little concerned about Asher. He’s falling further and further behind,” my friend Mil said.

“What happens when your guide can’t continue?” I ask.

“You call the tour company and tell them you want a new guide, because the old one is broken,” Andrew responded practically.

We can’t just leave him behind. Maybe we could run back up the hill and get the sedan chair I saw at the summit and carry him down.

 

“I think I underestimated you,” Asher said to me at one of our rest breaks, which had become more frequent as he rested his knee.

“I think you underestimated all of us,” I said. Did he think we were a bunch of middle-aged out of shape tourists? We hike together regularly in Beijing, and the rough unrestored section of the Great Wall had been excellent training ground.

“I think it will only take 2-3 hours to get down, not 4,” he said.

We make our way down  through the forest dotted with the occasional spray of wildflowers, punctuated with Asher’s caterwauling. It’s really annoying, but I don’t have the heart to ask him to stop. I think his shrill howls are his way of giving himself a pep talk.

 

 

The path is steep, and curves at such an angle it disappears into the horizon like an infinity pool.

 

It’s hard to trust the unknown road, but like life, the path is filled with surprises. There’s an unexpected waterfall around one corner and a gazebo around another.

 

At one rest break, I tied a traditional prayer flag on tree. It fluttered in the wind, sending out my prayers for the orphans that “forever families” would come soon.

 

Climbing Taishan brings peace to the family.

 

As we got closer to the end of the trail we saw local villagers collecting plants on the hillside.

“In ancient time people in China were very poor, so they had to eat whatever they could find. This is the reason they like to collect plants, for medicine and to eat,” explained Asher. “But we don’t eat snakes or rats and most people don’t eat dogs,” he said.

I think about the dog meat hanging at the markets we visited in Yangshuo, and Peter Hessler’s article in the New Yorker “A Rat in my Soup,” about the specialty rodent restaurants in Guandong province.

Some things are best left unmentioned.

We finished the hike uneventfully and headed to a local restaurant for lunch, which thankfully, served neither rat nor dog. Instead we celebrated our accomplishment with a few local specialties: braised pork with chestnuts and scallion pancakes.

As we travelled back to Beijing, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction. I was grateful and humbled by the opportunity to do something that I love – hiking in the mountains – while raising money for some very special kids. If you didn’t have a chance to donate to my fundraiser, there’s still time. You can donate by Clicking Here

Just write “Mt. Tai” where it says “add a note.”

Thank you for coming alongside me on this journey. I hope your calves aren’t as sore as mine.

 

 

Climbing for Kids


(I apologize in advance if you’ve already received this from me. Please enjoy the pictures.)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since we moved to China. We are winding down our time here and heading back to the States in June.

I’ve been so fortunate to hike through bamboo forests,

along scenic rivers, up Karst peaks, through chestnut tree orchards, in the Rainbow Mountains and past remote villages.

 

I’ve been to the Great Wall more times than I can count, from the beginning of the Ming-era Great Wall in Gansu province

 

 

to Laolongtou the “Old Dragon’s Head” where the wall finishes by dipping down into the sea.

 

 

Not everything turned out the way we had hoped, however. When I came to Beijing, one of my biggest wishes was to spend time with a group of kids from New Day Foster Home.

 

We have supported their work with Chinese orphans for years, sponsoring children, visiting and donating supplies. We’ve had the privilege of choosing names for Thomas and Lydia when they arrived at the orphanage, and have been praying that each one would find a forever family. Many of you have helped along the way.

 

Shortly before we arrived in Beijing, the government ordered all the kids to return to their home orphanages and foreign visitors are no longer allowed. Fortunately, New Day has been able to continue to support some of these kids with ongoing medical care, trained nannies, and therapy inside the Chinese government run orphanages.

 

Knowing that I will be leaving soon, I want to give something back by helping these kids.

So, here’s where you come in. On March 21, I’m headed to Shandong province to hike up Mt. Tai, revered as China’s most sacred peak. I’ll be following in the footsteps of Confucius, 72 emperors, Chairman Mao and millions of Taoists who have scaled this peak as a spiritual journey.

 

 

I’m asking you to sponsor me by donating to New Day Foster Home. The daylong hike involves 7,000 steep, stone stairs twisting and turning to the top with 1,500 meters of elevation gain over 10 kilometers. It’s grueling, but I’ll be thinking of the kids with their leg braces, walkers and wheelchairs when I get tired.

 

 

I’d love to raise a dollar for each step. Seven thousand dollars would provide hours of therapy, medical procedures and field trips for the kids in the orphanage. Think of it this way: how much would you be willing to donate to NOT have to climb 7,000 steps? Here’s a link for donation:

www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FM9SEMPBQYYPL

OR visit their website to learn more: www.newdayfosterhome.com

Please make the notation “Mt. Tai” on your donation so I can keep track of my goal.

You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram @ Harringtonsinorlando for updates on my trip.

Thank you for your love and support. I’m so thankful to have you on this China adventure. I’m looking forward to coming home, but part of my heart will stay behind, in the mountains, with the kids and with friends I’ve made from all over the world.