Thursday, June 09, 2005

this night was crazy

alright, well, a bunch of the guys from my hostel were feeling a little bit adventurous so we decided we were going to somehow make our way to the eastern coast of china to watch the sun rise. we thought we might take the subway to the end of the line and then catch the maglev to the pudong airport and cab from there to the sea. when we got to the train though it had stopped running but a cab driver told us he knew where we could go and the five of us crammed in for the ride of our lives. before we left, i said that it felt like we were in 'stand by me' and that we might see a dead body. well.... we did. the cab ride was scary to say the least. weaving in and out of cars and bikes on highways and country lanes at about 130 km/h, we came across an accident where a body was laying on the road. the guy was apparently riding a scooter and got hit by a bus. there were a bunch of people just standing around looking at it and the bus driver was keeled over with his head in his hands. you could see the windshield where the guy's head hit, it was all cracked and full of hair and blood. as it got dark, the ride became more precarious. our driver didn't put on his lights and we were barely missing the bikes and cars coming in the other direction. finally, we passed through a small fishing village and came to the water. he dropped us off on a large flat concrete lot by the sea and promised to come get us at 6:30 the next morning. we managed to scrounge some bamboo to make a fire and drank for a while, just talking and hanging out. then at around 11:00 pm a car pulled up near us. it was all suped up and didn't really look like it belonged in the area because it was poor as hell and the only civilization for miles around was this small fishing village. the car began flashing its lights out into the water. about 20 minutes later, a large boat on the water started flashing its light back as it came closer. we thought that this was a drug boat coming to make it's midnight delivery of heroin to shanghai. the car ended up driving down the coast to meet up with the boat. we didn't feel it would be safe to check it out. at around midnight, we ran out of booze so we decided to get some food and beer from the small village. we left the fire and began walking. the dirt road was littlered with crabs and the scuttled away from us as we walked. in the village, only one restaurant looked open so we went there. the people there were really nice and luckily we were able to communicate becaused dq is chinese. we ate lots and they kept feeding us beer. we played cards and chinese chess until about three. we eventually headed back to the camp fire and relit it. on the walk back though, there were about 30 people walking in the pitch black along the road, coming from the water. they were carying bamboo poles on their back with bags hanging from the ends. we asked if it was fresh fish or crabs but they said no. when we asked what it was they said they couldn't tell us.... we thought 'great' we were in the middle of a drug shipment on this quiet, concrete wharf. when we got back to the fire, at about 4am, a van pulled up and about 7 or 8 guys dressed in dress shirts and ties came out to inspect us. they asked what we were doing there and where we came from and stuff. when we told them that we were there to see the sunrise further down the coast they said that was why they were there too. then they got in their van and drove in the wrong direction??? once they left we decided to start walking east to where the coast turned north so that we could see the sun come up. we walked along this very long wall. on one side were fishing stations and comunist work camps where they made concrete block for some reason and on the other side was a large swamp. we walked for hours in a straight line. eventually we began making out this huge line that went out south into the water. as we got closer we could see that it was a bridge. it was enormous. it began as a suspension bridge closer to the land and then turned into a giant cement construct that spanned as far as we could see. the bridge, just at the horizon, arched a little and became flat again over the curvature of the earth. we kept walking towards it and and came to a work camp where the workers were just waking, eating, drinking tea and brushing their teeth in the ditches. there were 40 men and only one woman that we could see. they gave us some hot water for some cigarettes. from their home we could see that the bridge was even longer than we thought. there was a second arch way past the first before vanishing into the haze. when we looked at the map we couldn't see that there was an island anywhere in that direction. we couldn't see the sun come up because of the clouds so we headed back along the wall to where the cab driver was supposed to pick us up. there was another cab there instead so we hopped in and he took us to the airport. we caught the maglev, which is the fastest train in the world and headed home at 450 km/h. when we got home finally we couldn't believe that all this happend. i mean, we were drunk and tired but it was crazy just the same. thing is, we have no reall pictures of anything because dq lost his camera and i broke mine at the camp fire. so you are just going to have to believe me. i just feel lucky i am alive.

john, scott, jan and dq around the fire just before i dropped and broke my camera Posted by Hello

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