Saturday in China turned out to be a work day because of the holiday. I missed my hiking like a crack addict misses his crack pipe. I found a fix! Sunday hiking group…… It’s similar to my Saturday group. They’ve been hiking a bit longer. I found out the the Saturday group split off from the Sunday group because a few people preferred to get out on a Saturday versus a Sunday. The best news of the whole thing is that I now have the option to go hiking every Saturday and/ or Sunday depending upon my mood and schedule. The folks welcomed me as one of their own almost immediately. I believe that these hiking groups will see to it that I never ever ever leave China for more than a few weeks at a time. Photos can be viewed from some of the Sunday scenery by clicking this link. We drove in the snow for nearly two hours to our destination. We arrived at a remote area near the Great Wall of China. The hike up the mountain to the wall took over an hour in the snow. The snow made the trek a bit more adventurous than normal. The trip down included a few short slips and only one short fall on the slippery trail.
At the end of April when I landed in China I attempted to get my U.S. iphone 3G to work in China. I am tough on my phone and I rarely allow one to last for much more than a year. I love my iphone. When I purchased the first one; I called it retail therapy as I was coming off a huge break-up. I took nearly half a year to warm up to the new device. More than three years later I don’t know how I ever lived without it. My adventurous life has me living in China today. I’ve been here for four months and I have been without my iphone for the entire time. I now read that in less than three short weeks I will be able to completely enjoy the new (to me) iphone 4. It’s the simple things in life that excite me. In my new life in China I have found happiness and peace on entirely new levels that I did not know existed. I don’t see myself ever leaving here for more than a few weeks at a time any time soon.
I arrived nearly 24 hours ago. I was TIRED by the time I fell asleep. It was past 10 pm Beijing time when that occurred. The journey to get here lasted nineteen hours from the Austin airport to the Beijing airport. My trip from the Beijing airport to my first night’s stay lasted another hour.
I am now in the process of finding a residence for my time here. The first one that I picked out fell through. I’m not scared. Also, my old China phone number expired. My slick phone that I thought I would use is locked. These are all small issues. I had trouble getting on the internet for a good while as well. Again, all small issues compared to other goings on around the world.
As of this moment I have a phone number and phone that both work. I am using the internet on my computer, and I am about to meet with a person to discuss my temporary residence. This evening I have exciting plans. I will attend an auto show tomorrow, have dinner with an old Austin friend Friday night, and then experience a local music festival on Sunday with more western friends.
In the meantime, my video editing skills will get better, the Partymachines.com website will get a full on overhaul, and several other projects will be tackled.
Photos will follow. The most important part so far is that I am safe. Secondly, I slept through the night and remembered where I was when I awoke.
When I travel, one of my favorite things is randomly running into someone I know. Until this morning I had not randomly run into a familiar face on any of my China adventures.
John was determined to watch the National championship college football game so I was fine going along. I casually mentioned that it would be great to see someone I knew at the establishment where we landed. We arrived about a half hour before game time and quickly said hello to all four of the other patrons watching the game. Logan was from Dallas so we felt so much closer to home. The others were from all over the U.S. About forty-five minutes after we arrived Logan’s friends showed up. I could hear them talking. I recognized one of the voices as a gentleman with whom I worked way back in college when I worked for the Texas state comptroller’s office. His name is Chris Conyers and I was recently thinking about him and where he was. His voice was very unique and I really liked that guy. I turned around and saw a guy in a Texas football jersey with his ten year old son in tow. It looked AND sounded like Chris Conyers. I thought there was no way possible for it to be my old friend. I stood up, kept trying to figure if it was Chris and heard Logan say, “Greg, this is Chris.” I responded with, “Hi Chris, I’m Greg Gordon! John, say hi to Chris Conyers. We used to work together!!!!!”
I turned to Cameron and said hello and then began catching up with Chris. This was the most wonderful football experience I have ever had. I am not a football fan. This may make me get out more often to see football games. Maybe it won’t. I have randomly run into familiar people since the fifth grade when my grandparents took my brothers and me to California. We saw Bobby Lett from my class at the Farmers Market out there. I have also run into someone in the subway in D.C., Yellowstone National Park, and Las Vegas. Now I get to add Beijing, China to that list.
The fifteen minute walk from my temporary residence to the subway was cold yesterday morning. Amy, John, and I spent a little time at the hair salon after working awhile and enjoying lunch at the factory.
I went to sleep before ten last night without dinner and then slept in all the way to 4:10am today. I get so much computer work done between 4:10am and 7am that it’s okay to get up so early.