We’re closer to knowing our specific plan for the end of our stay here in China and as you may know it involves two bicycles (or one tandem bicycle), close to 2000 km of Chinese road, and my mustache with the possibility of a penguin suit or many multiples of dozens of California Flags.
Here’s the scoop:
After a short sit down and a long (more than necessary waiting period) with our school they finally understand our time line. Essentially, we are quitting one month prior to classes ending and this upset them more than a little. However, ‘surprise’ shouldn’t be a word they use when telling the story. As eager and enthusiastic employees, I consider ourselves as open and honest individuals who strive to speak our minds when someone is listening. And a yearning for adventure coupled with a semi-long list of grievances turned out to be a perfect mixture for my rational psyche, so we quit. :) And I feel great! However, in an attempt to not land the company in ruin, we’ve negotiated a plan which will condense our final two months of teaching into one, July. This in many respects will be hard, frustrating, and generally a nuisance, yet, in many respects too, it will be refreshing to find the time I’m using here productive. Instead of a steady on/off schedule, with breaks for little more than a rest and a bit of travel, we’ll now have a heavy load, followed by a delightful vacation and journey. And so it goes, as my lame duck attitude slowly filters through my teaching becomes better and my energy level increased, followed closely by my happiness.
So, let’s talk August.
Our last day in Hohhot will be the 29th. That night we’ll take a plane into Shanghai where we will hopefully have a package awaiting us, full of two bicycles. We’ll assemble the bicycles and collect any necessities that day as well as rest a bit. The 31 we’ll pack our things and start riding. We’ve assembled a comprehensive list of supplies and put together a reasonable itinerary (of which we’ll post so as to be prepared for another Mongollon situation-see previous entry under Arizona). We anticipated doing a mixture of couch surfing and road side camping along the way. We’ve got a road atlas, a compass, and the requisite Chinese language skills to a) read the majority of signs, b) ask for directions, c) call a friend who will remotely act as an interpreter. I think as well put all the pieces together we’re going to be quite prepared and quite energetic to get going on the road.
Hopefully, after we depart Shanghai, some 25 days later we’ll arrive in the wonderful city of Hong Kong for a bit of touring, relaxation, and sight seeing. We’ve scheduled our flight back to the US from Hong Kong for August 27 (hopefully that wasn’t suppose to be a secret, because now it’s not). I arrive in Los Angeles 3 hours later.
It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long of a trip. Hopefully I’m not forgetting to do anything while I’m out here…. I’ve already brushed my teeth.