…made a lot of stops..all over the world. Having completed over 80% of my 68-day itinerary, almost 25,000 miles, nearly 20 stops, numerous hotels, flights and train trips, I feel a sense of exhilaration. Top three experiences: the tour of Uzbekistan, the Northern Silk Road in China, and the German Class in Dresden (not necessarily in that order). All exceeded my expectations. Obviously the people I met in each location made each experience unforgettable.
And now…it’s time to move to the fourth and final segment of the itinerary. I’ll be continuing through Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. I lived there for seven years from 1976-1981, and Gee Kin and I met there, so it is a very special place for us. I can’t wait to see old friends who are still there.
In pausing, I’d like to give a lot of credit for this trip to my family for supporting me and giving me the wings to fly. They are each very special people and unique in their own ways. So a big fat smooch each to Melissa, Julianne and Gee Kin. By putting my words into actions, I hope I can be a role model for them and others.
A few quick do’s and don’ts from lessons learned in traveling solo or with friends:
1. Organize your bag according to rooms in your house and how you use things in them: BR, bath, kitchen, etc. I use a lot of kitchen implements like a set of plastic fork, spoon, and knife to do most in-room dining for those unexpected, can’t be bothered moments to avoid eating out. Plus the knife comes in handy and passes security control.
2. Pack a box of tissue flat as a pad for your Ipad or computer.Use it as you go.
3. I use a nail clipper to cut and make my own band aids. They cost pennies if you buy them uncut and in sheets and you can make them any shape you need. The nail clipper also gets you around the scissor-weapon issue at airport security.
4. Be careful when taking trams and trains. Check to make sure that you know the end destination of the line, or you may end up in a completely different part of town!
5. Never be in a hurry when checking the next train or bus schedule.
6. Never, never, never take shortcuts near train tracks.
7. Don’t be without a cell phone.
8. Never have the batteries die or be close to dead before or after you take a train in the wrong direction.
9. Never be too sure you can meet someone even after you have just confirmed that you are meeting them in an hour.
11. Do not be in a remote location where there is no cell phone coverage.
12. Do not travel when it is getting dark.
13. Never trust your own judgment.
Minor point: in having executed 4-13 above in the span of 2 hours (between 7:30 and 9:30pm at an undisclosed location), I can vouch for the necessity to avoid these incidents at any cost, particularly when they are combined. Fortunately, one additional “do”: Do trust that your friend will be patient and wait for you, even if you are a complete flake and end up being over an hour late just because you were stupid enough to think that you knew what you were doing and didn’t.
About Posting Hell: I submit to defeat. Unless you are signed into WordPress.com as a subscriber to my posts, you will probably not see the posted photos. I am having a WordPress moment. If I haven’t exasperated you with these latter day posts, try going to Instagram and checking vifongit posts for the photos from
Day 54: Dunhuang City Museum. This is an experiment.
If it works, I will continue to post photos there. The photo captions, unfortunately, may not jive with the list of captions. This may be the only alternative that will get me to the end of the trip. Let me know if this alternative via Instagram is working for you in the comments. I will really appreciate getting feedback, as I am not able to see what you are seeing for the time being.
Profuse apologies to anyone who has been frustrated by the lack of visual elements. This was unanticipated!