08:00 – Wake up from alarm clock. Open eyes, extend arm from sleeping bag, touch radiator. Feel the cold, close eyes again.
09:06 – Get up. Turn on computer and write up yesterday’s post. Check map. Look at total kilometers.
10:04 – Write “25,7” on back of left hand: that would mark kilometer no. 1000.
10:10 – Upload post. Put on clothes, brush teeth.
10:24 – Check successful upload and comments on post. Shut down computer. Put on gaiters and rest of gear.
10:41 – Leave room, go to reception desk.
10:48 – Step out of hotel and into the snow. Set up GPS, get ready to leave the “most polluted city in all China”: Linfen.
10:53 – Notice wrong filter on wide angle lens. Curse.
11:17 – Take break to pee, change filter.
12:11 – Get stopped by a dude in a car. Accept invitation for lunch nearby.
12:15 – Meet up with dude in restaurant. Have a merry lunch with a bunch of new friends.
14:02 – Take group photographs, shake hands. Leave restaurant, get back on the highway.
14:25 – Get sprayed by coal truck. Briefly examine water damage. Wave arms and fists, scream and curse and rage.
15:11 – Get stopped by friends again. Receive best wishes and printed group pictures. Smile.
15:47 – Buy ice tea in small shop next to the road. Sit down and chat with Hao Ting 昊婷 and her mother.
16:50 – Check the time. Hurriedly say good-bye and rush out the door.
16:53 – Look at dudes trying to get their car out from a roadside ditch.
18:12 – Get to destination by nightfall: Xiangfen.
18:17 – Ask kid for directions to a hotel.
18:20 – Ask lady for directions to a hotel.
18:28 – Go to best hotel in town.
18:31 – Frown at their rates: 130rmb.
18:35 – Go to second best hotel in town.
18:39 – 126rmb. Frown again.
18:43 – Negotiate the price down to 120rmb. Fake smile.
18:46 – Realize that this is the end of all negotiations. Frown.
18:57 – Go to a random small hotel next to the street. Smile at price: 30rmb. Frown at cold radiator.
19:03 – Decide to settle down in the cold hotel because the owner seems like a nice guy.
19:08 – Move into room, drop backpack and stick, sit down on bed. Lean back and look at ceiling.
19:20 – Get up. Ask owner for restaurant. Cross street with high hopes for good food.
19:27 – Order shaoguo 烧锅, some kind of boiling pot with all kinds of things in it.
19:30 – Purchase some fruit juice next door.
19:34 – Go back to restaurant. Wash hands. Sit down, peel garlic.
19:43 – Have a good shaoguo with huajuan 花卷, a sort of Chinese bread.
20:12 – Leave restaurant, go to supermarket for cookies and yogurt drinks.
20:20 – Arrive in room. Take off gaiters, recharge batteries, turn on computer. Check e-mails.
20:41 – Start going through today’s pictures. Delete some, keep some. Match up with GPS data.
21:17 – Feel unrest in bowels. Prepare tissue and flashlight.
21:20 – Follow hotel owner through the backyard to a loo that can only be described as evil.
21:29 – Great success! Evacuate freezing body from evil loo and navigate back to room.
21:35 – Update map on homepage, write up today’s post.
22:50 – Have cookies and soak feet in hot water bowl. Look at breath evaporating into little white puffs in the cold air.
23:02 – Look at left hand: the “25,7” is still readable. 1,7km missing to the full 1000km today.
23:05 – Take off a few clothes. Decide to leave on sweater and beanie (because of the cold). Climb into sleeping bag.
23:10 – Chat with some friends, every now and then going back to the post and fixing some stuff here and there.
00:29 – Turn off computer. Touch radiator again. Feel the cold.
00:30 – Turn off light.