judging covers

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“You’ve never actually been to a place until you’ve walked there.”

“It is only these two feet that can really open up spaces.”

“Walking leads to exploration; and exploration leads to knowledge.”

“Nobody understands anything and everyone is foolish but me!”

“I am deep.”

You know I’m going to say these things once I get home, don’t you?

That’s right! I’m full of myself.

So what’s there to do about that?

I put on my white shirt and my blue slippers and wandered around in Pingliang today.

Then I got to thinking: Have I really been to this place before? It looks and feels so different! Maybe I’m just judging by the cover here?

There was the Bao Pagoda ๅฎๅก”:

Bao Pagoda

How come I had never been there before?

I stopped for a little talk to a random guy on the street:


He kept on saying the same thing: “I can understand his words, I can understand his words!”

I didn’t think we really understood each other, though later I figured out why he was so surprised – and it seemed only logical:

Assumption: foreigner = foreign language

Observation: I + foreigner = communication

Conclusion: I can understand foreignese!

Understandably amazing.

I kept bumping into this other dude just about everywhere:

taxi with friends

The first time, he had offered to give me a ride when I was on the way into Pingliang a few days before.

Then later, I went grocery shopping at the store his family operates.

Today I bumped into him for the third time and hopped on his ride.

We figured it was destiny.

Since the city felt so different, I asked him to drop me off at the only place that I could remember from its location:

Pingliang 2006

The area around the bridge by the train station.

Above is a picture from August 2006.

And here’s what I shot today:


Different angle – different city – different cover – different me.

Then I wandered around looking for this:

"Why can people who love each other not be together?"

“why can’t people in love just be together? ไธบไป€ไนˆ็›ธ็ˆฑ็š„ไบบไธ่ƒฝๅœจไธ€่ตท?” (2006)

Someone had formed these words using large rocks in the riverbed two years ago.

I felt touched by this message, because it seemed so fragile and lost in an environment as harsh as this.

So I went looking for it, and I was in for a surprise:


The river had changed a bit, and the original message had of course vanished.

But there seemed to be some new words:


“I…love… ๆˆ‘…็ˆฑ…”

I couldn’t make out the rest.

So back into the unknown city it was, a place on earth that I had been to before and yet didn’t really know it.

It seemed as though – walking or not – I was only looking at another cover.

It’s like: visit a place when it’s raining, then go again on a hot summer day.

Totally different, duh!

There’s these private cabs circling the streets of Pingliang:

private taxi

The finger indicates the fare (in this case 1 RMB) – that is, if you’re going in the same direction as the other passengers in the car.

I took one to a market in order to look for some movies:


That’s where I found these:

animal movies

You can guess what this is – and there’s two discs in each sleeve.

I mean WTF, who in the world would want to watch 5 hours of lions and tigers and a whole lot of other animals doing it?

I chose not to and rather bought something else, and now here I am telling you about stuff that I don’t even know.

Can’t judge a book by its cover.

Or a movie, in this case.

  • Hermann Mensing

    Tag Chris (16 pm 4.4.08),
    ich war zweimal längere Zeit unterwegs. Ein Jahr in Nordamerika, Japan, wieder zurück nach Nordamerika und von dort runter nach Südamerika.
    Das andere Mal etwa vier Monate in Asien.
    Das liegt lange zurück. Zum Glück habe ich Tagebuch geführt. Es gibt auch Fotos, die ich mir jedoch nur selten anschaue.
    Meine Erinnerungen an diese Reisen gleichen oft Träumen. Oft frage ich mich, ob ich tatsächlich je dort gewesen bin. Aber natürlich war ich dort. Ich kann nachlesen. Das ist immerhin etwas. Ob es präzise ist, ist wieder etwas ganz anderes.


  • Jasper

    Judging covers… I always wonder what today's post is going to be about when I read the title of your entry. My guess is never quite close though, it seems to me that I cannot judge your post by the title you give it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like that!

    I really enjoyed the pictures of the messages in the riverbed. Now people from all over the world think about those two persons somewhere in China that cannot be together. (Why is 'Romeo&Julia' crossing my mind right now?)It is these personal things that make your site from a random travel guide into something unique.

    Keep it going!


  • jule

    da kann ich jasper nur zustimmen!


  • Christoph

    Hermann Mensing: Ja, das stimmt. Die Erinnerung ist eine komische Sache.
    Jasper: Nice words from a nice young man. Thank you!
    jule: ๐Ÿ™‚
    Regine Bonfert: Die Sätze… hab ich doch nicht sooo ernst gemeint, oder hast du die letzten beiden auch kopiert? ๐Ÿ˜‰ – Aber ein schönes Gedicht!


  • Boyi

    The last three words by the rocks seems to be “็ˆฑๅ€ผๅพ—โ€œ๏ผŒ”love is worth it”, beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚


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