for what they are

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Walking didn’t go so bad today.

One of the first things I saw once I turned into a small street:


Person on the left working on a power line, person on the right gently floating along in a German luxury car. I guess both people on this picture must be kind of used to pulling strings.

I had lunch in a tiny place where the owner was a tattoo-artist:


He said most of his tattoos didn’t have any deeper meaning: “I just like them for what they are.”

Somehow, this explanation really satisfied me, simple as it was.

There were more posters about the donation program (May 16th 2008) along the way:

quake relief

Well, nothing else really happened today.

It rained a couple of times, and I mainly just kept walking on one long stretch of fresh asphalt, always heading west:

fresh tarmac

The Yellow River was there too, softly gurgling his way down to the plains in the east:

Yellow River

And even though I didn’t really want to, but I still had to cross the river one more time, simply because the road on the north side just stopped at some point:


When I arrived in Xigu, which is actually still part of the giant city of Lanzhou, some weird sort of 20-minute-rainstorm decided to drop in on the place and blow everything around:


I was in a restaurant having a very good and very hot serving of dumplings while the rainstorm was outside huffing and puffing and pouring rain sideways.

When I stepped out the door again, everything had cleared up though, as if nothing had ever happened.

I thought this was just weird, and so I decided I didn’t want to walk anymore today.

Only one problem: there didn’t seem to be any hotels in the area.

Then suddenly, two youngsters showed up and said they’d help me find a place to stay nearby.

The place the kids had in mind really was a guesthouse indeed, the only problem: it was located on the premises of a power-plant! Promptly and as to be expected, a very nervous security guard showed up and started asking questions and checking my papers.

Oddly enough, apparently there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with my staying there, so I was allowed to check into a nice room on the 5th floor overlooking parts of the plant:

power plant

…here I am now, ten minutes to midnight, next to the towers and the pipes and the loading docks for the coal-trains, and I have left the window open just a little bit, so I can hear all the nice noise outside.

The humming, the hissing, the wailing, the rattling, the sounds of engines running and the obscure notion of very large things that are in constant motion.

I like it very much.


  • Barry

    Also wegen des Wetters hättest nicht wieder nach China gemusst: haben wir hier in der Region Hannover ganz genauso.
    Aber die Berge, die vor Dir liegen, die machen die Sache schon lohnenswerter. Und wie ich den Kilometern entnehme, bist Du meinem Ratschlag gefolgt ๐Ÿ™‚


  • masanori

    Hi. long time no see
    mira taught me this site ,when I went to Munich
    sometimes I see your site and enjoying
    be careful. Jia you !!!


  • Steven

    'nothing else really happened'
    That is "GOLD"!

    'as if nothing had ever happened'
    Hopefully, it will be for the time being!


    Chris, enjoy your walk!


  • Martin T.

    Du hast ja schon "öfter" übernachtet, aber diese location ist ja wohl eine der schrillsten, wenn ich das richtig verfolgt habe. Und dann dein Kommentar von wegen "nice noise outside". Kann ich mir ürgendwie so richtig vorstellen……


  • Christoph

    Barry: Ja, das Tempo ist ganz gut so.
    masanori: Konichiwa, how are you doing man? I saw a picture of you drinking a huge Weißbier in München, hahaha!
    Steven: Yeah, you're right.
    Martin T.: Haha, war schon irgendwie komisch.


  • Florian

    Scheint ja ganz ordentlich zu laufen – siehstewohl. Obwohl ich ja auch immer finde, dass Asphalt eine gnadenlose Angelegenheit in Wanderstiefeln ist – von wegen Dämpfung. Im Gelände sind die Glieder entspannter. Auf Asphalt wird man jedenfalls knallhart daran erinnert, dass marschieren eine langatmige Angelegenheit ist.


  • Christoph

    Och, geht eigentlich. Habe ja Einlagen drin.


  • Vasco Carto

    O wheels, O gears, eternal r-r-r-r-r-r-r!
    Bridled convulsiveness of raging mechanisms!
    Raging in me and outside me,
    Through all my dissected nerves,
    Through all the papillae of everything I feel with!
    My lips are parched, O great modern noises,
    From hearing you at too close a range,
    And my head burns with the desire to proclaim you
    In an explosive song telling my every sensation,
    An explosiveness contemporaneous with you, O machines!”

    – รlvaro de Campos, Triumphal Ode (1914)


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