the nothingness

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Wanna know why my friend Teacher Xie (Teacher Xie) is hauling more than 50 pounds of old metal through the desert?

Teacher Xie collecting metals

It’s because he can sell it once he gets to the city in a few days.

We had gotten up early and were hanging around the place chatting and having food and drink until it got pretty late.

Then we broke camp:

group photo in the morning

It felt kind of brutal parting ways out here in the nothingness. We exchanged hugs and good wishes, and when I started walking he just remained standing there on the curb of the highway, smoking his cigarette, looking at me from the distance.

I could see his silhouette get smaller and smaller:

good-bye to Teacher Xie

Good luck my dear Teacher Xie! May the winter be easy on you, and may your writings go well!

Thank you for everything!

Godspeed to you!

Then I was alone with the highway again:

straight road

There was nothing. Out here.

Some people had dumped a huge amount of beer bottles next to the road somewhere:

broken glass

I mean, WTF, the desert is not your own personal waste dump, your parents should beat you with a stick!

Apart from this little delight, there was really nothing except the ever-roaring trucks:


I hauled ass through the nothingness until it got dark and it becameย  time to make camp somewhere. That’s when I chose a hilltop, because there was absolutely no wind and I liked the idea of being able to look down at the road below:

camp at night

Just after I had washed my feet and dumped the pictures and the GPS-track onto my hard-drive, it started getting a little windy.

I cursed my stupid choice of a camping location and went out to check and double-check the tent pegs and the cords and everything else, then I crawled back into my sleeping bag.

A couple of minutes later, the wind really went ahead and started pounding my poor tent into submission. I crawled back outside. No, it wasn’t a sandstorm, thank god, since there was no crazy sand flying around. Nevertheless, most of the tent pegs were about to be pulled out and the tent was crouching to the ground like a beaten dog. I got a bunch of rocks and put them on some of the tent pegs, and then I placed the Caboose on top of the most important one, the crucial one directly facing the wind.

I looked at the tent, and there it was, almost flat on the floor, and the wind was booing and hooing, and pounding on it like Rocky in the meat-house. I thought about moving the whole thing to a different location, down and away from the hilltop.

Then I thought: fuck it, this is a pretty good tent after all, and I might as well try to get some sleep.

  • Florian (Flo Li Anh,

    Genau, aber wer ist der komische Typ, der da immer hinten in den Bildern rumtanzt ?


  • Steven

    The farewell moment was so touching!
    Not easy !
    I always try to escape and disappear as soon as possible…….!!!


  • Marvin

    Hello my wandering "son"! Sorry I haven't written for awhile. This place sounds a little like Western Kansas & Eastern Colorado. Are there any $*&^% trees at all? Have you ever heard that saying that there is a good looking girl behind every tree in Western Kansas. Maybe you should start checking trees.


  • Austin

    Hey are you sure it wasn't that one of those trucks you see carrying a huge amount of beer bottles flipped over, and they just swept the detritus off the side of the road? I saw that happen once.


  • Austin

    Oh, by the way, I just finished reading THE LONGEST BLOG from day one straight through to today. It took me about two weeks. It was an epic trial of endurance and determination highlighted with moments of humor, beauty and desperation. The story and the pictures were nice too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That said, I've got some gear questions, only if you have the time and the inclination to answer them:

    1. What brand of tent are you using? The design looks a lot like my beloved old Marmot Area 51, which is no longer produced.

    2. From a few of you pics it looks like you are shooting with a Cannon EOS 5D, with a classic 17-40mm f4 wide angle lens. But what wide angle are you using?

    3. What computer do you use? I spend a lot of time in the deserts of North Western China and the dust keeps killing my old HP. The warranty people at Hewlet Packard are beginning to grow suspicious! In a related question – did you buy your net card that links into the cell network in China or abroad?


  • Austin

    oh, i mean't in question number two, what telephoto lens are you using? But apparently sitting in front of the computer for two weeks straight reading some guy's blog fried my brain. I think I'm going for a walk!


  • oneday

    for your knowledge….today is 9-25

    your homework delay


  • Uncle

    wie weit noch bis zur grenze?


  • Christoph

    Marvin: It is so good to see that you're always checking in on me! I don't care about the trees as long as I have that! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Austin: You might be right about the bottles… I don't like talking about equipment brands though dude. So far, no problem with the tent, some minor issues with the 16-35, no problems with the 70-200, and the notebook has been fine, but the operating system that was delivered with it sucks some serious ass.
    oneday: Working on it, always working on it. There's only so much I can do.
    Uncle: Tausend. Tausendzweihundert.


  • Jan

    Ha, über Dein Zelt brauchst Du Dir wirklich keine Sorgen machen – brand name hin, brand name her, der gute alte Bo Hilleberg hat mich in einem isländischen Sandsturm (das Zelt war am nächsten Morgen braun) sicher schlafen lassen ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Kristian

    Why must the absence of materiality define nothingness?


  • Christoph

    Jan: Ah.
    Kristian: Now THAT is what I call a good question! Let me think about it…


  • Kristian

    My friend it has been a year. The days since then have molded me into
    quite a different man. One day I feel that we will meet. My question still stands.


  • Christoph

    Kristian: The question stands, I know. And I have been thinking about it, but I couldn’t come up with any good answers. Like “why did you walk?” or “why did you stop walking?” – there are no simple answers.

    About this case: I don’t think that I would have described it as “nothingness”if I had been riding through there in a car or even by bike. Maybe the term “nothingness” has to do with the hopelessness I felt when I was dragging my body through these landscapes. There was no meditation in it, instead it felt like I had fallen into some kind of void.

    In conclusion, maybe it is more about the inside than the outside factors.


  • not anyone

    totally understand what you mean”void”!


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