There are oilfields here in Shanshan:
Guess who’s drilling? Right, the ladies and gentlemen from Tuha Oil City (crude oil).
We didn’t get to know any of them though, so we weren’t able to find out what it feels like to drive 300 kilometers to work.
Vincent from Taiwan 台湾 was riding his bike in the opposite direction from us:
The dude had started out in North America and was planning to arrive in Beijing in another 2 months or so.
…there are more cyclists out here than one might think…
We walked some more, and then we took a pit stop and changed a tire on the caboose:
Same old, same old – it didn’t even bother me anymore.
Then we ran into yet another biker:
Xue Mengqiang 薛孟强 is a farmer from the northwest of China. More than ten years ago he packed his bags and went riding his bicycle all around the country for 2 years. Then he came back, worked some more, and this year he did the same thing again. People call him Xinjiang Black Brother 新疆黑哥, I guess that’s because of his tan.
He said a lot has changed in this country since the first time he explored it. And he said people had been telling him about me ever since he passed through Dunhuang (Dunhuang) coming from the south.
I wonder what those people might have said about me?
What will they say?
We arrived in the city when the sun was just about to set:
“Did you have a good time today?” I asked my friend Wu Jiang, “you walked more than 30km with me.”
A smile and a nod: “it was alright” he said.
We went to the grocery store and then hung around in the hotel for a little while, talking about the good and bad things in life (mainly girls). Then we took a cab to the train station 30km outside of town:
Goodbye my friend – you saw the Tianchi and you walked with Leike for a day. You even helped him fix the Caboose!
Isn’t that a beautiful thing?