stuff to do

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There’s an end to everything … even the sweetest summer vacation. So, upon returning to Changji today, I decided to finally get rid of my shoes: Remember how sad I was when I had to say good-bye to the Caboose? Well this time, I wasn’t very unhappy at all, mainly because those shoes and me […]


monsters

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There is a shuttle bus network to take individual visitors and travel groups alike around the scenic spots in the park. The first place we went to this morning was just breathtaking. There was a delicate layer of hoar frost on all things: …and the sun was just coming up to start melting it all away: […]


the world needs more John Muirs

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This morning, we got on a plane to one of the most remote areas of the country: Kanas – bordering Kazakhstan in the West, Mongolia in the East and Russia in the North. There was a large red flag at the tiny airport, reminding us of the fact that we were still in China: We […]


word cascades

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We took a trip to the mountains south of Changji today. It took us almost three hours to get to where we wanted, which was… …a little waterfall. Surprisingly enough, there was a whole tourist infrastructure built around that thing: The writing of the word “parking lot” on this sign fascinated me: You see, the Chinese […]


back to the deep place

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Today, we got in a car and went to Turpan in the South. It felt weird to be going 100 km/h in those places where I had been silently walking and suffering almost exactly two years ago. Anyway, today it was all about sightseeing! We visited the famous Grape Valley 葡萄沟: This is a totally commercialized […]


jade lake of heaven

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We went to a place called Tianchi today. It’s a mountain lake situated in the east of Ürümqi: This is one of the most famous places in all of China, and I had always been wanting to see it, especially since Wu Jiang (is this the end?) had shown me pictures of his own trip […]


her… …again

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guanxi

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Here’s part two of my use of relations (certificate of participation): Yesterday in the afternoon I received a call, telling me things were being taken care of. So today I waited outside of the hotel/stadium, when a black limousine pulled up. It was two dudes who were there to take me to the police station. […]


certificate of participation

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Having been rejected by many a hotel the night before, I eventually managed to find an awesome place that offered room and board in a stadium: Awesome. There was a school competition going on right outside of my window, so I tried to capture a time-lapse of the preparations: (Hint: flag salute at 0:17, puking […]


Thankyoustan

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I went back to the municipal police station to extend my visa. I needed nothing fancy, just a few weeks more to do some traveling inside of the country, until I would hop on my plane back to Germany on October 13th. Easy as pie, I figured. After all the troubles in the Western regions, I was […]


the pink train

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My friends Wang Chan and Ding Bo from Kuytun invited me to their pediatric counseling center today. It was awesome: I really needed some counseling actually, because I was being constantly worried about my passport problem: the stupid visa was about to expire within two days! And even though I wasn’t going to walk anymore […]


mountain people

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Since we had nothing better to do, Zhu Hui and Lei Sheng took me to the mountains today. It was very nice and relaxing: I fell asleep a bunch of times on the warm and fragrant grass, and the rest of the time we amused ourselves taking pictures: And I felt… …like there wasn’t a […]


quod erat demonstrandum

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Mr. Wang showed up in my room again this morning. I was surprised, because today was a major holiday, and I figured he would have liked to spend the day with his family instead. But he had work to do, so we continued our interview. I was nervous. “When is this going to be over??” […]


worlds away

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What a bad night – hardly any sleep at all. I had done some research about the possible outcome of my situation the evening before, and it looked pretty serious: One foreign dude caught on a stroll with his GPS in Henan 河南 three years ago had apparently been detained for several months before being […]


life is like…

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a box of chocolates – sometimes you just pick an unpalatable one. … The phone woke me up this morning – it was the police. When I opened the door, I was looking at five middle-aged men and a police badge. They were wearing regular clothes and had stern expressions on their faces. I knew […]


police and thieves

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I wasn’t going to walk today. I wanted to take it easy and rest up in my hotel room. But first, I had to take care of my visa extension. So I went outside: “You can apply for a visa extension in every city 市” I had been told in the police office of Ürümqi […]


miniature skyline

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When I woke up I realized that I was alone again – Zhu Hui had taken the last train home to Shihezi the night before, because he had class today. I didn’t envy him for having to do martial arts exercises after yesterday’s rampage. Anyhow, I had a tiny bit of suffering ahead of me […]


50k – godlike rampage

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Who would have thought that this was going to happen during this year’s little summer vacation? (If you have no idea what I am talking about, please refer to the beginner’s guide and the advanced formula.) … Well, today I found out about yet another way to walk 50 kilometers in one day: take a […]


out with Huihui

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Zhu Hui was obviously not going to miss out on another chance to see me suffer a little bit, so in the morning he came to my hotel and we started slowly rolling out of town. Little did he know that he would be sharing my foot pains sooner than expected! … The first bit […]


New Model Terracotta Army

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Yesterday, I had promised Li Na to take a picture of her: Hope I did her some justice: … Zhu Hui took me to an elementary school in the afternoon: We were going to talk to the kids about physical education, but I was invited to watch the girls’ dance practice. I shot video after […]