Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Blogging in Kunming

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I spent most of the day catching up with the blog. There is so much to say and so many pictures to upload. Which stories? Which pictures? These are all dilemmas of the itinerant blogger. I'm afraid to see too much during the day because then I'll have to write about it later. How warped is that? It's just wrong.

There are lots of stories I can write just about the people we met at this hostel. There are some very strange people at these places.

For example, there's this lonely woman we met who is originally from Oregon but now lives in Thailand. She's traveling to Mongolia alone. We sat next to her at breakfast. She is a fountain of information on China if you want to know, but I'll warn you, there's no spigot to shut her off. I feel bad for her. I take for granted that I have a great traveling companion. The woman has been all over the map. She is hard to look at for her face of wrinkles and sagging features. She must spend all her time in the sun. I couldn't help thinking that her face actually looks like a map. She was nice enough and we listened politely until our coffee cooled.

There's another couple staying here with a one year old baby. We first noticed the family when the father passed us in the hall on our way to our room. His baby did not have a stitch of clothing on. Later, at lunch, I saw him put the naked kid on the ping pong table. The table was hot from the sun and the kid made a yelp. During our two day stay here I've never seen the kid dressed. Maybe he doesn't have any clothes? They've really taken this onebag.com thing kind of far. Other than that, the father seems fairly normal. I mean, he is coherent when you talk to him and he returns a hello when you pass him in the hall.

But I can't say the same for his wife. I have serious doubts about this woman. She plods shoeless around the hostel wearing a blank stare. She never smiles, nor does she ever greet us. All day long she just ambles about. I've seen her walk into the middle of the open eating area, stop, and stare off into the distance. After a minute, she'll wander off down the hallway. Once she walked in front of us on the way down to eat. But at the stair landing she suddenly stopped. We had to change our path to avoid knocking her down the stairs. Then she turned around and drug herself back up the stairs. Ruth was afraid of meeting this woman carrying a hatchet in her next nightmare. When Ruth asked the receptionist about the zombie girl (well, she didn't use those exact words), the receptionist just raised her eyebrows. She says they've been here for days and don't know when they'll go. We lock our door at night. Strange brew.

In the afternoon, when the day cooled down, we went out for a walk and to buy some more DVDs. Ruth found this awesome deal. She bought a DVD movie of Chicken Run in audio English/Chinese as well as subtitles in both languages. So we went out and bought seven more movies for about $1 each. They work great on the computer. We've already seen Chicken Run in Chinese.

So now we have movies to watch just as soon as we get board of touring China.

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in Fench; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language. - Mark Twain

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