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Return of the Motta

We awoke somewhat late in the day on our last morning in Jianshui, mostly because of the weather. The impossibly blue and cloudless skies that had shown us through our previous two days of impeccable wheeling had been replaced with a perpetually dawn-like gray. Wake we did, however, and headed off in search of noodles.

The streets were strangely empty for almost 10:30. Normally, it seems, Chinese cities are filled with people rushing around increasing the GDP by about 6:30 am. The strange weather must have put them in a funk as well. Our funk was slightly diminished when we were able to find a couple of very reasonably priced giant bowls of noodle soup, and deciphered a friendly note written by the previous night’s patrons of the restaurant.

As we sipped the last bits of broth, we pondered our next moves.

We were headed to Kunming (昆明), to meet up with the illustrious and debonair Stewart Motta. Our bus was at 2:00 pm, which gave us just enough time to feast on the last bits of Internet at our hotel, and to take advantage of the most delightful practice of 1:00 pm checkout amongst Chinese business hotels.

We bid a sorrowful farewell to Jianshui, being sure to apply a firm seal of approval before leaving. At the bus station, the Speed TRs made quite an impact on the luggage handlers. Although folding bicycles are quite common is Jianshui, and in China in general, I believe this may be the first time these luggage handlers had actually seen one of them in the collapsed state, and the act of folding the cycles produced the kind of positive response normally reserved for B-level celebrities.  We folded up the Speed TRs and placed them next to a bag of chickens in the luggage compartment of the bus.

The ride to Kunming was comfortable, and just the right length.

We stopped midway to eat eggs boiled in tea sold by sweet elderly ladies.

Just as we were pulling into one of the many Kunming Bus stations, I felt a vibration in my pocket. It was Mr. Motta, who had somehow managed to sense our arrival. We were somewhat disheartened to learn that we had arrived at the new bus station, which was some 35 kilometers from Stewart’s residence, wheeling to which would require traversal of some particularly gnarly lengths of elevated highway, most of which were currently flooded with frustrated rush hour drivers. As an added danger, China is the fastest growing car market in the world. This means that most Chinese behind the wheel are new drivers, and as such, not so attentive to their fellow traffic.

So we took a cab. Our cabbie was an incredible woman, who drove very well, wore a splendid set of arm protectors, and brought us quickly and directly to Stewart’s door.  He appeared downstairs to meet us, looking dapper and all smiles. This was going to be splendid. We parked the Speed TRs in his parking garage, which was not only lorded over by a surly security guard, but also featured a large bank of electrical outlets for refueling electric vehicles.

Excellent move, China.

His pad was glorious. Truly glorious. It was perched at the top of a large apartment building, filled with light, and featured a balcony with a splendid view of the city.

We were also given the great pleasure of finally meeting Stewart’s significant other, Juliet.  It was no surprise that Juliet proved to be delightful company, sharp as a tack, and drop dead gorgeous.

As we all gathered around a steaming bowl filled with tofu, hot peppers, lots of oil, and a large fish, we salivated, and glanced out the window at the beautiful streets of Kunming below.

I could tell this was going to be a new, and certainly delightful chapter.

In fact, in honor of the return of Stewart Motta to our wheeling lifestyle, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new line of “International Chiller” tee-shirts in the AsiaWheeling store. Click here to learn more!


  1. laura | July 8th, 2010 | 6:20 pm

    *please* tell me you got those recipes in the last few pics! that looked delicious! and you’re holding out….what did the note say?! inquiring minds…

  2. Val | July 11th, 2010 | 3:59 pm

    I can’t believe Stewie’s apartment!!! It looks like something from San Francisco!!

  3. Mark/Dad | July 11th, 2010 | 4:56 pm

    What is cooking on the grill-like thing next to the eggs? Sausages? Slugs? Pinkies?

  4. Woody | July 11th, 2010 | 5:40 pm

    @ Mark/Dad

    While pinkies would be extreme, I am somewhat sorry to report that they are nothing more exotic than good old goober peas.

  5. samer lattakia | July 11th, 2010 | 10:55 pm

    I hope you did you get interest and pleasure to visit Syria as you really are wonderful young men I hope to be with you on this adventure with my best wishes to spend a good time and interest to visit Syria hey scott where the pics i am still wait hahahaha hope you put the pics very soon With best wishes for your success by what you do scott and woody and Claudia The three adventurers

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