AsiaWheeling Pilot Study
AsiaWheeling: In search of mind like water…
Journeying over 11,000 miles from South India to South Korea by way of far western China, traveling by rail, airplane, automobile, and, of course, bicycle, it was the great pleasure of your most unworthy correspondents to have the opportunity to share our adventures with you, dear reader. Were it not for the most humbling community which has grown around our travels, we would surely not have found the courage to begin again. But fear not! Begin again we will. In fact, we invite you to peruse the itinerary for the upcoming adventure. But perhaps you, dear reader, have come here to to revisit your humble correspondents as they cycled from Tamil Nadu through Uighurstan to Sweet Seoul, in the summer of 2008. If so, we invite you to peruse the following highlights.
Arriving in India
and driving along the Bay of Bengal coast amidst traffic insanity. Sipping salty lime juice and relaxing into a 18th century french mansion hotel.
Visiting a futuristic utopian colony and meditating in a giant golden orb.
Wheeling in a Tamil city amidst a communist workers strike
Agra Wheeling. The majesty of the Taj Mahal. The rank and hardscrabble streets of Agra.
Driving to 5 hours to New Delhi and sitting down at a dinner table fit for kings. Watching the general compartment board, as Nikhil, Chief Snakecharmer, narrates all sides of the Indian economy.
Wheeling the holiest city in all of Hinduism, drinking lassi in clay cups, massages on the banks of the river ganges
Visiting hell on earth and nearly avoiding leprosy
Hong Kong: city of instant transactions and hot pot.
Traversing the Pearl River Delta and meeting double happiness in Kunming, Yunnan.
Wheeling in the old and new towns of Dali, Yunnan. Vast rice paddys, card games, infadigable public buses.
Urumqi: Markets of thieves, dried fruits, crumbling buildings, no bike lanes, and the best Uighur restaurant east of the Taklamakan deasert. Wheeling in the most prosperous city of central Asia.
Stocking up on yak meat, ramen, and knock-off chinese stout beer before boarding a train across the gobi.
Kashgar Wheeling: Adventure on the fringes of the known universe. Public housing blocks, muslim auras, hot sand, and new panama hats.
Kashgar Sunday Market: Tea and coffee before herds of sheep sheered before interested buyers. Herds of sheep slaughtered for feasts to follow. Uighur graveyards and street performers. Piles of junk up for auction alongside folk songs recorded on used Korean pop cassette tapes. Millions of watermelons. Domestic brawls in restaurants failing health inspection.
Buying a local musical instrument for a dear friend. Filling the case with goodies and a two hour experience of navigating successfully through Chinese post office customs.
A meal enjoyed crosslegged, sipping Goji berry wine under the desert sunset and breezy trees. Watching from stage-left a traditional Kashgar dance performance put on for Chinese communist party officials.
Wheeling like princes in Dunhuang, akin to the Tatooine moisture farms, falling ill and being revived by the mobile pharmacy.
Learning Mahjong in China’s ancient capital and reigniting our passion for Halal Chinese food.
Wheeling Tienanmen square, sipping sweet yogurt, navigating hutongs, and scoffing at rain.
Tianjin: A true test of our Chinese wheeling knowledge. Flawless execution in dire circumstances. Smog to the hilt, bicycles falling apart, and men trained to fix them hastily. The last meal in China and a first sip of baijiu. (Video Here)
Jincheon ferry to Korea. Seafaring adventure, and a transition across economies. Plus an added aside regarding the commercial shipping industry.
Arriving in Korea and being bewildered by development. Well ventilated pork restaurants, Korean war veterans and endless soju toasts, plasticine women in basement Hip Hop nightclubs.
Final meal of AsiaWheeling. Flaming pumpkins, courses upon courses of delight, flights across oceans, tears of sadness, tears of joy.