From: [email protected]
Subject: Jamaican in China!–Bye, bye, Beijing!
Date: October 30, 2010 5:44:19 PM GMT+08:00
To quote the words of famous Beatles song that I’ve always used as the prime directive for my life and my nomadpreneur adventure:
“…for tomorrow may rain, so….I’ll follow the sun!”
Yep, it’s a bit too cold for me here in Beijing, so it’s time to head south! Basically, the way I decide where to go is pretty simple, someone tells me about a city I should visit (Kunming, Jinghong, Dali), I look the city up on the getty.edu site (one of many that gives the longitude and latitude of any city in the world) and I choose the destination with the most southern latitude (i.e. the warmest temperature)
And, so the winner is….. Jinghong! Jinghong is in Yunnan Province, which is Latitude: 21 58 00 N degrees
Kingston, Jamaica is Lat: 17 58 00 N degrees minutes
Saipan, CNMI is Lat :15 degrees
So, Jinghong may not be EXACTlY as warm as what I’m used to, but if I go any further south, I’ll be in Myanmar (aka Burma), and that’s an adventure for another time!
So long, Cong (pronounced Tsong)
Before I leave Beijing, I must give “’nuff respek,” props and kudos to my friend, Cong!
She’s been a very, very key part of me getting acclimated to and enjoying Beijing to the degree that I have! She’s been a one-person welcoming committee, translator, tour guide, and good friend!
I met her on the couchsurfing.org site, we met shortly after I arrived, and since then, she’s been there for me to help me find an apartment, find a hotel, find vegetarian restaurants and more!
If I’m lost or having trouble communicating precisely what I want in a particular situation, I can always count on Cong to help me out. The scenario usually plays out something like this (this one actually happened): Say I’m on a bus looking for a particular station to get off so I can meet Hong for an event, but I have no idea where I am, and, since I can’t read Chinese characters to save my life (yet), I need some help. So, I call Cong. Then, I tap a complete stranger on the shoulder, smile, and hand the puzzled stranger my mobile phone. She and the stranger then talk in Putongua, while I wait.
I’ve never been quite sure exactly what she says when I do this, but I figure it must go something like this:
“Hello, complete stranger. My foreign friend in front of you is lost and only speaks enough Mandarin to ask for soy milk, and even then, it’s hit or miss. Could you help him, please? Could you tell him when to get off this bus so he can meet me at 123 Main street? Thanks. Now, could you hand the phone back to him so I can tell him. Have a nice day!”
Cong relays any necesary information to me in English, the stranger and I smile wordlessly at each other, and I continue on my merry way with the right type of fried rice on my plate, the directions to the hotel I’m looking for, or whatever!
I’ve done this to security guards, hotel managers, office receptionists waitresses in restaurants, and strangers on buses! So, thanks to me, Cong is pretty famous.
Anyway, Thanks, Cong! Beijing was a blast thanks to you!
To everyone else in Beijing, sorry for the short notice! I bought my ticket just last night, and my flight leaves 9am today! The plan is to spend a day or two in Kunming, then head further south to Jinghong!
Bye byyyyyyye, Beijing!