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Veronica's Travel log

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I'm a recent graduate with a BA in international business trying to search for my place in the world. Never content - always searching for new opportunities and experiences.

Log entries 1 - 10 of 16 Page: 1 2

Mar 04, 2007 07:00 PM Quick Update

It's not that I've abandoned Globo, its just that without a digicam and with a hard school/work schedule I am not traveling like I was in China, and when I do I have to rely on someone elses pictures. Which is frustrating. 2006 was a year of stolen electronics because my digicam, ipod and laptop were all stolen!

Just posted New Orleans and I will be posting a trip I took to L.A. last summer. In may, I'm going to Jamaica. I will either have to buy or borrow a digicam for that trip.

One of these days I'll buy a throw away and do a report on Detroit. I promise.

I hope everyone has been doing well! I'm sorry for dropping of the face of globo. I'll be back I swear!

Jun 30, 2006 02:00 PM Report on LA/San Diego/Santa Barbara Coming Soon

April 4-10th I spent gallavanting around California. Our homebase was LA but we traveled up to Santra Barbara and down to San Diego.

Unfortuntately, our rental car was broken into and my digital camera was stolen (as was my Ipod).

I have pictures, and I'm planning on doing a report with photos from my traveling partner.

But, without a digi-cam I won't be doing many reports on my travels. *sigh*

Jan 14, 2006 07:00 PM Back Home to the D

Back Home to the D Well, I have been home for almost a month now. It's been quite the month I think. First, my flight home was absolutely awful. 5 hours into our flight from Beijing to LA one of our two engines SHUT OFF and we had to return 5 hours back to Beijing. So, I sat on a flight for 10 hours and got absolutely no where.

thankfully, Billie was opening starbucks as I was nearly in tears and getting off the plane. He was my angel because I was on my last strings of patience and sanity and he smoothed the way for me. The airport staff weren't helpful at all, hardly spoke any english and we didn't even know what to do or what was going on. It was crazy. I arrived in LA 2 hours after i was supposed to be home. And I arrived home nearly 2 days after I left China. So, after that much time in an airport I was REALLY thankful to finally be home.

I caught something on the flight that plagued me for a good week and half at home. It was still great seeing friends and family for the holidays.

First week of school just ended. 5 challening classes plus I restarted my internship (20 hours a week) plus extra activities. It was an exhausting week, but I think I just need to adjust to this life again.

I miss some aspects of China, I miss a lot of the people from China... I made incredible friends and have incredible memories. Home is a double edged blade.

I'll be back prowling the cyber streets of the globo community soon enough.

Dec 14, 2005 07:00 PM Asking opinons/ideas from Globo Community...

Asking opinons/ideas from Globo Community... taking chinese finals/midterms are something like attempting to gouge out your own eye with an unsharpened #2 pencil.

in other news, nikki and i developed a better idea than the 8-week tibet program. we are going to make a proposal (no, not the marriage kind) to Gonpo and Tsebho. Well, really to Gonpo I just like mentioning Tsebho.

This proposal will entail:
1. Nikki and I spending 1 month in the Tibetan grasslands
2. Particularly in the village where Gonpo/Tsebho live
3. During the time that they are there (duh)
4. Learning how to do Tibetan nomad things such as-
a. milk female yak (who aren't called yak)
b. cook yak meat and such
c. herd yak (but not castrate yak, Tsebho can keep that art to himself)
d. nomad stuff, whatever that is. you know, roughing it and such.
5. during the warmest possible time they stay at home because we don't want to tackel tibetan pastoral life in the winter
6. 1-2 hours of day of oral Tibetan 7. I get a horse for a month (and so does nikki. don't look at me like that. i'd be a herder, i'd HAVE to have a horse. Gonpo's family has 20...)

I mean really, think about this... TBC charges somewhere around $5000 for 8 weeks (if you include air fare and spending) to take us to Xiahe (been there), Zhongdian (been there), and one other province that is heavily Tibetan that I haven't visited. i think its like 4 weeks travel, 4 weeks class or 3 weeks travel 5 weeks class. TBC classes are a little on the dissapointing side, even when you feel like they are going to be really cool.

Instead of pouring all that money into 8 expensive weeks, why not give Gonpo and family money, plus air ticket, and extra 'just in case' although spending should be minimal since we are in the grasslands of Tibet. But we all know I'll find a way to spend money. Like this, lets say that we give the family $500 for 'room and board' for a month (each). That is probably a lot- but that would adding two foreign, fairly needy, weiguoren to the household, and we'd be willing to each throw in another $500 for like I don't know, just because. Plus, if they have to stay at home a little longer it would be compensating for lost time as tour guides.

Tickets, visas, plus spending. We'd, at the most expensive, be around $3500. Plus, there is no way I could save up $5000 by this summer nor do I feel like I want to rush back to China that quickly. Instead, I'd rather do whatever it is I'm going to do the following summer, immediately after I graduate- pre getting a real job. This makes undergraduate programs hard to swing.

And, I'd rather give the money to Gonpo's family because it will help them more AND I feel like all the academic study and touring in the world wouldn't compare to a month long homestay with Tibetans in the grasslands.

But, I could save $3000 by the summer after graduation and by then I'll be ready to go back to China. Also, Nikki and I would be calling all the shots which would mean we get to do things our way and I prefer that over pre-planned programs.

What do you think? Am I crazy?

Any suggestions over this, or potentially more exciting plans?

...So I wll not forget
I will not forget
how this felt one year six months ago
I know
I can not forget
I can not forget
I'm falling into
Memories of you
The things we used to do
Follow me there
A beautiful somewhere
A place that I can share
with you
It's easy to forget
Sometimes we just forget
Being on this road is anything but sure
Maybe we'll forget
I hope we don't forget...
::One Year Six Months, Yellowcard::

Dec 04, 2005 07:00 PM Whoa... Member of the Month?

I feel like I'm the last one to know about this... Member of the month? thats crazy talk. I haven't been logging on much because I'm actually busy with school and I took a 5 day trip to Chengdu, Sichuan to wind down before finals and say goodbye to China. It'll be a good report, I promise.

But, MoM? I had no idea... umm thank you! I'm glad that everyone is enjoying the reports that much. And, I'm glad that I stopped offending people... ;-) Well, only a little glad but if I have a run in with another bu hao city... you better believe you are all hearing about it.

Anyway, thank you for all the commnets on my guestbook, its really the only reason I knew I was MoM because well, all the comments said "Congrat's on MoM!"

You have all been so supportive, thanks!

Nov 20, 2005 07:00 PM Some Adventures are only 15 minutes away...

Some Adventures are only 15 minutes away... This isn't actually travel related but definitely "living abroad" related and thats close enough for me. As long as I can add pictures actually, because lets face it- it's all about the pictures.

I've been a quiet globosapien this past week or so, I have like 5 more China reports but I'm not in the mood. I've been diverting my caffinated attention to my novel. I'm like that, fleeting and all.

I was supposed to spend the night at a monastery this weekend but when i woke up the morning we were supposed to leave I felt this overwhelming sense of dread that I shouldn't go. Not that anything bad happened, that I know of anyway, I just felt like it was a bad idea for me to go suddenly- so I didn't. I'm zaney like that.

The adventure came on Sunday when Billie Joe aka Wang Peng invited me over to his home from his fathers birthday. Billie Joe has been my best friend here in China and he has helped me a million times over with a million different things. He's a starbucks employee- thats how our devotion to one another started. He is also a bassist in a Chinese punk band. Quite a character that Billie.

We all know that traveling to exotic places, taking beautiful and witty pictures is exhilerating- but sometimes I think we miss the little things that make being away from the culture we know provides- like interaction with the 'common' people that we meet and developing relationships with them. Now, that might just be a personality trait- I'm the type that pays for gas, talks to the attendant and chats as if we were old friends. And, even before I could say much more than "ni hao" I was already trying to talk to random people- well, lets rephrase that random Starbucks employees. Now that the language barrier is weakening I am having an easier time making everyone I meet my friend.

But, alas, Billie is special. We met one day while my friend from last semester, Taryn, and I were studying Chinese. He came over to practice a little english, and maybe flirt a little in a shy Chinese way, and we were eager to practice Chinese (chapter 4: Hobbies). Between Taryn, Billie and I it was love at first sight.

I feel what really sealed the friendship into immortality was the fact that Billie had a dog named Har-Har. Our english typyestyle of 'ha-ha' with the Beijing "ar" equalling Har-Har. This tough little Chinese dog reminds me of a mini-Tyler. And, I have this crazy theory that how people treat their dogs is an honest reflection of their personality. Despite all language barriers, the relationship between Har-Har and Billie was proof enough that the boy has a heart of gold.

Fast-forward 9 months and you have me at dinner with his parents and best friend. His mom made my favorite chinese dish, jiaozi (Chinese dumplings- steamed, boiled or pan fried). A little of each kind, with different meats and veggies. Mmm... homemade jiaozi it 10x better than restaurant style. And, as I struggled through a conversation in Chinese, with only Billie as back up, we managed to have a really great time. I also got to see videos of Billie performing live.

Fast-forward 1 more month to yesterday. Billie's fathers birthday. Very special occasion. Billie and I bought his father a cake, I bought his mother flowers, and we were off to his house for dinner.

This time, I wasn't saved so much by jiaozi. And, I am a very particular eater which makes a lot of Chinese-fare hard for me to stomach. I tried a few things, Billie saved me on a few that he knew even I couldn't smile through, and his mom did make a few chicken dishes just for me.

Billie has a lot of canny sense, and he for some reasons picks up on what I'm thinking quite quickly without needing words. Especially when it comes to food. He can see it in my eyes I think.

Like, the look in my eyes when his mom explained one of the dishes was duck throat. Billie quickly said "oh no, she won't like that." Which, I think saved me from being offensive since I didn't have to save it. I think they are puzzled at what I actually eat since I seem to dislike more food than like.

The most embarassing part of the meal was chicken wings. Chicken wings are very difficult to eat when they are covered in sauce and you have to use chopsticks. Have you ever tried peeling off meat while holding something with chopsticks? It's pretty damn difficult. I tried my best, ate around the three his mom placed in my bowl but promised her I liked them. Finally, I had to eat them and it became clear this was quite the challenge. I explained it just wasn't easy with chopsticks as Billie managed to get all of the meat off and spit out a bone. Eventually, after laughing at my struggle they asked how we eat them in the States and I said, already blushing, with our hands. We all laughed and I finished the last one with my hands. Yeah, I know... smooth right?

We spent the inbetween time chatting, all in Chinese, laughing, singing happy birthday, discussing the differences in american and chinese culture. Afterwards Billie and I hung out in his room, watched a lot of Woodstock '99 and listened to music. Billie loves music, his passion for music is so strong, he reminds me of the struggling muscians in America. Except, in China there is not place for kids like Billie. You either go to college and do your best to succeed or get a service position and earn 5 or less kuai an hour for the rest of your life. There isn't much room for impassioned, quirky creative kids like Billie. They are sort of lost souls in the sea of communism.

It breaks my heart because he would have a place in America and I watch him struggling with it in China.

Now, we all know many countries- probably including China, highly dislike, even hate, the US. But, the youth of China and many of the survivors of the cultural revolution, think America's streets are paved with gold and the land of freedom and opportunites. In comparison they are probably a little right.

China doesn't have a place for young people like Billie, not yet. One day I think they will but right now it doesn't seem so.

At first, they were really embarassed of their very small, concrete apartment but I assured them that it didn't matter. My dad and I live in a small apartment and the size of your home doesn't matter as long as the people in it are happy. I managed that gem in Chinese, much more simplified though. They are indeed a happy family despite living in very poor conditions. The four of them laugh, smile and sing with their hearts.

Many well off families in the US don't have that same level of sincereity and happiness. Many do. And, many people in the US and the world struggle with these same issues- some a lot worse. I know this intellectually but in China I am experiencing it. I find there is a lot we know intellectually but can't comprehend until we experience.

One thing I've learned from the Chinese (and Tibetan) people is that they can smile and laugh through the harshest of conditions. Conditions that would most definitely break me, and I think most spoiled westerners like myself. I think, when a family can beam with happiness and love despite rough enviroment or lack of sustainable opportunities- that takes strength I can't even comprehend.

My point, I'm sure its hard to follow with all the side tracks and ramblings, is that sometimes you don't have to take a plane, trian or car to find adventure. You don't need a guide book nor any sort of plane. Little interactions, sometimes turn into long lasting relationships, are the memories and adventure you'll never forget.

Nov 19, 2005 07:00 PM Just for the Picture

Just for the Picture Billie and I, in our natural state of always laughing at each other. All we do is say a few words and laugh and smile.

After showing his mother how to use my camera she became a ninja, sneaking this great shot.

Nov 12, 2005 07:00 PM My Master Plan

My master plan is to make the largest database of Yak photography IN THE WORLD.

Take note.

I finished the Hebei report, I'm really happy with it so take a look. I just want you to look at the pretty horses because they make me so happy, I want them to make you happy too.

Have a nice day.

Nov 10, 2005 07:00 PM Official Plans

Oh yeah baby, I am definitely going to Chengdu, the biggest city in Sichuan. Father approved it last night and agreed to buy the plane tickets and hotel accomdations as an early X-mas present. Yay for Dads!

Sunday I am spending the day in Hebei, a province next door to Beijing. Going horseback riding for 5 hours, we arranged for a private car to pick us up and take us. It should be great fun! The weekend plan didnt work out, we couldn't track down the travel company and this might end up working out better. I'd rather spend the night in my comfy bed than at a shoddy hotel.

But Sichuan! I am so excited! I am going to get to hold a PANDA! A real live panda! Plus, I mean there is a lot in and around Chengdu to explore and we'll have maybe 4 days to make the most out of.

Even more exciting, Gonpo is going to try and meet us in Chengdu. I'm sure he'll end up as our unofficial tour guide. Gonpo, in case you haven't been following, is the Tibetan love of my life. Even though he's a little crazy and 30 something. I'd run away with him in a heartbeat if I was a little crazy and 30 something. He wanted me to come behis "Tibetan wife" and milk yaks with him, but as tempting as a life of milking yaks is, I don't think my dad would approve.

Anyway, a few more days with Gonpo will be a great way to end the trip. Since, I'll probably never see him again. Thats sad, these people I've grown close, I'll never be this close to them again...

I will have covered all of the 'major' provinces in China after Sichuan. It was my only big missing piece.

Pff, and you were hoping I'd run out of report China material weren't you? lol ;-)

1 month left in this lovely country. Mixed feelings about the time winding down.

Nov 09, 2005 07:00 PM Officially Soothed

Well, I deleted the last two posts because between Rudi and James I've been calmed about the rating thing. Just initial frustration I suppose, still learning the ropes of this community.

After reading the comments today they seemed a little too angsty, even for me... and I can get pretty angsty. ;-) But, as both Rudi and James explained, sometimes your personal favorites will be low ranked but it doesn't take the quality away from them. Perspectives and such.

Thanks again!

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