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April 3, 2008 - The Longest Way The Longest Way

Archive for April 3rd, 2008

judging covers

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

day 147: 平凉 (pingliang) = 0km

“You’ve never actually been to a place until you’ve walked there.”

“It is only these two feet that can really open up spaces.”

“Walking leads to exploration; and exploration leads to knowledge.”

“Nobody understands anything and everyone is foolish but me!”

“I am deep.”

You know I’m going to say these things once I get home, don’t you?

That’s right! I’m full of myself.

So what’s there to do about that?

I put on my white shirt and my blue slippers and wandered around in 平凉 (pingliang) today.

Then I got to thinking: Have I really been to this place before? It looks and feels so different! Maybe I’m just judging by the cover here?

There was the 宝塔 (bao pagoda):

How come I had never been there before?

I stopped for a little talk to a random guy on the street:

He kept on saying the same thing: “I can understand his words, I can understand his words!”

I didn’t think we really understood each other, though later I figured out why he was so surprised – and it seemed only logical:

Assumption: foreigner = foreign language

Observation: I + foreigner = communication

Conclusion: I can understand foreignese!

Understandably amazing.

I kept bumping into this other dude just about everywhere:

The first time, he had offered to give me a ride when I was on the way into 平凉 a few days before.

Then later, I went grocery shopping at the store his family operates.

Today I bumped into him for the third time and hopped on his ride.

We figured it was 缘分 – destiny.

Since the city felt so different, I asked him to drop me off at the only place that I could remember from its location:

The area around the bridge by the train station.

Above is a picture from August 2006.

And here’s what I shot today:

Different angle – different city – different cover – different me.

Then I wandered around looking for this:

“为什么相爱的人不能在一起?” – “why can’t people in love just be together?” (2006)

Someone had formed these words using large rocks in the riverbed two years ago.

I felt touched by this message, because it seemed so fragile and lost in an environment as harsh as this.

So I went looking for it, and I was surprised:

The river had changed a bit, and the original message had of course vanished.

But there seemed to be some new words:

“我…爱…” – “I…love…”

I couldn’t make out the rest.

So back into the unknown city it was, a place on earth that I had been to before and yet didn’t really know it.

It seemed as though – walking or not – I was only looking at another cover.

It’s like: visit a place when it’s raining, then go again on a hot summer day.

Totally different, duh!

There’s these private cabs circling the streets of 平凉:

The finger indicates the fare (in this case 1rmb) – that is, if you’re going in the same direction as the other passengers in the car.

I took one to a market in order to look for some movies:

That’s where I found these:

You can guess what this is – and there’s two discs in each sleeve.

I mean WTF, who in the world would want to watch 5 hours of lions and tigers and a whole lot of other animals doing it?

I chose not to and rather bought something else, and now here I am telling you about stuff that I don’t even know.

Can’t judge a book by its cover.

Or a movie, in this case.

Soundtrack: Centory – “Girl You Know It’s True”

—total: 1904,9km

 




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