Chasing Mirages

Tag: water

Wall to Nowhere

by on Jun.17, 2014, under Quickies

Oh God. It’s been the longest hiatus ever.

I’m back in China for the summer, no more excuses.  Last week I visited the crumbling Great Wall near the village of Long Quan Yu (龍泉峪).  There’s an awesome B&B with cabins built on the mountainside from which we enjoyed panoramic views and stargazing through floor-to-ceiling windows.

The best part of it was, the running water came from mountain springs.  It’s the first time I’ve drunk straight from the faucet in China.  The only notable consequence was five full days of simultaneous projectile vomiting and incendiary diarrhea.  On the bright side, I lost five kilos and regained a six-pack.

Just kidding, the water was really damn good.

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Don’t Mess with Sichuan

by on Dec.08, 2010, under Posts

I thought you might appreciate the irony in the picture below.  This trashed sign, lying amidst various pieces of litter on the side of a highway running along the still-mighty ( not for much longer, thanks to a series of 22 dams currently being built or planned) Dadu River (大渡河), reads   : Please care for the flowers and grass, littering is strictly prohibited (请爱护花草,严禁乱扔垃圾).

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Xiaowan Hydropower Plant

by on Nov.30, 2010, under Posts

Need to hit the road soon, so can’t write much.  The least I can do is give you some pictures from yesterday, when we visited the Xiaowan dam and hydropower plant, completed earlier this year on the Lancang River (better known as the mighty Mekong).  At 292 meters, nearly the height of the Eiffel Tower (300 meters), it is the world’s tallest arch dam.

Here’s a picture from the reservoir side:

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First bend of Nujiang

by on Nov.28, 2010, under Quickies

I’m doing OK.  A little diarrhea this morning but otherwise no problems.  We’ve seen a few interesting things on this trip so far, and I will write more later.  Internet access is not easy to come by most days.

The picture below is the famed first bend of Nujiang (怒江), the last hope for river conservationists in China.  Its main course remains free of dams, unbridled and wild.

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Toilets

by on Feb.23, 2010, under Posts

Urination, defecation and flatulence are all favorite topics of mine.  They never get old.  If I live to be 90, I’ll still laugh when someone within earshot lets one rip.  Especially if it’s a shart.  So it’s fitting that my first substantive post is about toilets.

In the past, public toilets in China were notoriously bad – dirty, smelly, leaky, plugged up, and often filled with maggots.  They’re probably still not great in much of the country, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of public toilets in Beijing.  Here’s a urinal I found on Gulou Dajie, in an old neighborhood with lots of hutongs (ancient alleyways) and siheyuan (ancient courtyard-style houses).

Notice anything odd about this urinal?

I’ll give you a hint: how do you flush it?
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