Friday, May 20, 2005

Dear China: It's not you, it's me

<>So a couple of weeks ago, I was in Italy. I kept a travel journal, which I intended to type up and post, not because it's interesting (it isn't, mostly), but just to keep the record. But I can barely read my own handrwiting, and I've been feeling a little short on time. Because I'm going to fucking China tomorrow.

Not happy about this. It's nothing against China, I mean, I always wanted to have a job which included travel. But of all the times, they chose this fucking weekend? This weekend is the Sheetiron 300 dual sport ride, which, to be honest, has been one of the high points of my past two years. I'm really angry about missing it. Really. Angry. Are you getting this?

Somehow, a lot of people don't seem to pick up on this, but I'm chock full of doubts and fears; I'm an incredibly harsh critic of myself. I have a clear view of shortcomings and lack of skills, and this ride is one of those times I get to push through my fears and crappy dirt riding, see some really stunning scenery, experience the rushes, the victories and the small defeats (yep, flying over your bars and landing in front of 10 guys standing around overlooking the valley is one of those things you remember fondly for years). "Holy shit, could you believe Sherman Road?" "Did you see those five guys pileup on each other?" "I totally crashed five times in the first mile!" "We had to pull over so I could drop trou and stuff sunscreen into my pants because I got a giant burn from the gas leaking on me when I was stuck under my bike." "I just ran into my old DR350. Literally."

Ohhhhhhh. Ugh.

Angry that I couldn't do that particular stupid shit with my bikes, I signed up to do an endurance rally instead. I already know it's going to be painful; the SV gives my knees cramps after just a couple of hours. But that's good. I've been displeased with my riding, both quality and quantity, lately. Time to jumpstart into the summer. And show Paul just how whiney I can be. (zoiks)

So, yeah, China. I'll be back in a few days (another reason I'm not excited; I don't want to fly to China for 4 days. It seems stupid).

I've been toying with the idea of trying to learn Mandarin for a long time now, and it looks like Paul might join me in taking a class at City College in the Fall, which is good, since it's more likely to actually happen with his company. In the meantime, I just have hello, and a few Cantonese words (some not-so-polite). It's probably better that way. Given how unsuccessful I was at communicating in Italian, I can only imagine how much worse it could be when you add in the tonal-language trick. They are out to get me, I tell you.

Currently listening:
Easy Speedy Chinese (Mandarin): 2 One Hour Multi-Track CDs
By Mark Frobose
Release date: By February, 2005

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