Sunday, June 22, 2008

a marriage for the walking

ok, folks. it's over. i'm done. finito. i have found my paradise. and no, it is not the newly named 'shangri-la', that would just be too cliche. it is, in fact, lugu lake, which is on the border of yunnan and sichuan provinces. first of all, we weren't even planning on coming to this exquisite destination, but as luck would have it, and with a little help from the mccarthy-hating political party--once again, i'm being careful with my words here--we stumbled upon the lake. you see, we had planned on trekking across southwesten sichuan, but since it is an ibettay region, we couldn't even buy tickets at the bus station. so, after one last trip to mama naxi's in lijiang--and one more goodbye necklace and kiss--we jumped in a van with two chinese photographers and four exchange students from singapore for the seven hour journey.

lugu lake sits at 2685 meters on the yunnan-guishou plateau, is surrounded by gorgeous--said in a thick new york accent--mountains, and has crystal-clear blue water...something i had never seen in china. additionally, and the real reason why i'm never leaving, the mosu people reside in the area. according to lonely planet, the mosu are the last practicing matriarchal society in the world...but this ain't yo' normal mama sits at the head of the table society. they have this long-standing tradition known as zou hun, 'walking marriage'. so, the women of the village call the men over for the night. the dudes, hoever, have to arrive later than midnight and leave before daybreak, because if they are caught by the parents, they have to work for the girlfriend's family for three years....dang, talk about some killer walk of shames, though. moreever--said in a thick jimmy carter accent--if the man is willing and able, he can have multiple lady friends and if a child is produced he bears no responsibility. side note: the men do, however, help in rearing other children in their family, i.e. his sister's kids and what not. so yeah, pretty fascinating place.

in other news, i've got killer teva/flip-flop, watch, shorts and wife-beater tan lines going. and, chynna now has a natural, accidental mohawk.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

mama store yo' stuff fo' FREE

whoa. it has been a long time, yo. here's a snapshot of recent events and stufff.

hangzhou=over. i shall miss thee sweet ol' harry potter-meets-scarborough fair-street-cleaning truck theme song. and you too, tad. hellogoodbye will forever remind me of cruising around on all of your bright green glory.

the first week of summer vacation brought yunnan. mama naxi (pronounced nah-SEE). tiger leaping gorge. back to the chinese food diet. french-canadian travel friends. first degree sunburns. sleeper-bus nests. naked sleeping. yak meat. uncooperative pigs. kung fu/tai chi monestary. tipping points. 24 hour solo train ride.

the second week was luxury in hong kong. and i ate lox. it was delicious.

best story:
i'm out to dinner in kunming and i had to pee so i cruise through a creepy alley into the public bathroom, which consists of a long troth and short 3 foot separating walls... no doors. there i am, squatting, doing my business when this little girl strolls in and comes straight to my notso private stall. as im peeing she casually asks me "are you a foreigner?"...let's think about this. i'm 5'9, got blue eyes and am wearing flip-flops, as the wise gob once said, COME ON! i answer her question anyway, because she's super cute and i'm simultaneously plotting how i can steal her, but apparently girlfriend just wasn't satisfied and continued to stand there, just, watching me. i never thought i would ever be forced to make small talk with a 4 year old while popping a experience, people, neeew experiences. but wait, oh no, it's not over. when i'm paying the 2 jiao, the little devil runs up behind me and slaps my ass... whaaaat? hello sexual harassment!

k. cool. tomorrow, i head back to yunnan and will continue traveling. first stop: zhong dian, now known as 'shangri-la'. in order to boost tourism, the chinese gov't declared it the real life location of james hilton's mythical, age-defining paradise from the lost horizon. so yeah. if you never hear from me again it's because i'm chilling at the lamasery, playing some unknown chopin pieces, conversing with perrault, falling in love with lo-tsen and learning how to live for a few more centuries.

below is my last installment of visual delights, as my computer is going home with my sister manana. enjoy children. and i'll hit y'all up next time i can.

tim's first day in china. who's the creeper now buddy?
chynna in her nest on the sleeper bus.
lijiang in the morning, before the tourists swarm...yes.waterfall at tiger leaping gorge.
legend says that this here is where a tiger leapt to freedom from hunters. yeaaah boi!
in the gorge.savage water features yo!
ok. here is the infamous mama naxi of mama naxi's guesthouse in lijiang.
not only does she make a dank muesli with yogurt, strawberries and honey,
but her cell phone ringtone is 'blvd of broken dreams'
by green day as well... hilario.
look how she grabbed my hand. basically, obessssed.
damn you self-timer!
tim and i planned this totally rad pic,
but alas, my canon was too quick for us.
hence the awkward pre-jump pose.
hong kong hotel view. cnn? oil? the real world?
a stark contrast from yunnan, no?lamma island.
ah, the fragrant harbour.