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Alex and Sam’s Excellent Adventure

Wednesday morning Alex and I decided to have a minor adventure. We headed out on our bikes (his pedal-powered, mine electric) with the stated goal of exploring some of the outlying areas around our city. It’s a trip we’d both intended to do for a long time, but we’d never had the motivation to actually do it. We wandered generally northward towards the river. I won’t attempt a narrative (there isn’t one), but the photos are in chronological order. There are more pictures on my Flickr page.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
A Chinese cemetery. The little houses are the same style as the real houses. Most Chinese are cremated.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
I apologize for the bad quality of this picture. It was shot in a state of shock. A man rode past us on his bike. Between his legs was a goat. As he passed us, the goat let out a pitiful bleat, which I can only assume meant “Oh for ****’s sake, CALL THE POLICE!” Poor goat.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
Alex making friends with the locals. This is a market/shopping area in one of the smaller towns near Zhangjiagang.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
A typical Chinese meat market. It looks slightly scary, but the meat is generally very good.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
An outdoor part of the same market.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
Foreigners rarely make it out to these small towns, so the reactions we got were quite different from those in the center of Zhangjiagang. Everyone was quite curious and friendly.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
A dentist’s office. This is in the middle of a row of clothing shops.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
This town’s main employer is an enormous steel mill.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
Another shot of the steel mill.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
We stopped for lunch at an excellent little coffeeshop. In the coffeeshop was a piano. Beneath the piano was a pond, containing 5 or 6 big (10″+) turtles and a few goldfish. Oh, and there was a motorcycle.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
Our bikes parked on a bridge. Yes, I’m lazy. On the other hand, I could also walk at the end of the day.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
An old hut.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
We followed this monster down the road for about 10 minutes. We weren’t brave enough to pass him, because he was swerving and lurching all over the road.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
Bulk cargo at the port. The small boats are for going into the canals in the city. The bigger one is for the Yangtze.

Alex and Sam's Excellent Adventure
At last, the river!

After many minor adventures, we made it home about 10 hours after we left. I was initially worried about the range of my bike’s battery, so I built an external battery pack to double it. I was quite pleased; the battery on my bike lasted all day (going at about 40% of top speed to keep pace with Alex), and I only needed to plug in the backup once we were back within the Zhangjiagang.

We’ll do it again in a few weeks.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Anne | December 22, 2007 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Hi, Sam. I like the red piano very much. Will you buy it for me? My birthday is in February. I’ll pay the postage. Mom

  2. deb knutson | December 28, 2007 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    My birthday is in August, but I don’t want the red piano. You go ahead and send it to your mom. :-) Deb

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