Day 649 – CHINA (XINJIANG): From 45km to Jinghe to Jinghe


Today’s distance / ???????: about 45km
Average speed / ????: Dunno…don’t care
Time on skateboard / ????: Dunno…don’t care
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: Dunno…don’t care
Ascent / ??: Dunno…don’t care
Descent / ??: Dunno…don’t care
End-of-day GPS coordinates: Dunno…don’t care

Just let me sink into a pit or dispair right now. Oh, hang on, I have.

I have a 39 degree fever. I haven’t eaten since breakfast. At least I am in a hotel.

So I awake this morning with a sore throat. Think nothing of it, I tell myself.

I skate into a town and have a tofu soup kind of thing for breakfast. I am irritable. Dumb Chinese. Get away from me…get away from my skateboard…stop staring!

Typical express-way-side stall in Xinjiang Province, China

I take this photo, and a person approaches me all smiles and friendly. I couldn’t care less and tell him to sod off, and I go my way…

I get to Jinghe, and I am aching. My whole body. I can hardly push the board. I curse the trailer and longboard idea. Too heavy. Too hard. Dumb idea.

First stop, an internet cafe. I spend about 10 minutes there, and decide that I need to get rest. Rest is more important than communication, I decide.

I go to nearby hotel. The cleaning lady shows me a couple of rooms. 50RMB (US$8) for my own room with ensuite. I accept. I need rest. She goes and gets the manager. Manager says “You cannot stay here.”

Another manager, and a random stranger, let’s call him DumbGuyWhoStoleMyMoney (or DGWSMM for short) arrive at the reception and start talking to me. I am confused, tired, dirty, and just want to sleep.

I ask if there is another hotel nearby. Mr. DGWSMM volunteers to take me to another hotel down the street. I accept. Nice guy, or so I thought.

Mr. DGWSMM took me a few meters down the road to another hotel. He tells me not to speak. He will do the talking, he tells me. I sort of understand. I’m not 100% sure why I should not talk. I figure that I might not actually be allowed to stay at this hotel either, but I also figure that I need sleep. I stay quiet.

Mr. DGWSMM talks with the lady of the hotel. She looks suspiciously at me out of the corner of her eye. She begrudgingly shows Mr. DGWSMM and I a room. 30RMB a night is the rate. Done, I indicated.

The woman leaves the room and Mr. DGWSMM and I sit on the edge of the bed. He explains to me that he needs my passport and 150RMB to take to the woman at the reception. I am tired. I give him my passport and the money…oops, I don’t have enough money in my daily wallet for the payment. I reach into my luggage and pull out my main document case and dip into my envelope with my main stash of cash. I pull out a 100RMB note and hand it to Mr. DGWSMM. Mr. DGWSMM leaves with the money and my passport. I let him take care of it. He is a nice guy. He is helping me.

Mr. DGWSMM arrives back to the room 5 minutes later. I tell him I need a shower. There are no showers in this hotel. Kind and helpful Mr. DGWSMM tells me to stand up. He will take me to a public shower place. As we leave my room, I ask for a key to my room. Mr. DGWSMM says later we will get the key. I am confused, but I have been traveling long enough that sometimes you have to be OK with being confused. Go with the flow. I go with the flow. I get into a taxi with Mr. DGWSMM and we drive 3 minutes to the public shower place.

Arriving at the public shower/bathing place, Mr. DGWSMM arranges with the owner all I need to take a shower. I head for the shower. Mr. DGWSMM says he will be back at 12 noon to pick me up.

Half way though my shower, at 11:50am, Mr. DGWSMM arrives back at the shower place with my room key. He bangs on the door of the shower, I open it, he hands me the key. I think nothing of it.

When I finish my shower, Mr. DGWSMM is gone. I don’t care. I only care about sleep right now. Sleeeeeep. I wander back to my hotel. Crash on my bed. Sleep. Check temperature. 37.5 degrees. Sleep. Check temperature again 38.8 degrees. Oh crap. Literally. Diahorrea. Crap. Still 38.8 degrees. I sleep. Wake up at 6am the next morning….

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