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Saturday, April 12, 2008

One year in China

Wo zai Zhongguo yi nian le

A year ago I arrived in Beijing were I was met by Shoshannah. After a couple of days in the capital we flew to Kunming and we lived here ever since (except for a two two-month-long vacations and a couple of other small ones...lol)! And I am still enjoying it over here.

However Shoshannah got accepted at Maastricht University and so I/we are moving back to the Netherlands in the summer. She can study, while I will need to get a job. Before we come to Holland we plan to visit Shos' family in the US first. The current plans are to take a train from Kunming to Guangzhou, a bus to Hong Kong, a plane to Vancouver (Canada), a train to Seattle (US), drive to San Francisco along the West Coast, drive through the middle to Memphis/Atlanta and up north to Chicago, fly to New York and fly home... Sounds like quite a trip :-) The picture below gives you an idea of what we are planning (in the US at least). If you click on the picture you can view the map in detail in Google Maps and it also allows you to zoom in/out and even change the route... I really love this application!!!
I really love the planning of this trip, but there is one thing that frustrates me now more than ever before: the pricing policies of airlines! I simply cannot understand why one-way tickets have to be so expensive. At some airlines it is cheaper to buy a return flight than a one-way flight on the same route... and when you contact them and ask for an explanation of this "policy" you get a standard copy-pasted answer that the prices on their website are correct and it has something to do with availability... yeah right..! Especially members of the Star Alliance seem to be pretty good in this little game. If someone knows how it works, please tell me because I am very interested!

Something completely different, the cycling trip to Fuxianhu was great. Took about 2,5 hours to get there and in particular the last part was spectacular. A 8km downhill ride!!! Overtaking cars and even reaching 81km/h at one point :-) After a big meal and a quick dip into the lake we decided that we should cycle back that same afternoon. Good idea, but to begin with we had to go up that same hill we just came down on... it was a hard climb but we made it and reached Kunming just after dark (the way back took an hour longer than the way there). All-in-all I enjoyed the 140km ride a lot.

So I guess I'll be seeing most of you "soon"!

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