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I am still a little confounded how easy it is to get on a plane and wake up in Beijing. And how familiar it is at this point. The smell. The noise. The air.
I was all excited about taking a picture outside of our hostel courtyard of what I thought was a very huge moon. The young lady at the hostel pointed out that it was the sun. The pollution here is so thick, you can stare directly at the sun for an extended period of time. I was asked if she was sure,and she said, “yes, yes, is sun. Moon is not so red.” There you go.
So far I can’t log into my e-mail,and of course, facebook is banned. I know there are work arounds, but that’s not what I plan on spending my day doing. Pablo and I took a long jaunt around the city today, and get on a 28 hour train north the day after tomorrow.
Attempting to upoad some pics, but I’m not counting on this being successful. Yep, no way. The internet at this hostel may as well be brought to us on the back of the monolithic tortoises at the confusion temple.
Last weekend I took a little jaunt into the White Mountains on the Maine Side. Straight up 113 is such a beautiful drive. The Speckled Mt. trail was great, and very damp. So here are some mushroom adventures.
I have a bad habit of bringing twice as many books with me as I’ll ever be able to read. Weekend trip to Vermont, where I’m driving two hours everyday and playing one or two gigs, so I don’t have to read anyway – five books. Backpacking through China and Mongolia – a constant rotation of four books (although I did read everything I brought and picked up along the way and left it where I finished it).
Tonight I need to take a break from reading as we’re mixing the last song coming out on my new (and fourth) record. Unfortunately, I don’t have samples from this record to share yet, but I did release a side-project with the cello player I work a couple of months ago.
So, I brought three books with me to the studio. I’ve just started peeking at Green Oranges on Lion Mountain, about a doctor’s year in Sierra Leone. Keeps me traveling to the different parts of the world.
1. What are you reading right now? Green Oranges on Lion Mountain
2. How many books have you read so far? 2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Probably the one I’m reading now. That was high on the list of things I wanted to get read.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? I did have to give away an overnight shift for work. I’m probably still going to go in for a few hours though. Late at night I can usually get reading done between calls, and it will help me to not just go to bed.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Yeah, I have had to do some packing today, and now I’m in the studio, but I knew I was just going to have to read in between doing stuff.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I wish I had more time to check out and comment on other folks’s blogs.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope, but I was one of the lucky ones to have an 8am start time, so it’s just a normal day so far.
Although I kept out a selection of books to chose from for the read-a-thon, this is what my shelf actually looks like right now:
This has turned out to be a bad time to try to move in Portland, ME. We had two months notice that our landlady is selling the house, and didn’t find a place to stay until this week (one week before move out). And that place won’t be available until June 1st. Luckily, a friend and coworker had a small apartment that he owns open up. We’ll be cramped for the month of May, but the house we’re moving to is a dream.
Check out other folks shelves at the “Shelfie” post: http://www.thebookmonsters.com/deweys-readathon-shelfie/
I finished Karma Cola, a witty and odd collection of characters that sarcastically personify the clash of east and west in India.
Pages read total: 361
Food must be found; books must be read. I headed out to Haggarty’s a Brit-Indie take-away joint that has notoriously long wait times for a place that is take-out only. I managed to read 33 pages while waiting for my chicken jalfrezi.
I’m a big fan of Gita Mehta, and her wry sense of humor regarding Indian culture and the influx of western people living there.
“The were the Port Out gentry, who struggled for one hundred years to impress upon us that the most noble muscle in the human body is the sphincter, which must be kept tightly clenched at all times. By the time they returned Starboard Home, a whole sleepy continent had been trussed up in the great Victorian Straightjacket.”
This book focuses on the giant industry that has arisen around ‘Gurus’ and people traveling to India to find enlightenment of some kind. I haven’t traveled to India, but I did live outside of Kathmandu, Nepal for a while, and many of the foreign folks I met there said they would come to Nepal to get away from the hustle and crush of India.
Pages read: 203
Page in current book: 35
I fell asleep quite a few time while reading this, and also had to pack up a few things as I have a giant move impending next weekend.
Pages read: 298
Colin Thubron is a classic choice for the first book in a travel inspired read-a-thon. This one is short, and the only fiction I’ve ever seen by him. It makes sense though, all those characters he’s met and observed in his life that can’t be written about in the journalistic non-fiction format in the way they can be characterized in fiction. To The Last City is the tale of a small group of people journeying to less-visited Incan ruins. A Belgian and his French wife who is half his age, an older British couple whose resentment of each other fills the air, a mis-guided and confused aspiring priest, and the doubtful guide whose job it is to keep all these folks safe and happy.
This is a really good book, but here is quote that really stuck out so far:
” The Englishman lay in his sleeping bag listening to the quick, regular breathing of his wife.
In the faint light, he could see she had placed her boots between them, with her anorak and a water bottle. “
And finally getting around, four hours late, to the introductory questions:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland, ME, USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Red Dust, I think. Maybe Grass Roof, Tin Roof.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I’m not nearly that prepared.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! A lapsed traveler, due mostly to my drive to be a musician which keeps me tied to where I’m playing, recording, and also perpetually broke.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I was so excited to realize I didn’t have a gig booked on a Saturday night so that I could participate! Although I do have to go to the studio, and also to work at some point during the 24 hours.
Pages read: 66
Page in current book: 67
Hour six update: Book finished, 168 pages read. Heading out to get some Indian food….
I’m getting a usual late start here. I’m drinking milk and contemplating the orange that has been banging around my purse in anticipation.
My plan for this read-a-thon was to tackle a small mountain of short travel books. This used to be a travel blog, and I haven’t been contributed to it much since I’ve been slow on the traveling. The traveling hasn’t really stopped. And Portland, ME is one of the most interesting places in the world to be based out of (and I don’t say that because I’m from here, I’m a very reluctant Portlander). I’m not really sure why I’m not writing more. So here’s the pile ‘o books. And I swear I’m getting started.
Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon: http://24hourreadathon.com/
Pages read: 0
Disappointment that wordpress has changed so drastically and for the worse since I last used it: high