Given a choice between Uber and a bus, I’ll ride the bus.
Coffee Mug of the Month: Lone Star
Because deep down inside each and every American, there’s a little Texan.
Sometimes two or three.
Occasionally, people who know that I lived in China for two decades will ask me what I miss about the place now that I have been living in the US again for nine years.
I miss the people, of course, but I still keep in touch with a lot of them. I missed my in-laws very much, but over the last year, they have both passed away.
And I miss taking the train everywhere, especially High-Speed Rail, the G-trains.
That is almost enough to convince me to go back. But the idea of sitting through a thirty-day quarantine simply to deal with the compound challenges and red-tape that now enwrap domestic travel in China carries little appeal. Sadly, my next high-speed rail journey will either be Acela or EuroStar, and I don’t know when – or if – I will ever find myself on Harmony again.
But those were good times, and I want to tip the hat to David Feng and all of the wonderful people on China High-Speed Rail. Thank you all for helping me rediscover my love of rail travel.
I picked up this snarky little joy-cup at the Johnson Manned Spaceflight Center in Houston back in 2014, and it remains a favorite.
Mugology – Travel Companion
My wife bought this insulated steel travel mug one day when we were standing in line at the Pinnacle Plaza Starbucks in Beijing back in about 2001. The motives were purely mercenary, as Starbucks in China was offering to take ¥1 RMB off of the price of a coffee each time you brought your own cup.
Given how often I was going to Starbucks in Beijing, I’d take this with me each day. I started traveling with it so that I could get similar deals elsewhere in China, and then found they were even offering such incentives in other countries as well.
This mug, my first, went everywhere with me. It has been dropped, kicked, and bounced by me, by the occasional bumbling barista, and by the reliably gentle baggage handlers it encountered, and it shows the dings and dents you would expect. But it still holds coffee, still stands mostly straight on the table, and still travels with me.
The danger of traveling and exploring with a DSLR camera is the temptation to focus on capturing the images rather than focus on living the experiences.
I don’t want to live my life through a viewfinder.