Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Road to Guilin: Wo dei kai wo de motoche chu Guilin

****** Disclaimer- If you have any propensity to worry about me or my safety I emplore you not to read the following description of my ride out to Guilin. Instead assume that I arrived at the head of a procession of gaily dressed penguins playing french horns astride a multi colored unicorn waving colored banners. It will give you much more pleasent thoughts.******

Oh Sleipnir, a lovely machine, not what I originally planned on but it is what luck presented to me and I am not one to turn down what fate puts in front of me. Usually assuming, and so far rightly so that is is the best course of action despite any plans I may have had to the contrary. I spent my first day with her in Xiangguang grooming, getting her ready for the long haul to Guilin. I was planning on making it there in one day staying for a few then heading out to Lijaing, taking my time getting out there. Escaping Xiangguang itself was a bit of a challenge. My plan had been to simply follow the compass, allow the needle to point me the way I needed to go. Guilin is north west so I will head that way. One thing a compass does not point to is what direction the road which actually allows you to pass through the enormous mountains that surround Xiangguang and fill all of Guangdong province. The last attachment I had was severed with a finality I could accept and so it was a very appropriate time to just start driving. Immediatly upon escaping the city. I killed a butterfly. It was crushed, splattered across my speeding face mask. Killed because of my desire to ride freely. I find myself completely at a loss for words to describe the feeling I received pulling off of the highway onto a smaller road. Coming around a bend to look out over a valley filled with small villages and rice paddies ringed all around by mountains which seemed to shoot up out of flat land because of an unquenchable desire to pierce the sky. They rose and fell with such suddeness that an indomintable will can be the only explanation. I stopped to take a pee here. The first of many beatiful bathroom sceneries. It was driving along this road that I also came to understand the danger that lies in having such captivating scenery coupled with chinese roads. Every few meters entire sections of road sometimes the entire road it appears had been subject to a localized and very violent earthquake. I quickly realized that had I infact purchased a sport bike as I had planned so I could wipe along the roads to travel quickly to my destinations, the only place i would have been going was the train station or the hospital.
Under the stars, breathing the night air. Fangshous lights so close. I turn. Where was that spot I saw. Where was that corner to tie my horse and pitch my tent. out of the way where none will see none will bother me. A bridge? Why these stone columns hung with banners. Here seems good. Hide her well. Dress her in leaves, mask her light. Hide myself as well. Every sound a concern. Creeping, was that a door. Stay low. Why so worried? It makes the game more fun. Every sound to wake me. Rise with dawn but not tired. I ride and ride from dawn till dusk. I tell myself not at night i will not go on once the sun is gone, yet still I ride. Where am I going, what is my destination. I didn't know then and I have forgotten now. Guilin I think, so far, why go there now. The road, so smooth and straight, gliding along yet now it is gone. half is missing, who has taken it, why wont they give it back. Ride on I must. The lack of food, the lack of sleep. My mind driven determined. Lights coming at me, so close. Thread the needle. Walk the tight rope. The lights keep coming. Dust, stones, where has the road gone? The lights keep coming, They don't touch me but still I feel everyone. Closer, closer it comes. Horn blaring, eyes, so bright, these ones different than the others. Closer, closer, bearing down. This time they have left no space for me. Off, off the edge, into the darkness. The wheels stop spinning. Who took the road and put it down here. "Mei wenti. Duo xie ni keyi zouba, duo xie. " I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to treat you wrong. I won't do this to you again. I know you're upset, let me get you to some place where you can rest. This is not where I can water you, this is not where we can stop. Too many, to fast, all screaming. Thank we will go on now until we find a spot to rest. Why are you limping, what have I done to hurt you. Just a little farther lights up ahead. Limping in. Barking, barking, why won't you stop? I mean you no harm, please let me be. Barking barking. Let me check you hooves, no stones here. what have I done, I did not mean to hurt you. How can I make you better? Turning, poking prodding cursing. Bending, bending is the key. Ready to go on we must travel. Gallop now. Black figures along the road. No fear, they never seem to worry. Stop to eat. Dan zhao fan. "Guilin zai nali? Nage fangbian. Duoxie." Mud and stone, this is not a road, this is not a thick red line on a map. Have i gone the wrong way, there were no turns, but there was also never a road to be following just a place with no trees. The ghost of a road to be dont drive there run on the rocks, splash in the mud. Bugs only come out at night in china. I know this because that is the only time i feel them hitting against my neck, or maybe they are just able to see me and move otu of the way during the day should i wear brighter colors when i ride at night.

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