Bits and pieces from China

June 21: Ever wonder who writes the instructions for your electronic devices? Check out these fire safety instructions on the door of a recent hotel.

“Please don’t worry if a fire is occurring. Our hotel have owned superior facilities to ensure your transmitted to safety. Please follow the direction route to the information corridor and the safeguards will take you out to the safe belts. Point profess your location.”

This door sign is accompanied by two ‘safeguards’ shown here.

Smoke mask and rope

We have really been welcomed by people everywhere.  I don’t know what I expected, but I did expect the Chinese to be more reserved, maybe even suspicious of us and our activity. I am coming away with a different opinion. They are very curious about our cars and us as Americans driving through their country. Ed was told by one young woman, traveling with her parents, that he is a good example for the older people in China. That life can still be an adventure.

We don’t see old cars in China. We were told by an American, Chuck Brown from Kernersville, NC who has lived in Beijing for the last 9 years, that cars have an “end of life” when you buy one.

Chuck and Ed

I forgot to ask him how long is the life of a car, but he did say busses have 10 years. From the trucks we’ve seen, I don’t think that law affect them but maybe it is just the overloading and long-hauls.

Everywhere we stop, including for gas, we have new friends wanting photos with us. It is never-ending, without common language, we smile, shake hands and use lots of gesturing.

Ed’s new friends

The message is clear, they are glad to have us here. The language is so different that it is even difficult to read the body language or voice inflection, but being pulled to the car for a photo is clear!

Today we elected not to tour Urumqi, and stayed behind to take off the oil-bath air cleaner and check it. I washed off the Gobi dust and dirt from the past two days while Ed managed the engine. Even in the depths of the hotel garage, we managed to collect various (hotel employees?) people watching and even holding the flashlight for Ed. Then it got more interesting. While having lunch-again in the hotel, we were approached by one of the young men who had been in the parking garage who asked in English if his girlfriend, a reporter for the Urumqi newspaper, could interview us.  His English was not good enough, so the hotel manager served as translator. We have no idea what the article really will say since there was a lot of conversation that did not get translated. So if anyone following the blog, reads Chinese, we’d be happy to have a translation of the article. The lovely young reporter gave us her card, and respecting the Chinese tradition of exchanging business cards(with two hands)  we gave her one with the photo of Stewball. Since her’s is in Chinese, we don’t even know if she really is a reporter! Picture taking followed, but I didn’t have my camera this time.

Tomorrow is a short run only 171 miles so we will not depart until 10:00 am. Tonight is a dinner with Uighur folk dancing. I am sure that will produce photos.



About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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5 Responses to Bits and pieces from China

  1. dan pierce says:

    The same folks who have brought you interesting translations for fire instructions and the like can also help you translate stuff as well go to and cut and past the article and you will be able to read it (though it will be kinda funny in some parts as it is only a program). I am convinced this is how the Chinese translate most of their instructions from. All the Chinese I meet (I live in a tourist trap) seem really nice and wanting to learn about our culture. And without fail are always drawn to my 66 vw like moths to a flame 🙂 Happy travels!!

  2. TBC says:

    My great aunt traveled often to China for medical exchanges, etc., and she always said she loved the Chinese people. My grandmother, who honeymooned in China back in the late teens, also really enjoyed the country and people.

    We envy you your chance to do it first hand.

    Hugs, as always, from sunny Toscana,

    TBC and Arnie

  3. rdsieber says:

    I, too, found many weird English statements on signs and above businesses when in SE Asia last year. They can be very, very funny!

    I wonder, however: is there an “end of life” plan for the humans (like with the cars) who are Chinese under current conditions? This, of course, would fly in the face of tradition.

  4. Anne Zartman says:

    FYI: The Telegraph, a UK newspaper, posts humorous and weird signs in its travel section. Perhaps you’d like to share this one?
    So enjoying traveling with you, albeit vicariously.

  5. Laurie Horn says:

    Stewball certainly looks none the worse for wear!

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