Dan Washburn Arrived in Beijing

Dan Washburn finally arrived in Beijing after his first stage of around China trip. We met at a Hakka restaurant called Lao Hanzi.

He Lost Weight

When Dan show up at the door of the Fujian style restaurant, I hesitated to say hello to him. His face became slimmer after the long trip. He left Shanghai on July 1, 2004 and this is about the fiftieth day of his trip. He told me he did lost some weight. Well. To travel with limited budget is an effective way to lose weight. Wanner have a try?

The Trip

I am happy that Dan has completed the first part of his plan of visiting some remote areas in China. He has been to small villages of less than 4 thousands population and saw the poor along with the rich, the accident side and the modern side of China.

I bet Dan, as an American, started to learn the country more complete and thorough than many people who were born here. Dan mentioned his trip mate Jason, who was born in Shanghai. Jason went to several places with Dan in about one month. It is a nice experience for Jason since he learnt a lot outside the city. I encourage everyone who live in the city to go out to see what the country really look like. I was moved when I get back to the village and to western part of the country. I started to realize how different the lives in the country are.

Anti-American?

Dan talked about the experience he interacted with local people. “I was surprised that I never feel the Anti-American moods in any area of China, as I felt in other part of the world.”. It is true since for most people in China, they are more curious about people from outside, instead of “Anti-“. Japan is a special case though.

Dan Wants More Contacts

As Dan is moving to the northeast and to the west, he needs more contacts around China. As the “China PR Director”, as Dan has called me, I’d like to seek for help for Dan.

If you currently in any of the city/county in China where Dan has not visited, no matter how small the place is, (or how big), you can help Dan to learn more about China by being his contact in your city. Drop him an email so he may visit the place you are. You can find his contact information on his website.

8 Comments

  1. A restaurant called Lao Hanzi, what are the characters, I wonder. You see, this is yet another example where Pinyin does not convey Chinese words adquately, not even the complete pronunciation. (See http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20040807_why_i_dont_have_an_english_name.htm) Would anyone be able to find this place with only the Pinyin name? It being Hakka would be a useful clue but I doubt it can lead you far, unless this is famous or one of the only few Hakka restaurants.

  2. Oh, oh, oh…! Is he still there?? If you see each other again, think me with you for a minute, and please consider yourselves hugged!! And, take a picture!!!

  3. I learnt so much more about China through living in a village. (Panyazhai, Jiuzhaigou — see my triplog http://www.mytripjournal.com/jiuzhaigoufieldwork) Heaps of the things my Chinese friends did seemed less strange to me. Why do they always have a shower at 4pm instead of first thing in the morning or last thing at night? Because you always wash your hair during a warm time of day since you have to do it outside (which I was totally hopeless at). Why do they spit on the floor and throw seed shells on the floor? Because in the village the floor and the courtyard are treated like outdoors. Many of these actions transfer across to their everyday lives in New Zealand, and don’t make sense. But in the village, it’s so clear (even though this was a Tibetan not a Chinese village, it’s still new to me).

    Except I still haven’t got the hang of brushing my teeth before breakfast!

  4. Carroll, yes, he is in Beijing. I talked about you in our dinner and we both think Carroll is so nice. He talked about your donation and it was very kind of you. Dan will continue his trip this Friday. Also, I mentioned your name and your story on this board when I was interviewed by China Radio International and the radio program was broadcasted to all over China and overseas.

  5. dan is so cool that my college began to like him after I introduced his blog to her

  6. bigbro, it is 老汉字 at Sanlitun. Dan sent the Pinyin to me. I thought it was 老汉子 but later find it at a corner. Dan shows the door plate (#2 Sanlitun North Rd.) to three taxi drivers an non of them know where it is.

  7. Tofu, yes, Dan is cool. I like to talk with him and he is also serious about the trip and see the country from a professional journalist’s view. That is very educational for me.

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