October 10, 2000 Hiroshima, Japan
October 10, 2000 (#42)
Peace Memorial Park
The sun is out, it's a lovely day - but our Odyssey tour bus is subdued & introspective after a two-hour stop at this site, which became a hellish "ground zero" 55 years ago...
Tour bus? Tour bus?!
Odyssey management spurned Japan Air Lines and chartered a MAS747-300 for airlift from Australia. Alas, Malaysian Air Systems was blocked by Japanese Aviation Authorities from shipping our bikes! Ah-so: We are bike-less and must bus thru Japan.
October 15, 2000 Hong Kong
October 15, 2000 (#42 [43 really])
Hong Kong China S.A.R
(Special Administrative Region)
Odyssey 2000 riders & staff are staying at the "Panda" hotel in Tsuen Wan. At our dinner banquet we were served a huge steamed fish, garnished with green onion & bather in light soy sauce & oil; it was delicious!
- And the top half was quickly devoured. Now, to get at the remainder, the fish has to be flipped over; but which way - sideways (easy) or head-over-tail? I advised the table to flip the fish head-over-tail, because (of the superstition that) doing the easy sideways flip will curse & cause our fishing boat to flip over & capsize! SPLASH! - Arnold
October 29, 2000 Nanning, Guangxi, China
October 29, 2000 (#43 [44 really])
Nanning, Guangxi, China
From Hong Kong, to avoid congestion & traffic of Canton, we headed up the Pearl River by boat, landing in Zhaoquing, then catching buses to Wuzhou. Biking in rural areas have been great, the people friendly & drivers courteous...the scenery at the "world famous" Longi Rice Terraces breath-taking.
However, for me the unforgetable memory is a small dog barking inside a cloth bag, tied to a bicycle. (They eat them here.) Oh well :-( Arnold
October 30, 2000 Hanoi, Vietnam
October 30, 2000 (#44 [45 really])
"Uncle Ho" is venerated, and there is an impressive grand mauseoleum downtown. I approached that edifice today - camera clicking - but was sternly turned away; it's closed to the public, because his
remainsentity has been sent to Moscow for refurbishing. The Vietnamese have also preserved the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison where captured American pilots were held during that war. In the 25 years since, healing and forgiveness are evident. - Arnold November 19, 2000 Terengganu, Malaysia
November 19, 2000 (#47) (?) Total Kilometers 25,494
Our gracious hosts at Sutra Beach Resort provided complimentary i.e. "free" batiks (sarongs) to everyone, and I wore mine to dinner, then showed it off by dancing in the finale of (!) the after-dinner show, of traditional ethnic Malay music.
It's monsoon season here drenching rain, then hot sun, followed by deluge again. At kilometer 49 toward Cherang on yesterday's ride, climbing the high bridge at mid-span I was surprised by sand bags, soldiers w/ machine guns monitoring traffic. What's up? Whatever the political situation - riots? smugglers? (I don't know.) ... It's intense! - Arn
December 5, 2000 Singapore
December 5, 2000 (#48) Total Trip Kilometers 26,150. [arrow to period]
The American Public (me too!) took notice of this tiny island-city-state with the saga of American teenager Michael Fay, who got CANED for vandalizing a car a few years ago. That hard-line against crime & littering, etc., seems to be working o.k. here - this is perhaps the safest, cleanest burg I've seen (next to Mercer Island)!
AIEEE... Odyssey 2000 has burned up its cash, and requested another $3000 to go on to New Zealand.
No money, [sad face]
I'm O-U-T out! AC