D34: 南靖→云水谣 [Currently No pictures] - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

November 12, 2019

D34: 南靖→云水谣 [Currently No pictures]

You know how when you walk into a wall or something like that how you get a great big bump on your head like a goose egg? Well, when I went to bed last night, that's basically the condition my butt was in. And while it was a lot better this morning, it was hardly in a condition which one would describe as "good".

Now, if I was a sensible person, this would be a pretty good indicator that I should consider not biking today. Perhaps even making a go at another four or five thousand words of what's left on the Book Project. But their accounting and legal department is currently behind schedule on getting me certain contract related documents and a payment equivalent to a Rohloff and its shifter so, other than my being not real eager to reimmerse myself in academic Chinese, I'm not real eager to do anything but procrastinate until I get paid.

Since I'm not a sensible person and since it doesn't really hurt that much when I sit on the new saddle, I take a tramadol with breakfast. 

It's a Chinese prescribed narcotic so I'm reasonably sure it's extended release though the lack of information on the blister pack not only fails to let me know what dose I'm taking but also if it's a 12 hour or a 24. I'm not sure if China prefers extended release because it's one extra step that has to be gone through to make it recreational or if it's part of the general societal certainty that patients simply can't be trusted with following complicated instructions like "three times a day with water". 

The popularity of getting an IV drip for everything has its roots in this certainty. If the patient needs to come back to the clinic daily to be medicated, they not only are getting their medications correctly, they are also having their condition monitored. So, even if this has been warped and abused and gotten to the point that Health Departments have had to make proclamations limiting the conditions for which one can get a drip, it ultimately has a sensible reason behind it.

Tramadol is my least favorite painkiller. I get really weird dreams (or at least I remember having dreams like giving a eulogy for my friend Quentin after he was killed by flat earth separatists). I lose much of my ability to inherently realize I've overdone it or am tired. And, I still hurt; I just don't care that I hurt.

From the sun sensitivity of most prescription NSAIDs to the constipation and addiction factor with morphia based ones, there are plenty of side effects I could be having that are worse than Tramadol, but, so far, nothing that is cumulatively worse in a single medical-strength dose.

It's a main road sort of day, straight and wide and with lovely scenery that's no longer the slightest bit interesting because I've been suffused in lovely scenery for weeks at this point and main roads intentionally go out of their way to avoid sharp curves or getting too close to old buildings (unless, like that one building near Fuzhou, the road just pretends the building doesn't exist).

I stop at some temples, drink tea with a temple caretaker, eat an entire pomelo in one sitting, and get to go inside my first tulou.

I'm not sure what I was expecting of a local kind of architecture that is unique enough to get recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage item but I'm rather disappointed. The ones that have known construction dates aren't even all that old. It's basically just a cross between a castle and an apartment building, if the walls were rammed earth, and it was built sometime between 1850 and 1910.

In point of fact, rather than being a source of pride (look at our awesome local architecture), knowing what I know about China, I would expect them to be ashamed that this much of this region felt the need to fortify all their villages this recently; I mean, I'm glad that they aren't ashamed and they haven't knocked them down, but that's what I would expect.

After my first tulou that I go inside I start seeing more and more tulou. There's a tulou shaped modern building that was probably a toll gate, a tulou shaped hotel under construction, a tulou shaped spa, and also lots of the distinctive round walled squat structures that a rather unreliable but persistent rumor claims were mistaken in the 1960s for missile silos.

I have a bit of roadworks at the end of my day as the road in to where I'm going is being munged up by an under construction highway so they decided to widen it at the same time. This is probably how I miss getting charged to enter the town.

I try a few times to go looking for specific lodging with good prices and reviews on the map but after repeatedly getting lost in the dark, I go to one of the first places I see when I'm back on a road.

They want 120. I counter with the list price on the map (80) and pay that.

Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 2,070 km (1,285 miles)

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