D13: 大王店 → 南韩村 - A China Coddiwomple - CycleBlaze

June 13, 2022

D13: 大王店 → 南韩村

You'll pardon my skepticism, but no matter what the sign on the door says, I don't think they're open
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The combination of all the things that hurt from the unintentionally self-inflicted injuries acquired during the process of actually being angry¹ during the hostile takeover of a hotel room and the knowledge that there's another small town nearby where I stayed only four years ago makes me decide on a short day.

I then negate the whole process of "taking it easy" by finding out from the woman behind the counter² at my breakfast restaurant³ that tourist sites in Hebei (or at least this part of Hebei) are open to anyone with a green code and there's those Han Dynasty Tombs in Mancheng that I tried to visit on the 2018 Tour and couldn't because there wasn't enough time to go up the cable car and back down and still be out the exit while the Tourist Center staff (who had let me park inside their building) were still at work.

Late 90s, early 2000s Birth Control Policy propaganda
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This particular young girl in graduation clothing dates it to the early 00s
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Little did I know, on the grounds of the Tombs being one of those places where everything interesting has been removed to a museum in Beijing, but—if I had managed to visit them last time—the currently closed local folk temple I'd visited before getting to the cable car would have ended up being the highlight.

I don't know if it's the heat, my current lack of practice at walking, the bumps and bruises from the preceding night, or the poor night's sleep those bumps had resulted in but my back spends a large amount of the walk complaining and I spend nearly as much time sitting on benches as I do walking between thoroughly uninteresting points of interest.

None of these pieces of crockery is in bad enough shape to be 2,000 years old
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The main burial chamber was less obviously not original items than most of the rest of the Tombs
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I believe the horse statues were my highlight
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I'm particularly bummed by the temple at the top being shut as it was a nasty bit of steepness to get up to and there was no indication prior to heading there that it had been closed for more than half a year. At least the lower temple, the one I'd visited four years ago, had a great big sign at the turnoff point telling you it was closed for renovations.

Something about being the only passenger on the Cable Car on the way down, about them needing to turn it on for me, makes the ride that much more discomfiting. Ordinarily, I like cable cars. I like the view. I like the rush to get on and the way you have to not fall down when getting off. I even like the gentle sway you get with gusts of wind. But, being in a situation where there are so few people taking the cable car that they try to convince me I should use one of the other methods of going down the mountain⁴ so that they don't need to turn it back on, it makes the monkey brain start asking questions that logic can't answer.

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The Tourist Center being closed on account of hardly any tourists when people still aren't leaving Beijing and Shanghai⁵ and no one actually knowing that Sites are open again means that I left my bike with the security guard who is mechanically enough inclined during the two hours I was gone to realize it's an internal gear hub rather than a e-bike and to want to ask me questions.

That was nice.

Nice was also the motorcycle club that waved me down to come sit with them 20 minutes later and who subsequently got me a new bolt to replace the one my Front Rack lost just this morning.

The hike up to the closed temple is ameliorated by my not pushing a bicycle at the time
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I wish you could smell the harvest
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Another bed wetting prevention advertisement
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Then I'm in Nanhancun and I've found the hotel and I've found people who are staying in the hotel. I just can't find the owners or any way to contact them.

I do eventually find a phone number, call, and get told "I'm on my way back soon" which leads to my going out to dinner maybe an hour after the rain—that started twenty minutes after my arrival—stops. He then gives me the "no rooms" malarkey because wouldn't it just be so much easier if I left and registering me was someone else's problem? 

In a previous era, when people didn't have plumbed bathrooms in their homes, 6 of the rooms on my wing of the building were a bathhouse
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It's been a while since they've been used
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I'm particularly intrigued by the missing tubs
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But, when I push that it might be easier for him without being at all easier for me, and swearing all the time that he has no recollection of my previously staying here but the picture of his wife in front of the hotel must mean something, he concedes to sell me a room while also refusing to let me register or even take photos of my Form because registering me potentially could be a pain in the ass and if there's no proof that I stayed, he can't get in trouble for not registering me.

I have a bed. It has a sprung mattress with a memory foam topper. There is a ceiling fan. I choose not to argue with this logic.

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In checking the back of the TV for dust, I decided to write Sarah's name in the dust
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¹ One of the laundry list of reasons that I jump straight into yelling is because it means full control over every aspect of acting like a crazy bitch. Actually waiting until I lose my temper, on the other hand, that's when I twist ankles or misjudge the width of doorways.

² The great thing about having footnotes which exist outside the narrative is how they give me a place to mention that, while we were talking, she was cleaning her ears with a toothpick.

Genital Health Knowledge
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Tips for having Excellent Children
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Can somebody please tell me what the hell is going on in this picture?
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³ A Wallace Fried Chicken fast food place because I was feeling very lazy the night before and everything in Dawangdian being buy one get one free seemed a brilliant opportunity to have another meal of mostly protein and fat.

⁴ Such as a Chair Slide, for which "having brakes" is a Major Feature that keeps being mentioned

⁵ Even with a massive (by zero Covid policy standards) new outbreak in Beijing linked to the Heaven Supermarket Bar, there's nothing legally stopping people from leaving. Just that most people don't want to risk the hassle of getting permission from employers or dealing with a star on their Travel Code.

The building itself is a fairly ordinary one from the era
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Putting the double happiness symbol in the tilework, however, that's cute
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Explosives' Storage Depot this way
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Today's ride: 38 km (24 miles)
Total: 777 km (483 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 2
Keith Adams"The great thing about having footnotes" ...

Which provides the opening and opportunity I've been looking for, to ask how you're able to create the superscripts. They aren't supported by the text formatting options provided in the editor, as far as i've been able to tell, yet it's clearly possible.

That and, for Super Extra Bonus Points in this round, can you do strikethrough too? If so, how?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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3 weeks ago
Marian RosenbergTo Keith AdamsThere are two ways to do superscript. One is a positioning thing that isn't allowed. The other one is Unicode. In this case, since I'm typing on my phone I just long press on 1 and choose from options such as ½, ⅓, ¼, and ¹.

As for strikethrough, look for "strikethrough text generator" which produces an ugly but usable strikethrough.
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3 weeks ago