Beijing Subway

What’s it like to work or volunteer for the Beijing Subway? A friend of my friend finds out.

Kudos to this brilliant expat who worked so hard to show us this side of city life.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things People Drive

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A Cheating Cabbie – Eighty yuan!

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Car parked off Hwy 14, Madrid, NM

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In Lombok, Indonesia

 

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that depict things people drive (or ride, fly, etc).

If you want to see more fun photos, click here.

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Sepia Saturday

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This week’s prompt inspired me to look for images of strange inventions. I happen to be rewind a book called TheWonderful Future that Never Was, which is full of cool, quirky devices. (I’ll review that book, when I finish it.)

These wacky inventions do have purpose and whimsy, but when they were first made, I assume the inventor was serious.

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Source: Nationaal Archief at the Hague

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Popular Science Monthly (via Internet Archive)

I guess roller blades won out.

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Radio hat, Nationaal Archief

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Rubber Boat Boots from National Archief

Sepia Saturday

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I think bicycles are one of the most pleasant forms of transportation and exercise.

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Illustration from “Wheels and Cycling,” 1888

I like the illustration above as a work of art.

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Palace Emporium, New South Wales, 1899

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William Wheatley Collection, n.d.

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Motobike that turns into a motosled! 1902

My favorite that I found on Flickr Commons is this bike that you can turn into a sled. Talk about ingenuity.

To see more interpretations of this week’s them, click here.

From Lijiang

For years I’ve wanted to visit Southwest China and Lijiang in particular, but flights here were always so pricey. I finally figured it’s cheaper to fly to Kunming and then take a bus to Lijiang so I could see its UNESCO World Heritage Ancient Town.

N.B. There are no fast trains to Lijiang and the slow trains aren’t much faster than the bus. I wager my bus was cleaner than the train.

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The bus station was a bit confusing, but once you get past the noise and construction, getting a ticket is just a matter of showing the clerk the name of your destination in your guidebook, showing your passport and paying. I left from Kunming and the ticket was 217 rob ($32). A friend had taken the bus and suggested it was a pleasant journey as you get to see a lot of mountains, rice terraces and rural homes along the way. That was true, but my bus attendant made sure we sit in our assigned seats. Till I was on the half empty bus I had no idea there were assigned seats. So I was on the aisle the whole way. I could glimpse the scenery, but it’s not a great view. I did get a lot of reading done.

Since I’d taken a photo of the address of my hotel, I thought I it would be easy to get a taxi there. I showed two drivers the enlarged Chinese address and they refused me. The number I had for the hotel didn’t work.

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A kind old man with an electric cart wanted to help. I figured he’d has as much trouble as the other two. So I just took out my Lonely Planet and pointed to an address of a hostel near my hotel. I know that the Hostel International staff tend to speak English well. Once there I could walk or get a short taxi ride to the hotel. That plan worked. It took longer and I was tired, but it worked.

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Today I’ve spent most of my time exploring Lijiang’s Ancient Town. It’s full of shops, inns, cafés and craft shops. As is often the case most of the shops sell the same goods. I don’t think you’d make much money selling tea, drums, silver or traditional scarves here. The scarves and tea seem good quality, but I’m not in need of either.

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Sepia Saturday

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From LOC, Flickr Commons. Date: between 1865 – 1870

The prompt for this month is “Travel or Transport,” which provides loads of inspiration. My favorite is the image above as it’s so whimsical.

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LOC, Flickr Commons. Doesn’t this beckon you still?

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I’ve never traveled this way. Would you like to try? (LOC, Flickr Commons.)

Sepia Saturday

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This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt featured buses and transportation as a theme. If you think about it, it’s amazing all the various conveyances used to help us get around. Here’s a few I found on Flickr Commons.

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Washington State, woman driver, no date

Traffic, London 1927, London Transport Museum

Traffic, London 1927, London Transport Museum

from Florida Memory, 1922

from Florida Memory, 1922