Lanzhou July 04
Up Zhongwei China
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No new photos this visit.


4-10 July 2004 

Hello again from Lanzhou,
Note: see the collection of 125 Lanzhou photos from my first visit back in March.

After that brief stop in tiny Wu Wei described in my last postcard I spent a restful nine days enjoying the $38 four star luxury of the Lanzhou Legend Hotel... and finishing my reading of the Thomas Hardy classic "Tess of the U'bervilles". I had grabbed it out of desperation for something in English to read. To my delight, it is a wonderful read. When I'd finished it I noticed a foreign language book store across the street from the hotel. Looking for another novel, imagine my chagrin to discover I've now read all the classics commonly available in Chinese bookstores! To my surprise a selection of Chinese imprint English language text books shelved next to the novels. One caught my eye: "Lovers of Wisdom. An Introduction to Philosophy with Integrated Readings" by Daniel Kolak, (another Californian). My past studies of philosophy, while extensive has never been systematic. Finally, I'll have a chance to see the whole development of human enlightenment in perspective. I'm excited by the prospect!   

Back in rushing Lanzhou, traffic once again threatened to provide me with a free ticket to eternity. No one obeys traffic laws. Police ignore everything but gross traffic disruptions. In a chicken-and-egg scenario drivers cross crowded pedestrian crosswalks daring anyone to remain in front of their onrushing vehicle, horns blaring aggressive warnings. Defiant pedestrians knowing motor traffic will not yield, creep ever closer to the invisible edge of the constant stream of vehicles until one brave soul steps out to interrupt the powered conveyances. Intersection stop lights with a traffic cop moderates the contest, but rarely brings order to the chaotic proceedings. On the highways traffic in both directions ignore lane separation lines and pass when oncoming traffic clearly will prevent the maneuver under normal driving etiquette. But, all drivers yield to a well developed sense of self preservation and cooperate by moving to the far edges of the shoulder, albeit at high speed and thus avoiding collisions time and again. 

Fred L Bellomy





No new photos this visit.



Reference photo: author
 August 2002

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