Over the past ten months, I’ve travelled through seven or eight different countries or territories, depending on who’s counting. That means I’ve collected a few different currencies along the way. I’m currently in possession of six different currencies. The most I had at one time was seven and I’ll probably a drop a few more as I leave the mainland for Hong Kong in a few days. Having this many different currencies on me makes me kind of nervous. It’s not that I have a lot of money, but every time a someone suspected of illegal activity is arrested at the border, they always seem to be in posession of multiple currencies.
最近十个月我穿过了七，八 个国家或者区。其他人数可能算不一样。顺便我拿了各种各样的钱。现在我有六个不一样的钱。我最多的是七个。我离开大陆以后可能把有些换成 港币或者美元。我的钱不多不过拿各种各样的钱惹我紧张，因为看新闻的话，要是说的在边界发现了一个犯罪，他们都拿着各种各样的钱。
Today I took a day trip to Kaiping, about 140km west of Guangzhou. This is where a lot of overseas Chinese, who, involuntarily more often than voluntarily, left their homes to work (or be enslaved) overseas. Some of them became quite successful, and sent lots of money home. They built houses in their home villages for their families and to defend themselves against bandits. These towers have a peculiar blend of Chinese and western architecture due to the influence of what these people had seen while overseas.
今天我去了开平，从广 州需要往西边走140公里左右。很多在国外的华人都是这里的。一 般来说他们不是自己选择出国，是其他人被他们走过去。后来这些人当周有些是很成功的。他把挣的钱寄回国，给亲戚建很大房子，教碉楼。 他们把这些房子当成城堡，这样保护家人。这些碉楼混合西方式和中式的建筑。
In the morning I took the bus from Guangzhou to Kaiping, and then took the municipal buses around to the Li Gardens and Zili Village. In Zili I was able to walk through a house used in a recent Chinese blockbuster called Let the Bullets Fly. If you’ve seen the movie then you’ll recognize some of the pictures.
我早上坐了大巴去开 平，然后坐了公交车去立园和自力村。在自力村看了一个特别的碉楼。这个你可以在电影让 子弹飞里面看见。你肯能对那个“六哥“的墓石很熟悉。
从漓江我直接去了龙脊梯田。这个附近的梯田都是从元朝开始做的。据说这些的梯田是中国最漂亮 的。我在平安寨住了一个晚上。我觉得这个村子的名气奇怪，因为山上并不是平的。我第二天早上起的很早为了看日出，不过由于阴天看不到太阳。不 管早上的光对拍照片很不错。
Moving on from the Li River, I went to visit the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces. This a region of terraced fields that dates to the Yuan Dynasty and is considered one of the most impressive in China. I visited the hillside village of Pingan and stayed there for one night. I think “Pingan” translates to “flat and peaceful”. The peaceful part might be accurate, but it’s definitely not flat on a mountainside. I woke up early in the morning to see the sun rise. While it was too cloudy to see the sun, the light provided a great opportunity to take some great pictures.
我从上海飞去了广西桂林。 听说那边的自然风光是中国最美的之一。我先去了阳朔看漓江。我花了两天在漓江旁边骑自行车，还有在漓江山做船。而且我看了张艺模的“印象-刘三姐“。随着往南方走，我遇到的广东人越来越多。他们都很热情，给我他们的联系方式，要让我到 广州的时候跟他们联系。
Following my visit to Shanghai, I headed to Guilin, a city in the southwestern province of Guangxi and what is considered to be one of the areas of greatest natural beauty in China. I first visited the Li River where I spent two days riding bicycles and boats in and around the river. As I travel further south towards Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong I seem to be meeting more and more Cantonese people. They’re all very friendly and tell me to look them up when I get to Guangzhou.
After leaving Hangzhou I made a brief stop in Shanghai. This was primarily to visit with some people I know, as I’ve been to Shanghai before and most of what’s there doesn’t interest me too much. I spent some of my time there wandering with friends in Shanghai’s liongs. These are to Shanghai what the hutong is to Beijing, though they’re quite different. I don’t think the lilongs have the fengshui attributes of Beijing’s hutongs. They’re simply alleys laid out in a grid between main streets. They occupy the same space in the city as hutongs, and serve the same purpose (living, business, etc.), but have a different layout.
我离开杭州以后去了上海看 朋友。我上次来中国已经去了上海，而且我觉得有点儿无聊，所以我只是去了那边为了看朋友。我在上海的里弄逛 街跟朋友们一起逛街了一下。北京有胡同，上海有里弄。它们都是原来住和工作的地方，不过它们不一样。我觉得胡同跟风水有关系，好像里弄没 有什么风水。里弄的是格子的布局。
Some things are the same, no matter where you go in the world, no matter the language or culture. Escalators and moving sidewalks fall into this category.
Let’s get one thing straight: people movers are there to move people as fast as possible. These are machines which are meant to move people in potentially congested places, where time is of the essence. They’re used in airports, subway stations and train stations. In airports, there are thousands of people, going in every direction and covering long distances, sometimes with tight connections. You need to move them fast so they don’t miss their plane. Likewise in train stations. Subways are mass transit systems. In cities like Beijing they move hundreds of thousands of people per hour. You use escalators to get people in and out of the stations as fast as possible so that people don’t get delayed and trains don’t get backed up.
Here’s how they do it. They take a person’s walking speed, and they add to it by moving the surface (a staircase or sidewalk) on which you’re walking, so that your overall speed is faster than you could otherwise move on your own.
Let’s get another thing straight: people movers are not there so that you can be lazy. They’re not there so that you can stand around and do nothing while the floor or staircase magically moves under you. Escalators and moving sidewalks cannot achieve their goal of moving people faster if you are lazy. They need your help.
I think escalators and moving sidewalks are a brilliant idea, and their use in subway stations is particularly smart. But what I’ve learned through my travels is that nobody uses them correctly. The people mover is dead. It’s a great idea, but it’s impossible to get people to use it correctly, and as a result, I think the whole system winds up slowing down instead of speeding up. With people standing all over the place on the escalator or moving sidewalk, everyone is moving much slower than they would if they walked on a good old-fashioned non-moving surface. Those of us who do walk on the escalators are stymied by the others just standing around (nobody ever stands to one side, as they should), presumably to admire the lovely tiles on the wall of the subway tunnel. I say forget it. If people won’t use it correctly, then take them out and make people walk up the stairs themselves. The people mover is brilliant, but dead.
One more thing. If you do walk on the escalator, but then you stop at the end before stepping off, then you’re like the butterfly flapping it’s wings in Boston which causes a tornado in Texas. You force everyone walking behind you to slow down or stop and this has a ripple effect throughout the system. You are the reason for a train accident on the other side of the subway system. It’s true. It’s called Chaos Theory.