Cross China Road Trip 11: Southern Silk Road, Part 01. High Anxiety.

Kashgar. So I’m lying on the bed at the Super 8 three star hotel when it suddenly dawns on me that it’s maybe a good idea to take a look at the next phase of the journey. A wave of anxiety descends while spreading the map open across the floor as this is something that should have been addressed ages ago.

I’m taken aback at how much distance is still remaining. It’s a massive space hugging the whole bottom of the Taklamakan Desert, then south right through the Qinghai Province and across three more provinces to Beijing! What is it? It’s well over three thousand more miles. AAAAAAGH!  I’d forgotten that Kashgar is only the halfway point and that the hardest part of the trip still remains.

There are a number of factors that cause me to fall back onto the bed star-fished while trying to avoid having a coronary. These are

  • The chilling words of Mr Li, the owner of the Land Cruiser for one “Out there we cannot help you!” Due to racial tensions in the area, Han Chinese firmly believe that it’s dangerous and therefore a definite no-go zone. It’s also too far away for him to sort any kind of break down service.
  • When it comes to petrol stations Maps.me just registers a vast blank after the last major city of Hotan and the Cruiser is as hungry as it gets. As far as the GPS goes, there’s nothing out there.
  • On top of this, over the weeks the jeep developed a number of ailments that could easily turn into something worse, especially the front left shock absorber which is leaking.
  • I am sick and tired of getting into arguments every time I have to go to a petrol station and this three times daily exercise of torment has become more than wearing. Throughout Xinjiang, most gas stations are surrounded by barbed wire, have a barrier and you need to swipe your Chinese ID card two times, once outside and then before you fill up. Passengers have to wait outside the perimeter and you can get your vehicle searched.

Being that I am a foreigner, this obviously means I have no ID card (shen fen zheng). The normal response is for staff to shake their heads, shout something negative and wave me on. If it’s a female petrol attendant then they’ll squawk and flap like chickens as if some major problem is going down. I then refuse to move the jeep out of the way thus holding up the queue. At times I’ll remove the keys until someone uses their own card to swipe me in. I mean without gas where the hell can I go anyway right? So far the police have been the most helpful, even lending me their cards until I’m done.

  • Police checkpoints. Well enough said already about this. Normally between two and four a day. Some fast and some slow. Never anything negative. Either way, the combination of this and petrol stations is now a daily way of life. Blaaagh!
  • I’m exhausted beyond belief and driving for 8-12 hours a day is starting to make me a bit hmmm cranky to say the least.

Despite enough Ibuprofen and Propranolol to pacify a blue whale, the night before is still a restless one as my subconscious conjures various horror stories and nightmare scenarios of what may happen. 

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102 replies

  1. Really interesting again , but like the previous, definitely one of those cases where you read about someone else’s experiences rather than do it yourself. Interesting to read about the realities of travelling there as well as the places you visited.

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    • Yey Glenys > How are you doing this weekend? I’m just going to check out your last messages. Yes the South Silk Road is definitely one of those places that fills you with fear. There’s just nothing there

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      • Weekend is OK but we have to put our clocks back an hour tonight. I am trying to stay up an hour later than usual but I don’t know whether that will stop me waking up too early tomorrow and I am pretty bleary now. Jetlagged I suppose. Take your time with the messages- though you must have a fairly packed schedule doing your writing as well as teaching. Have a good weekend.

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      • Its hard to keep up Glenys but in my spare time I meditate two times a day and its like supercharging yourself. It really. There’s a tonne of stuff to do but its great feeling on top of everything. Check out T.M. Meditation. I’ve been doing it on and off for years. If you have a centre where you are I’d deffo go and check it out. >> Re time >> we dont do that in China. No need for it. Drives me crazy when I’m back in the UK

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  2. Oh yes Xinjiang appears still to be under some form of lock down…so yes we can understand. When mel was in Kashgar 12 years back, they were escorted all the time. Not allowed to drive your own!

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  3. Looking forward to your next post Andy – and I hope the anxiety abates (being an adventurer, you have the need to push yourself into situations beyond the ordinary – but worth it in the end I think).

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    • Hey there Christine. Yes well in this case there wasn’t much choice in the matter. One way all the way and that’s it. Thanks for dropping by mate. Hope you are well 🙂

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    • LOL > Hey there Robert > Hired a Land Cruiser and spent 2 months driving across China > This is the beginning of the second phase along the Southern Silk Road. How’s it going these days Robert?

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      • It’s going good, Andy. Still working on the new job (Software Designer and Developer) and that Masters in Creative Writing, so pretty busy. Not doing as much travelling as you, though! 🙂

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      • How long on the masters Robert and any idea where you might go with it? Travelling > well it comes and goes. Once you burn out that travel itch then you wait a few years until the next time I guess.

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      • The masters is a 2 year part time course and I’m just coming up to the last assignment on the first year. It’s just really a way to improve my writing at the moment so that when I get around to releasing my novels etc. I can be happy that they are the best that they can be. I don’t have any plans to get a job in the area yet, although that will come in due time and the masters will be useful then.
        So are you actually travelling now, Andy, or writing about the travelling that you have already done?

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      • Hiya Robert > No my travelling was done last year so I’m back to work as usual and slowly posting. I did have a mad idea that I would be able to post as I went along including creating YouTube posts. In the end nothing worked and I gave in after a few thousand miles. It was so distracting from the actual trip. At one pint I lost thousands of miles of video footage and just let it all go from then on. Anyway, everything is about catching up, trying to other projects at the same time. The Masters sounds amazing. Can you feel yourself improving?

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      • Ah, got you. So this is all in retrospect. You’re doing a good job of it then. It has all the immediacy of things that are happening to you at the time. Nice writing.
        The masters? Yeah, it’s amazing and it’s sobering at the same time. As you know, I have rather an eccentric style and a wide range of (also eccentric) interests. My tutor, however, is more conventional. So it feels like I’m being trained into the mainstream. Which is both good and bad I suppose. I feel like I’m still finding my compass in terms of what I want to write about and which genre to use and so being forced/guided down one path feels constricting. After all, I’ve only been writing since 2013 – why should I set myself in stone so soon?
        But yes, I say all this, but I am definitely improving, both in terms of technique and conventionality.
        How did you learn how to write, Andy?

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      • Hell yeh. For me the whole point of writing is that we can remove ourselves from convention and do our own thing. I guess many people aim for a market and go for cash and recognition. Of course I wouldn’t complain about that but its far from the top of my list. Me: I never learnt. It just kind of happened. I always thought what I wasnt blog material so I mailed it to people. I actually started to get feedback from e-mails saying I should write for real so I put the whole lot between pages and created Just Turn Left at the Mountain plus a bunch of text books. I’m now concentrating on txt book no 3,689 lol and story boarding my fictional series.

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      • What?
        What’s a ‘txt book’?
        How do I do that?
        You have a proper book on the shelves don’t you. I need get my a**e into gear and get hold of a copy. Does it come in paper?

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      • Ha ha > Hiya Robert. Sorry not to get back to you sooner. 12 hr shifts are a killer plus the inevitable winter > summer virus due to the sudden temp change. There isnt mush of a spring or autumn here > oh and things are getting pretty sporty a few miles away from where I am. >> I’ve done a few text books (txt) and one travel book. All in paper and Kindle both. Find links on my main menu at the very top of my blog next to my ‘about’. The travel book has always needed a professional edit and I’m slowly saving up. I was quoted $2000 for the Rolls Royce Corniche of all edits. I’ll get there one day

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      • Not got around to looking for the text books yet, but I do have a brand new, shiny copy of Turn Left watching me from the comfort of my desk. It keeps saying ‘read me, read me’ and I keep saying ‘but you have so very, very many words!’ to which it says ‘but they are very interesting words – you will love me!’ to which I have no answer. Soon. Very soon. 🙂
        Sorry to hear about the virus. What’s that about sport?

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      • Heeeey Robert > Well how about that or what. This is so one of those things that completely makes my day. Yes I’ve been told by an editor recently thats its too big but actually you can motor through it like no other book. Its a shame I cant somehow get that across to anyone browsing it online. Still bollocks to it. It is what it is. Virus has gone > yes mate. Hope you enjoy it. Hope you enjoy it.

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      • Well that’s made me more relaxed about cracking the spine. Nothing like a book that you can just motor through. 🙂
        I don’t hold with those books that you have to read with a dictionary to hand. Daniel Dennett can go suck my big, fat, hairy cocker spaniel!
        Good to know the virus went and that you’re up and running about. 🙂

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      • Hiya Robert . Yes well it was certainly a learning curve for me in a big way. Cant wait to apply it to fiction. Target audience is the biggest consideration I reckon. I want anyone to be able to pick up my book and enjoy it. Not just ‘readers’. I know a number of people who don’t read much but smashed it in a couple of days.

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      • I read loads but I would find it impossible to read in a couple of days – there’s just so much going on.
        If’n I were you, which I’m not, I would split the book into at least 2 parts (from the look of the maps, part of this is going to be in Mongolia), increase the font a little, reduce the lines on each page and get twice as many sales. Like I say, I read absolutely loads and to open a book like this, with so dense a text is really daunting. Now that I’ve started reading, I’m really into it, and actually find it difficult to put down, but, like I say – it needs to be less daunting to begin with. I don’t know how much of your material is or isn’t in this book, but if you have more, you need to get it published as soon as you can, mate – this is gold!

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      • Wow thanks Robert. I did recently contact a professional editor who said I should streamline it down. I guess the intro could be shaved down and I never really thought it was too big until now. There are zillions of big books around all over the place so what the heck. My problem is I’m burning up to start writing my fictional series and I’m also 25 chapters into my next TEFL book. Phew >>> where is all the time? AAAGH LOL. Still any writing is good. Just really glad your enjoying it mate. Have you got to the escape chapter?

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      • I’m in the Cambodia chapter at the moment, so, no – no sign of you escaping yet. 🙂 Seems weird to be reading about you and then talking to you.
        Maybe it’s just me that thinks it’s a big book. Certainly so if no-one else mentioned it. Thing is, it’s certainly value for money – I’m just overawed and slightly intimidated by it.
        Your writing style is perfectly suited to fiction. You write perfect stories.
        Time is a funny thing. Just you reading this is taking time that you could be spending on your writing, but if you completely cut off from life then what have you got to write about? Got to be a balance, I guess (as the missus keeps telling me).
        Just keep at it.

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      • No totally not > like I said a professional editor commented it was big. I never even thought about it. I just wrote exactly what needed to be written. I did remove 2 whole chapters though. I cant wait to start writing my fictional books. Next year for sure. Time >>>blaaaagh ha ha

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      • I just mean that justurnleft.com obviously refers the book Just Turn Left at the Mountain, so if you write another book with a different title, it might not scan. Unless you call the books: Just Turn Left at Titan (a SciFi series), Just Turn Left at The Funny Bone (a romantic comedy), Just Turn Left, Right, Left (a war book) etc. etc. 🙂
        Me? Give you advice! You’re having a laugh, mate! 😀

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      • There is a bit in the last chapter where we are given directions to get to a remote village in northern Mongolia. Keep going straight until you get to the mountain. When you get there, go straight back and turn right …or something of the like. When I finally get things edited I’ll add it to the front material and also back cover and the description on Amazon. Every so often you have to do a complete overhaul to freshen things up. The TEFL website is next later on this year and then…….the fiction book yeeeeeeeeh

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      • Makes total sense! 🙂
        I walk as I’m reading (and no, I don’t walk into lampposts) and there are a lot of people from China and places like that here in York at the moment. You’d be amazed at the number of times I get people from around there looking at the cover and then at my face with a kind of puzzled look about them. I’m going to have to stop someone and ask them what the characters on the front of the book translate too one of these days. 🙂
        How far are you into the fiction book and what genre’s it going to be (if’n you don’t mind me asking)?

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      • I put cash down on Wednesday. I just had the vibe >> Lots of my students go to York. Well popular. Fiction: I story boarded 6 books and have been brainstorming the other 4 for about 3 months. I live breathe and dream about it. The story boarding is in an A2 black art book. One of my characters is Russian so I am learning Russian and will start visiting this year. I’ll be doing it in short stages as it frightens the shit out of me. I am doing Russian lessons and my teacher is really fit. Dont tell the missus. Genre > I wont say too much else as its all so out there. I want to do something new that’s not been done before. Everything is a rehash of something done before/music and all these days. Cheers for the interest mate.

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      • Promise not to tell the missus nuffink! 🙂 I guess she doesn’t read your blog then. She supportive of your writing? That makes a heck of a lot of difference I’ve found.
        Yeah, there’s a lot of rehashing going on, and the trouble is that it’s supported by the education writers get. Whenever I try to do something cutting edge there are always some who support it, but they are in the minority – the majority won’t countenance it at all. And the tutor – she’s the worst of the bunch. I get the feeling she has a career writing Mills & Boon planned for me!
        Sounds like you’re cracking on with your writing plans – well done, Andy – good luck to you.
        Really? You put money on The Mighty Owls? Wow! 😀

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      • I put cash on bts but Spurs let me down grrrrr. When we’re gone our lives are meaningless unless we’ve done what we truly wanted to do. I’m aware that there are companies that bang out similar formulas of successful styles. Some books are shite and make a mint. I’ve read books by various travel writers that were steaming piles of dung but they got published. Its just like anything. Its who you know and how to market. Quality and content are largely meaningless by many writers these days. Also like music nearly everything has been done to death. Somewhere along the line we have to reach out for something new even if you feel like your work is nuts. And the main thing is your enjoying yourself after all. >>>> Just come off 3 days of intensive work // 12 hour shifts >> Mullered. Thanks for the review on GRs. Much appreciated Robert.

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      • But I haven’t written the review on GT yet (although I have a killer first sentence on a little sheet of paper here)!
        Yeah, you’re right in everything you say, Andy – it has to be enjoyable at the end of the day. All the rest is out of our hands (mostly). Just have to keep plugging away and hope someone out there is listening.
        Of course, you could always sell out and join me in the Mills & Boon treadmill. 😉
        And for God’s sake get some rest!

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      • I love being immersed in the process. It seems like you have a Mills and Boon fixation now. Is you teacher doing things subliminally to you I wonder? RE review. Would be awesome if you could copy it to Amazon. No rest in Beijing ha ha

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      • Still in Bejing? Cool! You seem to like it there. 🙂
        I read one of my nan’s M&B once – utter tripe! One of the characters was called Sharon on one page and Sandra on the next. That’s the level I’m aiming for fuh sure. Not!! 😀
        Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll copy the review where I can. It’s all good.
        Right, off home now. Have to pick up the missus on the way so ciao for now.

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      • So in the back of your mind you must have some inking of what genre you’d like to have a go at. Cmon prey tell. BTW sorry not to get back to you. I’ve had a different browser up for the week putting 10+ hours in on my days off blaaaaagh.

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      • Part of me want to write proper Literature and the other part want to write something speculative and out-there, like some kind of alternate-reality, psychologically bent, science fiction type of stuff. I’ll get there. 🙂
        Seems that you’re working harder in China than you ever worked in the UK – what’s that all about? I was thinking this morning that one good business to get involved in would be to offer companies that produce goods for the UK / US / Australian (English speaking, basically) markets an opportunity to have their literature and manuals vetted and corrected by English speaking people. You mentioned it in your book and I still see it here – this weird blend of Chinese and English. It wouldn’t be the big companies, obviously – but there must be loads to small to medium sized enterprises that’d pay for that service. What do you think?

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      • In the UK I pulled 2 hours shifts as a careworker. I worked every day through the whole of December and the first week of January just to keep my head above water. It ate away that I couldnt write anything. Over here is my 3 days a week of freedome yeeey. As for translating and correction I recon there must be companies already doing it. Its an assumption though. I did a fair amount of checking before and it drove me insane. The English was so bad it was almost beyond correction. Serious LOL

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      • That doesn’t sound so bad. I wish I was doing 2 hour shifts! Today I left home at 6.50am and got home after 8pm.
        There may be companies doing that, but they couldn’t do it as well as you and me could. 😉
        Good to know you’re getting some freedom, Andy.

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      • Hey Robert > How’s it going> That’s some hard core hours you’re pulling there mate. How come your shifts so long? Is that some distance you need to drive every day then?

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      • Just a one off. And I work less hours on other days to claw it back. Plus – the train takes the strain leaving me free to sit and read it watch the glorious English countryside go by. Surely you must miss Englt in the spring! Even if it’s just a little. 🙂

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      • Hey there Robert > Its been a while. Well seeing all the scenes this weekend has made me homesick for the first time in years. You dont see anything like that over here. Hope to be back in the UK at some point and envious of your train rides even if they are a tad early 🙂 Hope you are well mate.

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      • Deffo > Football though. I see you’ve got Fulham at home as your last game. If you beat then you may be up against Leeds in the playoffs. Who do you prefer? Fulham or Leeds

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      • Nah – Leeds only have a mathematical chance of the play-offs. They have to win, like, fifteen nil once we’ve beaten Fulham. 😀
        Prefer Huddersfield in semis and either Reading or Fulham in the final – either one would do.

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      • Well, friends are important, right? 🙂
        S’funny, I just finished reading a novel about the handover of Hong Kong (the Chinese Takeaway as it’s called there). Do you happen to know if everything settled down in HK and if they are happy under Chinese rule?

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      • I dont often go over to HK but it is something I like to wind my students up with. I drop in deliberate no nos like “Its its own country isnt it? I mean Chinese people need to show their passports to g across the border. It has its own money and its own national football team. Oh and they dont speak Mandarin do they?” Of course its all done in good humour though. From what I can see HK does its own thing and is still massively separated from mainland. Shenzhen and HK are worlds apart. I cant see anything changing too much.

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      • The book I read (Kowloon Tong by Paul Theroux) goes into the nitty gritty of what happened on the personal, political and business levels and it seems to give a different picture to what one reads in the news and what’s on the surface. Corruption, violent death, psychological pressure, forcible buyouts – and that’s just the Chinese army/police/government!
        They speak Cantonese (and English) in HK, yes? I did not know that they have their own footie team, though. Imagine that! 🙂
        I get the feeling that what you might think as good humour might not be seen in the same way by … but ‘m being rude. I don’t really know. Sorry.
        Anyhoo – hope this finds you well, Andy.
        Kindness – Robert.
        Don’t feel like you need to reply to all of this. I’m just spouting off. 😉

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      • Cant go into gvmt speak except to point out the obvious same about the UK’s illustrious history aside from may great deeds we are doing in the present day. I do laugh at the whole opium war thing. East India being the greatest drug dealers of all time, people hooked on laudanum world wide ha ha and the burning of the Summer Palace ha ha. Did you see John Pilger’s recent “The Coming Was on China” oh the worry of it all

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      • True that. We’re all tarred with the same brush at the end of the day.
        No, I never say that Pilger thing. I guess I need to culture up. 🙂
        And on that note, he digs into his beans-on-toast and settles back to watch …
        YES!!! SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY ARE ONE UP AGAINST NEWCASTLE!!!! COME ON YOU BLUE AND WHITE LIZAAAARRRRDDDDSSSSS!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀
        What was I saying?
        Oh, it doesn’t matter. More important matters are afoot. 😉
        Laters.
        Robert.

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      • Ha ha > I think you won didnt you? I never realised you were a Wednesday fan. I remember them when they had Chris Waddle playing for them creating magic on the right wing. I also sadly remember Arsenal doing the cup double over them when Ian Wright was playing for them. My how times have changed. YNWA

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      • Football! 🙂 We’re on a magnificent run of form at the moment – 5 wins on the trot. Looking good for a second consecutive bite at the play-offs for the premiership – fingers crossed and all of that. 🙂
        Yeah – there have been some good memories and some bad ones – but that’s the same for supporters of any team I suppose.
        And yeah – we won. 🙂
        You have a team that you look for the results of?

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      • Wednesday never let me down at the moment mate. Really hope they make it. Would love to see em up in the Prem again. For me I support the most insane team in the whole country and that is Liverpool. Just when you think the madness is over a new page is turned and we’re off again. Honestly there’s no team as nuts as LFC. I mean look at our manager ha ha. Love LFC we endure the pain/ grief and them moments of ultimate high level joy that you rarely get in other areas of life. YNWA

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      • You know, I had an idea you were a Reds fan when you stuck YNWA at the end of your last message. 🙂
        Yeah, there are some real good highs in football. I have a mate who’s a Lincoln City fan. They just got made champions of the … the one below League Two last Saturday and he was saying what an amazing buzz it was and how he lost his voice and all of that from the shouting. It doesn’t matter what team you support – it’s the same feeling all the way through. But yeah – Jürgen Klopp … I’ll say no more. 😉
        I remember Wednesday playing LFC at Hillsborough a few years back and we were all singing:
        He’s fat, he’s round, his arse drags on the ground Sammy Lee, Sammy Lee! Remember him? 🙂

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      • No Sammy Lee was a bit before my time. There was a time when I hated football. Then it was the world cup Italia 90. Everyone was droning on and on about it and it was driving me nuts. So I was watching a film while the footie was on the other side. Not a soul was outside and I just couldn’t understand it. So at some point I flipped it over to see what it was all about at the exact moment David Platt scored in the last minute of extra time against Belgium and at that moment I completely got it. >> Wednesday in the playoffs >>>>77th minute? Can you describe that moment?

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      • I’m not as good as you with the anecdotes. That’s one thing I really enjoy about your book – every single paragraph is like a little story, and they are all fascinating! You have a real knack of turning everything that happens into its own little episode of your life.
        Football? To be honest, I can follow the team fanatically for years and then go off them for another few years. It’s strange how it goes. Can I describe that moment? Prolly not. Hey-ho. 🙂

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      • Hey Robert > You’ve really made my day mate. It really makes you want to start typing asap when someone’s getting a kick out of your work like that. BTW: If you have a spare moment it would be like gold if you could write e few lines on Amazon or Goodreads as a review. More than appreciated if you do. Cambodia… You must be in Yangers Part 2 by now then.

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      • I’ve just reached back to China after a short break in the UK. 🙂
        I’m writing comments as I’m going along in Goodreads, but I’ll do a full review when I’ve done. I might even copy and paste it to Amazon too.
        Good to know you’re getting a kick outta me reading. Me too.

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      • Ahaaaa > I gotcha. I didnt put the obvious 2+2 together that that was you on Goodreads. I guess when we are speaking here you see to be enjoying the book but on Goodreads not. Its great seeing your pic on Goodreads btw. I can put a face to the words. You look like someone I would hang with at a festival lol.

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      • Odd that. Yeah, I’m enjoying the book so I wonder why it comes over that I’m not. I guess I’m a bit like you (in the book) in that I notice the odd things in an otherwise brilliant day. Like, overall you’ll be in raptures about a place but then you’ll say that the noise or the garbage or the food is driving you bonkers, and then you write about what drives you bonkers.
        I guess I do that a bit too. It’s the odd things that stand out I suppose. Dunno.
        I love me a festival! 🙂

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      • Hey there Robert > Thanks for getting back to me. You know what? I went to bed thinking, phew that guy on Goodreads is destroying me but for once in your life try and see the positive side of life. Robert on WordPress is saying some really good things about it. ha ha > I guess for me my angle is A: not to try and sound like some hero adventurer with an ego like so may other travel writers. I like to think of myself as the Victor Meldrew of Asia. I like to laugh at myself while I’m being utterly green.

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      • Good job there’s loads of other people all around the world reading your book too and making all manner of varied comments about it on all sorts of platform so that you don’t have to obsess about what one guy in the frozen wastes of Northern England thinks about it in his schizo way! 😉
        But really – what did I say on Goodreads that made you think I didn’t like the book? That’s bothering me now!
        You come over as a normal bloke seems to think things are better on the other side. Grass is greener syndrome. You’re very personable and so I can see how people would want to help you out on your travels. You’re very kind in all sorts of ways. Yes, you like to laugh at yourself, but your basic self-confidence (underneath all the layers) comes through strongly. Takes a lot of balls to do all that stuff. You know what I keep thinking? Thank God I’m a vegetarian and don’t have to eat squid and duck stomach and stuff like that. You ain’t half eaten some funny nosh, Andy!
        I can see where your Victor Meldrew comparison comes from, though! 🙂
        Listen – it’s really easy to say stuff about some guy on the other side of the world when I don’t know more that what I’ve read about him in a book and a few online conversations, but it’s harder to actually get off the chair and get out there and then spill all them guts onto a page. You’ve got real balls to do what you do. Respect! (Or, as you say – proper mate!)

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      • Hiya Robert > Mad isn’t it. All that time writing and then suddenly its all done and dusted (kinda) and its all about what happens on the shelves. As an indie writer you cant help but watch with intent as the love of your life is there for all to see. I have 4 tabs up with my books on them. My YouTube tab, 2 WordPress tabs, GRs and Twitter. There are also around another ten tabs that come up on a regular basis. I know that its the part that most indie writers like the least. The writing is always what its really about of course. For now I’ve set myself an impossible task so it will at least take me a few years to write so I can just enjoy the process. >> As for balls, well the whole thing came about with no choice but to leave the UK. Once that had happened I just had to keep on going and stay the course. Thank goodness for Beijing as by Korea I’d really run out of steam. Yes crazy conversation from the other side of the globe. >> Change subject. May have asked you this b4 but were you ever into the Psychedelic Furs?

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      • Not to say ‘I’m a big fan of the Psychedelic Furs’ but I’ve got some of their records (in the attic – I don’t have a working record player any more) and when I listen to their stuff on YouTube it all sounds comfortably familiar and quite likeable. They’re touring the UK at the moment – I wonder if they’ve got any gigs planned for China. I bet you could set some up for them and let them know! 🙂

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      • Oh gosh now your asking me! There was a time that I knew the name of that system right off the top of my head. I got it when I was 19 and it must have lasted 20 years. It’s in the attic now – dead in a box, along with my record collection – which might as well be dead. It was black if that helps! 🙂

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      • Yeah, most of mine will be scratched up too. Apart from one that I remember I never played because I thought they would get famous or something and I could sell it for a fortune. I tried looking for them on the internet a couple of years ago and only got one single mention coming up. I look now and they’ve got a Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakk)!
        Perhaps I can sell that record on after all! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing like an original mint copy of something. For me I know I’ve got a couple of mint Roy Harper albums stashed away I bought in Birmingham New Street in 1985. Phew. Sell away while you still can that’s what I say

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      • Hiya Robert > still in Beijing working like a blue arsed fly (whatever that means) > Keeled over with tiredness today. In England we have days out to do stuff and reflect on our lives. Here its a 24/7 clock with no time to sit back > well unless your body just says no. Hey mate > sorry about Wednesday. Gutted actually. So near and so far. For me its Liverpool tomorrow. Am a total nervous wreck about it AAAAAGH the fear.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah yeah – they need a win to guarantee qualification for next season’s Champions League, right? Good luck for that, then. 🙂
        I’m so done with football now (until next season). I know why they lost. They knew that if they won promotion, they would be out of a job next season. They are fine Championship players, but hardly any one of them would be able to hack it in the Premiership. Hey-ho.
        Take some time out to rest, Andy. Have a holiday in the UK. 😉
        That reminds me of Holiday in Cambodia by The Dead Kennedys – remember that one? Right – I’m off to play it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Seriously???? They just let it go because they wouldnt make it in the prem? I’ve never heard of that one before. Madness. Did you see the match? Yes I remember it. I was more of a Rock Lobster man myself but that was the B52s now if I remember. What you said about Wednesday has done my head in

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, it’s just my theory! They could have been thinking of anything! End of the day – the other team wanted it more. End of.
        I love Rock Lobster!! The b-side to that was excellent too. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      • Got complaints that I was chatting too much and too personally with y’all – so ease it back, Andy! Apparently I was disturbing a certain person’s reputation. Hey-ho.
        This one is not read by my family, and so …
        Well, it’s one solution anyway. The other option is to censor myself. Either option’s not good.
        Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Whaaaaat? I always thought a blog is the bloggers sacred space where we can do what the hell we like. Blimey. Well glad you gave whoever it was the royal finger and set up No2 without them ha ha

        Liked by 1 person

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