Hay Truck

An overloaded hay truck I came across during an grueling bus ride in China’s Qinghai province back in 2002. From my journal at the time:

“Sept. 15, 2002. What I thought would be 12 hours on the bus was instead 9. Normally this would be a very good thing but it landed me in Xinning at 3am, very tired, cold, and no place to go. After paying a taxi 15 yuan [< $2] to drive me all over town I found a hotel where I crashed for 4 hours (also 15 yuan). The bus ride was awe inspiring and also very uncomfortable. For the first several hours I was blasted by the hot air form the engine. When the mountains came into view my mind lightened, we climbed along treacherous roads passing rushing streams. Dark came too soon and I could only catch moonlit glimpses of craggy mountains and valleys. At one point we passed a sign reading ‘elevation 3943m’ and I noticed snow on the ground. We stopped for an hour in a nowhere town. Everyone from the bus piled into several restaurants, all with TVs blasting. I had a look around and introduced myself to several shopkeepers. I hear the same conversation numerous times a day: ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Why are you here’ ‘America is good –better than China’ ‘How much money do you make?’ ‘China is too poor’…

…After the dinner stop I could not get warm again. A few hours later I was freezing and cursing my decision to travel at night, missing the view and chilled to the bone.”

2 thoughts on “Hay Truck

  1. I love this picture. I am so glad you are posting these. I especially like it when you attach your journal entries. Can’t wait to read more.

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