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“Teching out” in China

This post was originally written on the overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing on October 15-16, 2008

Technology is truly an amazing thing!

Kevin and Reidster: Heavy Duty "Teching Out" on the train.Kevin and Reidster: Heavy Duty “Teching Out” on the train.

Right now I am writing this blog entry from the overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing, looking out the window as we rapidly pass by the landscape that took us a month to cycle through. It’s kind of surreal to think about really…First that we bicycled across this much land…and second that our trip is finally coming to a close.

In one sense it’s a little bit of a relief, but in another sense I would love to have more time here. The country of China is so vast and complicated it’s kind of sad to think we will be leaving so soon with so much more left to explore, so much more to learn. But honestly, I think we all feel satisfied with our experience and have made the most of our relatively short time here, taking in everything that China has thrown our way (and more).

"Teching Out" in the hotel.“Teching Out” in the hotel.

Really what this post is about is “Teching out” in China or “The Importance of Technology on Our Trip to China.” So this post is about all the gizmos and gadgets we used (and carried on our bicycles) throughout the last month. We have been extremely wired throughout the trip with mobile internet and all of our other camera, computer, and electronic needs…So basically here is what we have been cycling with…

The Camera Department.The Camera Department.
Thanks Sealine for keeping all my electronics safe!Thanks Sealine for keeping all my electronics safe!
Hard Drives and mini-DVs.Hard Drives and mini-DVs.

An HD camera, a mini-dv camera, 3 digital still cameras, extra batteries for all those cameras, chargers, a small video light, a tripod, a wide array of other camera equipment, 5 external hard drives, a Macbook Pro, 4 ipods, 20 assorted cords, 2 power strips, power converters, extra laptop battery, P2 cards and card readers, mouse, 20 mini-dv tapes, headphones, extra AA batteries, and the list goes on and on…

Using my computer as a phone...Futuristic!Using my computer as a phone…Futuristic!

But you can never really be too prepared. Well, I guess I was too prepared because there were other things not on this list that didn’t even survive the first two days in the mountains (shipped ahead to Shanghai), but we won’t bother mentioning those items in this post

Team Man Zou: iPod Ready!Team Man Zou: iPod Ready!

Anyhow, another great thing about being so wired in China (other than having the fact that we have an HD Production suite on the back of a bicycle), is that we’ve been able to use the internet (thanks to my wireless plan from China Unicom) in any number of strange places including; the airport, cabs, hotel rooms, side of the road, mountains, boats, buses, trains, and in a rickshaw once!

The other great thing is that we’ve been able to keep up on all the happy, optimistic headlines coming out of the United States, as well as stay in touch with our loved ones. We’ve even discovered Skype and various video chat services to stay connected with those back home.

Panasonic---You've treated us well!Panasonic—You’ve treated us well!
So long ago..."Teching Out" in Seattle at the beginning of the trip!So long ago…”Teching Out” in Seattle at the beginning of the trip!
Putting up a blog post from the bus!Putting up a blog post from the bus!

Blogging from the Ferry!Blogging from the Ferry!

No joke, as I’m writing this post I just found out that my sister had her baby, Sam….My dad just sent me an email….Really, I’m not kidding…I just started a Google chat with my dad…I’ll have to get this post up later….

And all this from a train, somewhere between Shanghai and Beijing….And everywhere in between…

Technology is truly amazing!

Sometimes all you need, however, is just a pad of paper and a pen!Sometimes all you need, however, is just paper and a pen!

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Man Zou is a common phrase in Mandarin. It is more of a philosophy than anything. Man Zou literally translates to "Walk Slow."

"Slow and steady wins the race," they say. This is at the heart of the meaning of Man Zou. Walk slowly and you won't fall. Act carefully and you won't go wrong. A slow walker is faster than someone who walks fast but always has to stop and rest. Persistence is important in learning or doing anything.

To explain a little more in depth, read this quote from The Challenge of Trekking in China by Kyle Acierno:

"I recently underwent the most thorny, intricate, and demanding trek of my life. China is no walk in the park. The county is extremely diverse, and with diversity comes complexity. There is no smooth road laid for backpackers and attempting to do anything or get anywhere can be incredibly arduous...I really needed a break and I didn't know where I would be next. I sat down to a plate of rice noodles and peanuts. A hardy meal for a hardy man. A giant of a woman served me, but with her giant body came a giant heart. With a quick phrase that I have become accustomed to, she filled me with self-assurance that I needed for the rest of my trip. ?Man Zou!? she shouted with a big smile on her face. This literally translates to ?Walk Slow?. To me this means more then just ?be careful.? To me this means take the time to see the wonders of life. The power it gave me changed the rest of my trip. From then on everything went smoothly...I learned a lot from this Trek. I learned the beauty that exists just off the beaten track. I learned that anything amazing takes time. I learned just how much you could learn from people without even using language...By taking the time to notice all the small things in life you can really appreciate who, where, and what you are. Patience, persistence, and practice makes perfect."