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The Mud Map N Memory Sticks

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you Monday. 6th February 2006

A couple of nights ago we were talking to Uli at the Mekong about trekking and he mentioned a few walks we could do around Jinghong. After many beers he drew me an awesome map consisting of a few lines, some straight and some in arches. He even threw in a few little squares for houses and some marks called trees. It became known as the 'Mud Map'.

Today we decided to gather up the courage and try our best to decipher the mud map as best we could.

We followed the first straight line that takes you over the 'old' bride that goes over the Mekong River. Where there was an arch we followed the dotted line into blocks of apartments. Soon we were showing the mud map to some locals and pointing to the mountains. They pointed there too and then laughed at our mud map. Yes, we know they are mountains, but do you know where these dotted lines are? We continued to walk the little lane way around the curve. One of the ladies came running around the corner yelling No No No whilst pointing up the steep hill base to a little dirty trail I thought was a water run.

So up we went and soon enough we heard No No No and she was pointing in the complete opposite direction.

Soon we were doing our best to follow a trail of flattened leaves that the villages had left. We were amongst thousands and thousands of rubber trees. Not the most exciting and beautiful tree in the world. These trees have begun to take over the Xishuangbanna Region. Strip the mountain of forest and plant thousands of trees all in a row and hopefully somebody will make a lot of money from it. Maybe it's not the farmers but the government. Some people think this; others think the farmers make a lot from it.

My guess is the government as the houses the farmers live in don't speak of new found money at all.

Anyhow, we found no dotted lines and followed the trail of flattened leaves up the mountain. We finally came across a dirt road which I think was the hard line on the 'mud map'. We decided to continue on the leaves instead. When we finally reached the top we were welcomed with a most awesome view of Jinghong. The day was still very hazy which was a pity. Still with the afternoon before us we decided to continue. We wound our way around and up and down several mountains. We watched as female farmers hacked away at huge patches of the hill sides with just a hand hoe. The manual labour here is just astounding. Think of a normal large size dairy paddock for cows. That would be the mornings work. For me after a mornings work with the hand hoe hacking a small children's playground size I would be on the ground begging for mercy. These women are machines. I wonder who wears the pants in the house.

How strong they must be!

The sun was very strong and after 3 and a tad hours and too many angry dogs Judy decided to give in. The last dog was too much. I'm sure we smelt like a foreign treat to him and he was hungry or very angry. Each time I turned around to walk he came running at me with teeth bared. I took off my bottle of water in it's shoulder strap and swung it in a circle. He got the idea but still played the game each time I turned around. Finally he gave in and headed back up the trail to home leaving us in silence. When we finally made it back to the first little village Judy's energy had nearly gone. Luckily it was all down hill from here. An hour later found us back in Jinghong.

I was all pumped and full of energy, poor Judy was almost nailing the coffin lid.

After dropping off our washing we decided to have our Memory Sticks burnt. I had found a little photo shop where it cost 10 Yuan per disk. What a bad decision that was. The young guy thought he was Michael Shoemarker of the keyboard. He was mousing and tapping at gawd knows what speed and suddenly he sat frozen for a second or two. OH NO! What have you done? He tried to make it all seem fine by clicking and tapping a little more. When he had first inserted the Stick in I watched all the photos come up in Thumbnails, the entire 246 of them. Now there was only 5 thumbnails and the rest were just icons. What he had done was somehow change the entire format of each photo, including the Memory Stick.

What can you say to someone who just lost all your photos with a language barrier between you?

He had a language conversion thingamabob on his computer and we 'discussed' what had happened. In the end he done something very un Chinese, he admitted his error which to him 'he lost face'. He took us around to the E-Business district of Jinghong and done his best going from shop to shop. The outcome was I had to pay up to 500 Yuan to have the format changed on my Memory Stick to be able to use it again. We ended up in a little camera shop where I found a 512 Sony Memory Stick Duo. My camera uses the old large memory sticks. My new phone camera uses the new memory stick duo. They are half the size but you can use these in both using the adaptor. They gave me nearing 100 Yuan off for the error and Judy and I headed down to the huge BBQ area for dinner and a beer.

On the way to the Mekong I grabbed my phone to try out my new card.

After several attempts I gave in. It worked in my phone but not my camera. My camera is nearly dead anyhow so once I find the flash for my phone camera I will have the same camera. This is why I wanted the small stick. NOW THAT'S A REAL BUGGER! Unless I can find another 512 Duo Stick I'm left with only one 128mb stick. Here is the lesson I have learnt. When it comes to Memory Sticks, do NOT buy the largest stick money can buy. Buy two smaller ones. Instead of the 1 gig stick I was looking for I will buy two 512 sticks. I'll use one for photos and the other for MP3 and phone information, that way if it happens again I will only lose one stick like this time. Learn the lesson prior to purchase. Maybe I should buy two 256mb cards for photos instead of just one 512!

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (1)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (1)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (10)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (10)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (11)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (11)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (12)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (12)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (13)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (13)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (14)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (14)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (15)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (15)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (16)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (16)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (17)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (17)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (18)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (18)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (2)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (2)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (3)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (3)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (4)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (4)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (5)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (5)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (6)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (6)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (7)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (7)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (8)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (8)


The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (9)

The Jinghong Mud Map Walk (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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