Those following my electoral travel conquest of the United States no doubt have been asking: when will West Virginia join the tdaxp horde?
Thanks for Catholicgauze for taking me to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia!
Inspired by Catholicgauze’s post, here’s my geographical survey of myself!
Hebrew, Germanic, and English
Geographical Region Where I Grew Up:
Geography of Last Meal
Chicken – India
Rice – China
Beer – Iran
Broccoli – Europe
1’3N (Singapore – airport and stay)
Top Three Places Recommended for Travel
Three Places I want to Visit
Unique Personal Ways to Count Where I Have Been
Besides sitting in the comfy Untied EconomyPlus seatshad a many hour layover at San Francisco yesterday. Made the best of it by hoping the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit system) from SFO to the Embarcadero, near the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge
It wasn’t a typical travel day, chilly, overcast, and a bit wet. But it actually felt great. Had breakfast sandwiches and coffee inside, while reading the San Francisco Chronicle. Briefly walked near the Bay to take some photos, but the ambiance is hard to capture in a moment.
The reason for the trip was not just to avoid living in the airport, but to add another state to my Electoral Vote total. Now that I’ve been in non-airport California, I get to add the Bear Flag Republic to my total. Additionally, Mother of tdaxp informed me that I stayed in both Tennessee and Alabama as an infant. This brings me up to 359 Electoral Votes — a blowout by any measure.
Map courtesy of 270towin.com.
There is a special joy in being recommended a book you are currently reading while being given a book you intended to buy. Such was my luck when Dean Barrett, whose Murder in China Red and Skytrain to Murder I previously enjoyed, mailed me Dragon Slayer and suggested that I read Don Quixote in China: The Search for Peach Blossom Spring.
Don Quixote follows author Bean Barrett’s travels in southern China in search of the Chinese version of Shangi-La. While I’ve only been to two of the cities Dean traveled in (Shenzhen and Zhongshan), much of what he mentioned rang through. From western breakfasts at hotels, the bizarre Chinese-market logo of Haier, and adventures on trains, Dean has clearly been-there and done-that. The landscapes of Don Quixote are not as romantic as in Barrett’s other books (such as Bangkok Warriors or Kingdom of Make Believe), though I wonder if it’s because I’m more familiar with China than Thailand.
Unlike fiction writers, travel writers are confined in their characterization by what actual people actually disclose. Too many of the folks that Barrett meets in his journey are described only in outline. While again this is understandable, the reader wants to learn more than is ever presented.
I have never read Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and if I had I imagine I would not have found references to the original so distracting. Barnett is an excellent writer, but the humorous references to the text took away from the broader narrative and hurt the book.
Don Quixote in China is an appropriate volume for anyone seeking to complete a Dean Barrett library. However, better books by Barrett — and more enjoyable travelogues — are available.
While I was in Fort Wayne, my friend Biz suggested that I calculate the states I had visited. He says that a state only counts as visited if one had mingled among the local people by buying some thing, and that airports did not count. I thus looked online for a clickable states visited map, and I was unimpressed with what was available. So I used a clickable electoral college map similar to the one I used for my analysis of the West Wing election
While I have an absolute electoral votes without them, I have included Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia as “undecided.” Like every other American I have spent time in Atlanta’s airport, I drove through Tennessee on my recent interesting adventure, and was previously in a bus in Mississippi.
Leaving Nac, East Texas today. No posts until tomorrow evening at the earliest.
Thought: Texas considers itself a country. How does this affect immigrants? Is Texas’s assertiveness contributing to its relative ease in assimilating immigrants, especially when compared against California?
Mindi and Damion, you are good friends. Rob, I love you as a brother.
Texas Trip Update:
In Texas, the state flag shares pride of place with the American flag. It’s shocking. And Texan heroes are venerated like the South remembers Confederates or anyone else remembers Americans.