Katie and I headed out with several friends to Panjin, to check out the “Red Beach.” Suaeda Salsa is an algae that thrives in highly alkaline soil, such as that found in parts of northeastern China. The algae is green for most of the year, but for around a month in the fall, it turns a Martian red. Around the same time, the tourists arrive in droves, including us. To explore the area, we rented 3-person bikes, which were a lot of fun but not very fast. (Wouldn't you think they'd be three times faster than a normal bike?) We spent the afternoon avoiding the throngs of Chinese tourists who were rolling up in buses, and checking out the beautiful landscapes.
My guest for this episode is Carol Woo (胡宝娟). She grew up in both Guangdong province (China) and Hong Kong. She's quite artistic – she organizes theater performances for international audiences. For now, she's helping to run the Horse Pen 46 hostel in Shaxi, Yunnan Province, which is where I met her. We had a fun and lighthearted conversation in the hostel's coffee shop.
My guest today is Kathy McGowan. When I met her, she had just finished a three-year stint of living in a “small” city in China (population 3 million), and was relaxing in Shaxi for a few days before heading to New Zealand. The thing that struck me about Kathy was her willingness to just pick up everything and move. She's lived in over fifty houses, and counting. We talked about a few of her former homes (including India and Malta), as well as what's up next for her.
We have a different format for this episode of the podcast. I was sitting in the market square of Shaxi China, drinking coffee and having a chit-chat with four new friends. We decided to record our conversation, which I'll call our “Coffeecast”. Joining me were Kathy, an English woman staying at my hostel, Hugh and Pauline, cycle-tourists from England, and Liam, who you met during the last podcast.
My guest for this episode is Liam DelMain. I met Liam at the Horse Pen 46 Hostel in Shaxi (沙溪), Yunnan Province, China. He calls Minnesota home, though when he was still a toddler, he lived in Beijing for two years with his family. He has returned to China almost every summer since. Having been raised between two different cultures, Liam has a lot of insight into these disparate worlds.