You know… sometimes I think…I lose my mind with excitement over things.  I was so excited over my new job opportunity that I had a bout of insanity.  Let me explain…This past Monday… one of my very good Chinese friends called Michael and I .. and said meet them and they wanted to go look at the mountains.  I guess I didn’t think about it and said .. cool… let’s go see the mountains.    I called my other American friend, who I knew wasn’t doing anything… and we hopped into our new car and went to meet my friends.

I knew things were going to be crazy.. when we couldn’t find them at the place we were suppose to meet…. we finally met up with them … 20 miles down the highway… and ended up following them in their Mercedes SUV up the mountain.   Seeing as our car is much smaller … and doesn’t have as much power.. and we didn’t know our way up the mountain… we were lagging behind.   We finally made it up to a viewing point.. and say that our friends were out of their car taking photos…. we also started taking photos.. it was a beautiful day and the mountains looked fabulous.    It seemed that this was not out stopping point… although there were several people there.. and the locals were selling .. baked sweet potatoes, and salty small potatoes… we didn’t partake … we all jumped back into the cars and kept heading up the mountain.

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When we finally stopped going around and around to get to the top, we ended up at a small village.  The village was located about 3 feet down the inside of the mountain.  Very quaint and very old, it was the home of several older people who looked to be in their late 70’s and 80’s.   We walked around the small village and decided to follow the path down to a bridge and waterfall.  I did notice that there were a monstrous amount of stairs we need to take to reach this bridge and waterfall; but being the trooper I am… I followed the others and started walking down…. and down… and down…… and down.   Michael, being the youngest and healthiest of the group ran down the stairs like it was nothing.  I was a little more careful.. as were the other… so I wouldn’t fall and roll down the stairs.

We reached the bridge and waterfall.. and waded in the water for a while and sat and enjoyed the breeze off the water and the nature.   Then they told me… we needed to walk back up the mountain.   I looked up the stairs and all I could see was that they went all the way up into a white light.  I thought they were leading to heaven… and I know that I was going to die walking up these damn stairs.    I have to stay … I started off pretty good…. but then… my body turned on me…. it just gave up and said… Jo, we are not doing this….   I started getting very hot.. and sweat was pouring down my body…. I started breathing hard… and then I just had to stop.   I couldn’t move or breathe…. I never thought to bring water with me… so I was thirsty, and felt like I was going to fall down.  The stairs were so step… and so narrow.. there was nowhere to sit down or even stop.. since there were several people also climbing up the stairs.   I was just drained.  My friend looked at me and called Michael… who by the way… had already ran half way up the stairs.    He came running back and grabbed my hand… with his assistance… I made it half way up to a clearing.  He told me to sit on a rock .. as he ran the rest of the way up and found some water for me.   I drank the water like I had never had water before… then I realized I had to go to the bathroom.

As you could guess there was not bathroom anywhere close to where I was sitting.  So, now … I had just drank a half bottle of water, sweating my ass off and having to go pee… it was not pretty.   Michael grabbed my hand again.. and pulled me up and told me we where half way there…. and that once I got to the top.. he could go get the car and take me the rest of the way.   I took a deep breath… and start-up the rest of the stairs…It was the most uncomfortable, irritating, horrible experience I had ever had in my life.    I finally made it to the top of the stinking stairs back to the village.   I felt the old people staring at me… I am sure they were giggling at the fact that I was having trouble with the climb that they had done for their whole lives.   Michael true to his word .. had brought the car around and took me back to the parking area where there was a public restroom.   I got out of the car as soon as it stopped and hobbled over to the restrooms… quickly finding the handicap stall… (in China that is the only one that has a regular toilet, all the others were squatty potties.. and I don’t think I would have been able to get back up .. if I had squatted down.    I then washed my face with water… and went back out to the car where I closed my eyes and prayed thank you to the gods for letting me survive that climb.

I will never climb that mountain again… Michael was very worried about me… and kept asking me if I was okay… and rubbing my leg , checking if I was breathing better…. I felt so sorry that I scared him… but I did learn a big lesson that day…. not only to bring water when you are going walking up a mountain… but that I am just not a nature person.

until next time….

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