Across Continents

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December 16th, 2011

More Harry Potter than Eighties recording artist I’d suggested. My Dad had thought Muggles had been behind Eighties hit "Video killed the radio star". Close though. The track playing in the background of the diner where I’d joined my parents for dinner.

I’d made it through the mountains from Superior to Globe to meet up with them once more. There’d been a tunnel. Explaining tackling it was a bit like err well, you know. All in the timing. And the reality usually a bit of a let down. Less dramatic than what you might anticipate. No dead dogs or pot holes to contend with. And there were lights, of sorts.

We’d both chosen the same omelette. But then told by our server it wasn’t available, strictly a breakfast option. Only to eventually plump for the same filled croissant. I was sure I’d decided first.



The long mile

November 2nd, 2010

Jingning. My next stop. No more than five miles away. So, so close. But, separating us, a tunnel. And no alternative. No goat track around. Nothing. Just an extensive list of prohibitions above the entrance. And a reasonable amount of traffic in both directions.

Tunnel - web

I’d a long-standing love hate relationship with Chinese lorry drivers. True, they’d come to my rescue on more than one occasion. But their overtaking, head on, often bordered on reckless. The thought of being enclosed in a tunnel with them, just one lane in either direction, wasn’t in the least bit appealing. Especially as I’d no idea how long it was. A mile perhaps. Assuming the officials at the entrance tolls would let me sneak through.

Lights on. Front and back. And my head torch. Bold, confident approach. Wave to the officials. They smile back. Into the tunnel. It’s lit, but the absence of ventilation fans means visibility is poor. The air heavy with fumes. But inhaling the noxious mixture is just a transient, an irritation. And a gentle downhill gradient helps. No, the real risk to health is overtaking lorries. Whether unaware of your presence, or just plain ambivalent, matters not. Forcing you to pull up sharply, lean against the tunnel wall. And hope.

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