Just about everything so far on our trip has gone off without a hitch. We’ve never missed a plane, a bus, a meal or any chance to have a good time. Today I sat down to ponder our good luck. I didn’t have to ponder long, as it took about half a second to figure out why things have gone so smoothly: Zhou. Ever since last January when we began planning the trip, she’s been on top of every little detail. Even the things that we leave open-ended have a backstop. For example, last night we decided we’d find dinner on the fly, but we couldn’t settle on a place that looked good. Worry not, Zhou had a list of three restaurants that received good reviews in a brochure she read, so we ended up having a delicious meal at one of them.
However, one thing has been missing from our journey: missing things! And who can turn our trip into a clueless, bumbling mess? Me!
Believe it or not, Zhou and I talked this over after our first truly “local” lunch – you know, the kind where no one speaks English and all you can do is point to the guy’s food next to you and smile. When I pointed to the guy’s food that I wanted, the lady looked confused and then handed me his bowl. We eventually communicated that I did not want to actually eat his food, and I wound up with the same tofu dish Zhou had. Oh well.
Anyway, we decided that it would actually be good not only for the trip, but also for our relationship if I plan things for the next month. The thought being that we both need to learn how to lead and how to follow. So far Zhou’s never really needed to adapt to my schedule, and I’ve never really needed to worry about what’s going to happen next.
In honor of the changing of the guard until we get to South America (we’ve picked an easy part of the trip for me to screw up), I’ve created the KTCP – Kevin’s Ten Commandments of Planning.
- We will fulfill our tourist duties to the fullest and see everything a city has to offer.
- Both the price and quality of our hostels will be lower than they have been recently.
- We will walk much more and sleep a bit less.
- Zhou will go skydiving with me.
- We will eat at McDonald’s.
- No complaining if I’m not planning the way someone else would.
- I will at some point forget to book something and we will have to adapt our schedule accordingly.
- We will have fun.
Ok, so that’s not quite ten and I threw that last one in there to mock the rules at Laser Tag places. But I think eight’s enough. The reason I wanted to write about this is because of our long-standing rule: Once it’s printed in the blog, there’s no room for leapfrog. (That second part is a phrase I stole from Confucius that means we cannot deviate from the plan.) And since Zhou hasn’t read this yet, boy will she be in for a surprise when she has to jump out of a rickety old plane in New Zealand. Wish her luck!
Puzzles for Postcards
Where Am I? Name the landmark or the nearby city.
Picture of the Day: Our bus made a short stop at Marble Mountain, a giant system of caves and crazy figures carved into a mountain made of marble. Most were too morbid for the blog (beheadings, skeletons, torture, fish eating people), but this one was just weird-looking.