Accounting for Modalities

Given that many people in the United States are thinking about accounting today, I thought I'd share some of the raw numbers from my recent trip to China and the Philippines, but rather than detail how much money I spent (speaking of which, you are welcome to complicate my 2015 taxes by donating here), I thought I'd share the following summary of the many journeys within a journey I took while traveling through China, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, Canada and the United States:

Feet shredded while walking miles through eleven cities, many small villages, one former military stronghold and atop, along and around ruined portions of a gigantic wall: 2

Subway systems used more frequently than can be tallied: 6

Personal cars ridden with a buddhist who would later host an elaborate tea ceremony, an atheist tour guide raised in a cave, and two precocious children: 1

Bridges crossed at which the largest conflict in the history of the world began: 1

Last minute rickshaw rides organized by a guide squeezing in one more sightseeing visit before a thirty-hour train ride: 1

A thirty-hour train ride between China's current capital and the city that served as its capital during World War II: 1 

Taxi trips: 17

Flights: 11

Airport tramways and buses: 2

City bus systems: 3

Trains at normal speed: 2

Sleeper cars upgraded to after riding in crowded coaches: 1

Monorails not in Brockway, Ogdenville or North Haverbrook because by gum it put them on the map: 1

Light rail systems: 4

Subway rides cut off by construction: 1

Alleyway stairs climbed and descended: ∞

Walks through the rubble of destroyed ancient neighborhoods: ≥ 4

Paths cut through crowds of cruise-hawking street vendors in search of urban planning museums that turn out closed and impossible to find despite their focus on planning: 1

Ropeway trams crossing China's longest river:1

Cabs packed with an old calligrapher/musician, an absent-minded poet and a former magazine publisher bringing you to the calligrapher's underground studio filled with beautiful artifacts: 1

Trips on high speed railways so new they don't yet show up in online rail guides: 4

Train stations visited so recently constructed that they are miles away from any construction and surrounded by dirt parking lots: 1

High speed train café cars ridden in because railway conductors snuck me through heavy police state security despite incorrect ticket date: 1

Provincial minibuses blasting techno: 1

Dirt streets walked in a town that was the birthplace of the leader of a 19th century rebellion that led to 20 million deaths: ≥3

Spontaneous scooter rides to a destination found despite language barriers by showing digitized stills of eight-decade-old 16mm film to strangers in a streetside dentist's garage exam room:1

Makeshift three-wheel vans shared with a Chinese man who wants to show off his English language skills to an American: 1

Wood-paneled minibuses: 1

Pedestrian border crossings surrounded by hard-selling counterfeit clothing retailers: 1

Alleyways packed with citizens of seemingly every country in the world drinking and dancing outside of generic bars: 3

Double-decker buses precariously perched on a beautiful island road in a former British colony: 1

Double decker street trolleys: 2

Street performances led to by a retired American chiropractor swigging a glass of red wine aboard one such trolley: 1

Inexpensive night ferries filled with tourists gazing at the neon skyline of a bustling global city: 1

Ferries between Chinese special administrative regions: 2

Casino buses used as transport to or from the historic core of a former Portuguese colony: 2

Municipal airport shuttle buses ridden while seated backwards: 1

Buses boarded by women who preach in Tagalog for the last phase of a trip to a ridgetop resort above a volcanic lake: 1

Inexpensive and colorful, if crowded, jeepneys: 3

Inter-city buses playing weird, staticy melodramatic sci-fi: 1

Taxis whose drivers unsuccessfully try to claim broken meters or broker special “deals” that are twice as much as a normal fare: ∞

Claustrophobically overcrowded metro rail lines in overly congested island nation capitals: 1

Ferries to or from former World War II fortresses: 2

Park concessionaire tour vans ridden as the only member of the tour and rushed through even though the rider would have been happy tagging along with the tour following his: 1

Island jeeps whose drivers invite pedestrians on sun-blasted landscapes to hitch up a hill: 2

Lengths swum across a pool improbably placed on the site of aforementioned island fortress: 20

Jungle paths blindly wandered down as monkeys and geckos screech in surrounding trees: 3

Gigantic underground wartime tunnels explored: 1

Stretches of dry field chased across by monkeys: 1

Wifi-enabled buses playing Zero Dark Thirty as they crossed beautiful, rain-drenched tropical scenery: 1

Ferries ridden across darkened waters as lightning flashes all around during the dead of night: 1

Motor-tricycle sidecars ridden to crummy hotels: 1

Tricycle back seats: 1

Intercity vans accompanied by stuffed crabs: 1

Tricycle sidecars ridden to remote beach villages the rider knows from viewing the same town in photographs taken by wartime journalists fleeing pursuit by enemy forces: 1

Uneventful island van rides while staring lazily at the scenery: 1

Six-hour long ferry rides that were two hours longer than advertised and spent barefoot in the sun, staring at the sea and an island that once sheltered journalists on the run: 1

Terrifying late night rides across Philippine islands without seatbelts in the center front seat of a van driven by a guy texting half the time as he speeds wildly, despite rain, windy roads, roadwork and oncoming traffic, all of which is accompanied by his crooning to 70s and 80s power ballads and his crossing of himself each time his vehicle passes a church: 1

International flights taken while coming down with crippling food poisoning: 1

Passport control and customs lines waited in while convinced vomiting will commence immediately: 1

Epically long taxi rides with said food poisoning lingering, but driven by a man who compliments the rider on his Mandarin, even though in reality it is quite poorly spoken: 1

Passport controls where the traveler's home country's border officials give far more trouble than those of other nations: 1

What were  your favorite journeys within a journey? How many different modalities do you tend to use when you travel? Where do you hope to transit between next? Let me know in the comments!