Melville Jacoby's interest in China can be traced back to 1936. That year and into 1937, during what would have been Mel's junior year at Stanford University, he went to China as an exchange student. There, he studied in the southern port city of Canton (that was the English transliteration of the time; it is now commonly transliterated as Guangzhou). He joined other American and Chinese students on the campus of Lingnan University (which still exists in another form in Hong Kong, while its original campus remains as part of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou).
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
Yesterday, you may have read my post about the costs and toll book-related research takes. If you haven't yet, please do, and if you like it, or me, or the project I'm working on please click the contribution button and share a few dollars with me.
But today, when I started my research day, I was twice reminded why I can't complain too much. First, the photo above was where I waited for the bus. I'm staying with family up Highway 101 from the UCSD campus. I couldn't even really complain that the bus was significantly late.
Then I ended up here:
Did you know that aside from my writing I shoot many of my own photographs? Beginning today, I'm going to resume regularly sharing examples of my photography. Like what you see? Visit my photoshelter page to see more and order prints or digital copies of your favorite shots. And don't forget that you can always support my work here and follow me on Instagram and Twitter.