Tag Archives: Week3

Breaking my fast

I’m breaking my fast today! Yay! I’ve been on a water-only fast for the past 6 days. I started about 2 days before leaving Xishuangbanna, and have been on it for the past 4 days in Sanya, Hainan. So, if I look skinnier than usual in any of the Hainan photos, now you know why. So, this morning, I will have a watermelon, then rambutan, papaya and other fruit throughout the day to break the fast. In my initial travels around Sanya, I’ve found a protein bar and some wheat-free cookies and I’m anxious to taste them!

Sanya, Hainan, China, beach

Found a good way to pass the time while I fast

beach, sanya hainan, china

Meanwhile, I’m currently staying at a youth hostel near the airport. In between jaunts on the beach, I’ve been on a quest for an apartment with a kitchn here in Sanya. I have found a 80RMB/night hotel a short ways away (no internet). The challenge is that Chinese new year is coming up on February 7, and all the hotels and landlords raise their prices to take advantage of the rush to celebrate new year on Hainan. I was paying 40RMB/night($6US) ( for my third floor hotel room in Xishuangbanna with internet access. Here, the cheapest hostel charges 120RMB/night ($18US). Some of the quotes I’m getting for a one-month apartment rental start at 6,000RMB/month ($909US). I REFUSE to pay $900 for an apartment! That’s a New York price!!!

The secret, for those of you planning a similar trip, is to go out and find the smaller hotels that are NOT listed on the internet. (you can only do that once you get here, of course, or if you have a friend on the island)

hotels in sanya, hainan

Now THAT’S a small hotel

Dollar-a-day Nomad

For those of you who think it’s expensive to do what I do, here’s a little info:

As I do my travels to various cities in China, I’m able to establish a routine, norms and requirements for my happiness and comfort. Depending upon how “furnished” my accommodations are, I may need to purchase a few items at each destination. At my first villa in Xishuangbanna I didn’t have to purchase much. However, the second place I stayed was an empty hotel room which the owner equipped with a single-burner stove, a small gas-tank to allow me to cook, so I had to buy everything else except toilet tissue.

Here’s what I ended up buying, and which now constitutes my standard shopping list for new nomad destinations.


Item RMB USD
sponges 1.20 0.17
bleach 13.00 1.91
mop 29.00 4.26
plastic wash basin 22.00 3.23
hooks 8.97 1.32
manual water pump 15.00 2.22
dustpan/broom 9.00 1.32
dish washing liquid 9.00 1.32
hangers(12) 5.90 0.87
stove adjustor 2.90 0.42
small pot (rice) 9.95 1.46
bulbs (3@0.97each) 2.91 0.42
cutting board 9.95 1.46
3 floor mats 15.00 2.20

Total cost in US $23.31!

See? It’s not that expensive at all–particularly if you’re on a US-based/derived income. Of course it helps if you’re low maintenance minimalist, willing to shop where the local people shop, but the fact is, your dollar can go much further in many destinations overseas.

Notes:

– I get a mop and broom as I prefer to clean my own room (have you seen the mops and dirty bucket water in most hotels?)

– the “stove adjustor” is that metal ring that sets atop the stove burner for accommodating smaller pots

– the “hooks” are a paste-on 5-hook thingy on which I can place utensils (spoon, strainer, etc.) that I use for cooking

cost of living in China, china hotels
all the purchases in my Xishuangbanna mansion

cost of living in China, china hotels

I’ll compare the above prices to those on Hainan in a future post (rumor has it things are much more expensive here)
So, my point is, when you think to yourself that traveling around the world is something you could never do, remember the dollar-a-day nomad and Jamaican in China!

顾瑞奇, My new Chinese name!

I have a new Chinese name! From back on Saipan, my Chinese friends would ask me if I had a Chinese name. I’d gotten a few suggestions from everyone from girlfriends to waitresses, but none quite seemed to work. Whenever I would take an unofficial survey of a name with other Chinese friends, the responses would be lukewarm, and the names just didn’t seem to fit sound-wise or meaning-wise.

So, recently I asked my friend, Jian, to help me set up a renren account (the Chinese version of Facebook; social networking site) since the site is in Chinese, and I cannot yet read Chinese characters. In doing so, he chose a name for my profile. He chose 顾瑞奇; “Goo-ree-chi”; sounds a bit like goodridge).


You can call me 顾瑞奇!

When he told me about it, something clicked! So, I asked my friend, Gao Ying, in Beijing what she thought. She replied: “Yes,in Chinese characters ” 瑞’ means lucky and good , “奇” means special and rare. This Chinese name sounds good.”

I like it, too. Like I said, it sounds a little like Goodridge. Plus, it has the “guru” sound in it, and, as Gao Ying mentioned, the meaning is one I can definitely get used to!

If you go to http://translate.google.com, you can hear how it is pronounced.(copy and past 顾瑞奇 into the box and select Chinese to English, then click “Listen”)

I also have a kaixin account and a Chinese blog account. If you’re a member of either of the social networking sites (renren, kaixin, please do add me to your friends list!)

Here’s my Chinese social network connection information to help fulfill my destiny to conquer China:

RENREN: http://www.renren.com/profile.do?id=351725782

KAIXIN: http://www.kaixin001.com/home/?uid=98428953

SINA.COM BLOG: http://blog.sina.com.cn/jamaican

And here’s what the renren page looks like.

Walt Goodridge on ren ren



Hello, Hainan!

Every since hearing about the island of Hainan from back on Saipan, I’ve been curious to check it out. It’s an island similar to Saipan in many ways! Well, I’m finally here! I’m in Sanya, the southern part of Hainan! I’ll post at length once I get settled. However, here are a few early images of my first hour on Hainan!
Sanya Airport Hainan

Sanya Bay Hainan

Sanya Beach vendor

Sanya Beach

Above the Clouds of China…..I think I like flying

Well, let me clarify. I like the experience of being above the clouds for a few hours. I do my best brainstorming at those times, as I did on the flight from Kunming to Hainan.

I get a different perspective of life, and of all the daily efforts and activities and how they fit into a grander scheme when I’m above the clouds. Not surprisingly, when I want to visualize my books and writing reaching and affecting greater numbers of people, being above it all (and being able to peer down upon my market) helps me think of specific strategies and things to add to my task list.

China clouds sanya hainan