Renegade Writings

The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

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danger

Our bathroom, 3:16 pm

We've decided to take down the bathroom mirror and replace it with a cabinet. Unfortunately, the thing has been glued to the wall with silicon and it's nearly impossible to get it down. So here I am, dressed in as much protective clothing I could find, standing on a ladder, chipping away at the mirror with a hammer and chisel. While breaking the mirror is less than ideal, it seems to be the only way to remove it. What concerns me more are the small pieces of glass pinging off in different directions and now and then hitting me in the face; I'm so glad I decided to wear my sunglasses.

Yanshui Junior High Sports Field, 10:03 pm

It's the last big fireworks of the night and this rack is the biggest, with three tiers of firecrackers ready to be shot out over the audience. The announcer starts the count down and we in the crowd count along with her, three, two, one. The rockets start spewing out from the rack, streaks of orange passing over us, and the sound of explosions somewhere behind us like we're in the middle of an oven full of popcorn. Where I'm standing the rockets seem to be firing right at me, the orange trails just passing over my head; it feels like I'm a soldier under fire. Every once in while a firecracker will actually fall into the crowd, exploding close by, sending sparks flying. I can feel one hit my leg, another hits my left arm, and a one even pings off my visor in a disconcerting way. Despite this I'm not scared, I feel secure in my protective gear. It is a visceral experience.

Road 54, noon

As soon as the road entered the mountains the fog descended. As we climb higher it gets thicker and I find myself unconsciously slowing the car down as visibility shrinks to just tens of meters. I hunch forward over the steering wheel and peer into the milky nether, searching out the curve of the road and the least sign of an oncoming car. My focus is heightened partly from fear of flying off the road, partly from excitement at the risk. My wife beside me is scared but the sense of danger has me smiling.… Read the rest

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