We took 2 cars: Tempa drove the jeep with Uri and the two UT Austin students (Matt & Rachel) while Jachu drove the minivan with Jordan, Tsering, Stacy, Haleemah, and Stacey.
1st event- the jeep breaks down. Something was wrong with the gears, they wouldn’t change so we had to pull over and the jeep had to get towed to the nearest town for a fix up. Both cars had just gotten a check up before we left though! Tsering and Tempa both told us it’s just because everything in China sucks. All of them never spoke too highly of Chinese products or service. Tsering said when she goes to the U.S. she likes to buy socks because the quality is way better, socks in China only last her one or two wears. We were surprised because everything is made in China! Apparently it’s because China exports all of it’s products.
Because the jeep breaks down, we have lunch in a really small town. Stray dogs roam the dirt road and so do stray pigs! The whole town was probably the size of one block of a street, it was really small.
After lunch, we contine on the 6-7 hour trip to Kangding. Tempa and his car stay behind to wait for the jeep. A few things about driving in the mountains:
1. Yes, the ride is really bumpy. Most of the time you’re driving on dirt roads with loose rock. Haleemah and Stacey who sat in the back of a 3 row van found ourselves in the air half the time because we hit so many bumps.
2. Driver’s must be aggressive. At first we were all scared whenever Jachu would go around every possible car that was slower than him. These roads are 2 cars wide, at most! If you get stuck behind a big government, construction truck though you’d go no where. It is highly necessary to be aggressive and just drive whenever you can. Driver’s scrape by others to get by. As a passenger you could literally stick your finger out and touch the car you were trying to pass by because the roads are so narrow. What makes this all scary is that drivers still drive at normal speed!! They don’t need to slow down. If a regular person were driving these mountains the trip to Kangding would probably take 12-15 hours rather than the 6-7 hours we took.
And so, Jachu successfully gets his car in Kangding by 6pm, just in time to dance! Every night from 6-7pm people of Kangding come and dance in the center.