To the Mystery (1) 去秘境(1)

The driver called me at 7:41 in the morning saying he’s waiting for me outside the hostel, which was 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Very punctual. We picked another guest, Ms. Zeng, and set off for the two lakes that are not ravishingly exploited yet – Wusute Yadan Geo-Park and East Taiji Nai’er Lake. 
司机师傅早上7:41打电话说他已在旅馆外等我。比原计划提前了20分钟,非常守时。我们接上了另一位客人曾小姐姐,便出发去两个尚未充分开发的湖泊-乌素特雅丹地质公园和东台吉奈尔湖。

Driver Mr. Wang pointed to the buses on the highway and told us all those buses running between Salk lakes and Golmud belong to the company he works for. The bus drivers are not allowed to surpass another bus from the same company. If reported, they will be fined with 200 RMB, which equals to their one day salary. He also asked for our permission to drive fast because his company once received a complaint from one of his guests about speeding, who didn’t say anything while he was in the car. ‘It’s not easy to make a little bit of money…’ Also not easy to make a little bit of money are the cleaners working at the free public toilets by national highway 315 where nothing else is around within tens of miles. The job is remote, dirty, lonely and insignificant, yet so important in terms of keeping a satisfying sanitary condition for the passers by. I wonder what motivates them to take on a job like that, what kind of attitude they have for life. And I hope one day technology will help eliminate this type of jobs without affecting their living standard… yes, talking about Andrew Yang.
王师傅指着高速公路上的大巴告诉我们说,在盐湖和格尔木之间接人上下班的所有大巴都是他公司的车。公司规定大巴车不得超本公司的另一辆车。一经举报则罚款200元,相当于司机一天的工资。他还征求我们的同意开快车,因为曾有一位乘客投诉他超速,而在他车里时什么都没说。“赚一点钱不容易啊……”另一群赚钱也不容易的人是在315国道边的免费公厕里工作的清洁工,几十公里内都是荒凉的不毛之地。这项工作是偏远的,肮脏的,孤独的和微不足道的,但在为路人保持令人满意的卫生条件方面却如此重要。我想知道是什么促使他们从事这样的工作,他们对待生活又是什么样的态度。我希望有一天技术可以使这样的工作消失而不影响他们的生计……没错,我是在说Andrew Yang。

We drove through Sebei natural gas field where the West-East Gas Pipeline project extracts natural gas and transport to Xining and Lanzhou via massive pipelines running all the way for thousands of miles. After the gas field we encountered Xitieshan (锡铁山, literaly Tin-Iron Mountain) where, obviously, metal mines are located. The landscape reminds me a lot about Death Valley, where the colors of the mountains change from earthly yellow to brown to dark grey. The second lake we are going to today is actually a lithium mine. What rich natural resources they have!
我们驶过了涩北气田,这个西气东输工程提取天然气,并通过贯穿数千里的大型管道将天然气运至西宁和兰州的天然气田。之后,我们穿过了锡铁山——山如其文,显然是一些金属矿的所在地。这里的地貌让我想起了死亡谷,山丘的颜色从土黄到棕色,再到深灰。我们今天要去的第二个湖实际上是一个锂矿。多么丰富的自然资源!

Next is ‘the most beautiful road of China’, which also reminds me a lot of west USA. This kind of long straight roads out in the wild are not easy to find in China. It is in a Yadan landscape area surrounded by huge soil hills. 
接下来是一段“中国最美的公路”,这也让我想起了美国西部。这种荒野中长长的大直路在中国很难得。这段路在雅丹地貌区,周围大土丘林立。

National Highway 315

Despite the very special and nice view, of you pay attention, plastic wastes are everywhere. With our current technology, it is impossible for the time being to thoroughly clean up the road side wastes. I hereby call for all tourists to not litter where it doesn’t facilitate a proper disposal. 
尽管这里的景色非常特别非常美,但如果你留心看一看,就会发现到处都是塑料垃圾。以我们目前的技术,暂时还不可能彻底清理路边垃圾。在此呼吁所有游客朋友们不要在无法适当处置垃圾的地方乱扔垃圾

After almost 4 hours driving, we finally arrived at Wusute Yadan Geo-Park. I do not want to describe how beautiful this place is, so that more people would come to damage it. Just look at the picture. It always makes me sick to see plastic waste, seriously, although there isn’t much yet here. Same for East Taiji Nai’er Lake. 
经过近四个小时的车程,我们终于到达了乌素特雅丹地质公园。我不想描述这个地方有多美,以免更多的人来破坏它。看看照片吧。讲真,见到塑料垃圾我就难受,虽然这里还不算多。东台吉奈尔湖也是一样的情况。

Plastic bottle on the lakeside

My travel companion today, Ms. Zeng, is a girl few years older than me. I like her personality very much. Having a child of 9, she decides to go working in Japan to realize her own value, after working as a Japanese translator and then housewife for several years. We both are waiting for the suspended visa from the Japanese embassy. We hope the pandemic come to an end soon, and see each other there. 
今天的旅友是个比我大几岁的小姐姐。我很喜欢她的个性。她有个9岁大的孩子,在担任了一段时间的日语翻译又做全职太太几年后,她决定去日本工作,实现自己应有的价值。我们俩都在苦等被日本大使馆暂停发放的签证。望疫情尽快结束,岛国再见。

Back to the hostel, I met another girl going to a different volunteering project of Green River, starting also from 1st July. What a coincidence! We exchanged each other’s wechat, and looking forward to live streaming both projects!
回到客栈后,偶遇另一位绿色江河的志愿者,她会参与一个不同的项目,但也是7月1日开始。真巧!我们加了微信,期待彼此的现场直播!

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