Raderstorf World Wide Adventure

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Journey Recap by Max

*** This entry is a copy of a letter Max sent to his 5th Grade Class. ***
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Hey every body,

I’m sorry I haven’t e-mailed you yet. But this e-mail’s extra long because I have two weeks to write about. Some very interesting things have happened to me. Here are some of them.

Week 1, Thanksgiving in Japan:
I arrived in Japan on Wednesday November 24. When I got there we waited in a short line for customs. To get to are friend’s house, where we staying, we took 2 trains. The first was an air port express to Shinjuku station. Shinjuku is the busiest subway station in the whole world!!!!!!!!!!! When we got of the train we met the mom of the family that we were staying with. She told us that we were in the busiest station in the world at the busiest time of day. So it was very busy. From there we got on a different train that took us to our friend’s station. But before we got there the train stopped at at least 8 or 9 other stations. When we got to the station we had to get in a taxi and ride for at least 20 minutes. When we finally got to their house it was 7:00 P.M. the day after we left L.A. All of that I described is the average amount of travel you do to get from place to place in Tokyo.

We had a great time in Tokyo. Probably the worst thing that happened to us was I got huge cavity and had to have a partial root canal. But other than that every thing went fine. Tokyo was a great city but I was happy to leave. On the other hand Quin was not. He threw a tantrum and cried the whole taxi ride and screamed “I don’t want to leave Sophie and Sam’s” (those were the kid’s of the people we stayed with). Eventually it got really annoying. He didn’t stop till we got to the bullet train station.
If you ever get to ride on a bullet train don’t get too excited. It’s really fast and that’s good, but all it does is make the ride shorter. But during that two and a half hour tip there is nothing to do. One thing is that there is no entertainment like movies or anything. Another thing was that there wasn’t any sort of refreshment car for food or drink. The only things there were, were an occasional drink vending machine with about six choices and a refreshments cart that sold coca-cola and coffee. The only good thing about it was the view. But if you don’t arrange early you will not get a window seat. (The bullet train is always full.)
After a short bullet train ride we got to Kyoto. We stayed there for a few days going to temples and plays, and some very good restaurants. One of the things I remember was the most boring play about ancient Japanese customs. The worst part of it was probably the Emperor’s orchestra. The way we described the instruments were a duck strangling devise, a bagpipe with God knows what stuck inside of it, a tin can beaten with a log and various other unpleasant sounds. The whole orchestra was lead buy a dancing guy with a mask that looked like a mutated goat. The one word that described the show was SNORE!!!! (This was what we did through most of it.) But eventually we were back at the train station and headed towards the peace central of the world, Hiroshima.

We were only in Hiroshima for1 night, but we got to see a lot. The day we got there we went to the peace park and wandered around there a little bit. Although all Quin wanted to do was play catch with a football. The next day we went to the PEACE MUSEUM. They had a good exhibit on the a-bomb dropping. It really made you think it was a really bad idea. But eventually we had to leave Hiroshima too. Soon we were back in Tokyo airport again and were boarding a 777 to Beijing.

The best candy of Japan is HIGH CHEWS!!!!!! You will find out what they are when I get back. (Only 5 more months.)

Week 2, Cheap ol’ China:
As I’m writing this e-mail, I’m on a train headed for Chongquing, China. (Our third stop in China.) So far we have gone to Beijing and Xi’an (Shi-an). We arrived in China on Dec. 3. When we left the terminal in Beijing airport my dad’s workmate’s husband’s college roommate was right there. (He was going to be our guide and translator for part of China.) After buying tickets we got on a bus that stopped near our hotel. From our stop, we got in a cab that took us to our hotel, THE DOWN TOWN BACKPAKERS INN. We were lucky enough to land a bunk room with four sets of bunk beds that cost 5 dollars a bed!!!!!! That was about 40 dollars a night for eight beds!!!!!! You have to admit that that’s cheap!!! That night we didn’t do any thing but the next morning we went to the FORBIDDEN PALACE.

We went though just a fraction and it took almost the whole day!!! It was really a city not just a palace. There were at least 20 buildings (probably more). We started at the back door and worked our way up to the front and Tiananmen Square. While in the palace Quin managed to run straight into a garbage can and get my mom to buy us all snacks. After walking through the square, we hailed a cab and went back to the hotel. The next day we woke up at 6:30 A.M. and hopped on a bus. After a boring three hour drive we arrived at THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. On the Great Wall, I hiked the length of the Boulder Boulder. Yes ten kilometers. The Great Wall was amazing and I wish I could have had more time. But we were going to miss our bus, so we had to leave. (See pictures on www.raderstorf.com.)

Soon we got on a night train to Xi’an. The trip was twelve hours long!! Surprisingly I found that I enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it again and again and again and again. We arrived in Xi'an at 7:00 in the morning and headed to our hotel. Almost as soon as we got there, we headed out again to go to the eighth wonder of the world, THE TERRA-COTTA WARRIORS.
The Terra-cotta Wariors were thuosands of clay wariors buried underground in one of Emperor Qin’s tomb. A few farmers uncovered it in 1974 while digging a well. (I guess they didn’t have to dig anymore wells.) After spending a day there we headed back to the hotel.
The next day was Dec. 8 (my dad’s birthday). That day we went to a panda reserve with lots of pandas, monkeys, birds and various other endangered species. One of the non-endangered animals was the KILLER COW!!!!!!!!!!!(Dun dun dun) It had actually gotten into someone’s house and killed 4 people!!!!! After spending a few hours there, we went back to the hotel to prepare for my dad’s surprise birthday dinner. After walking a few blocks, we arrived at the famous dumpling house; Du Feng. They had all sorts of dumplings of all shapes and sizes. They even had dumplings in the shape of a Chinese dragon. Sadly we didn’t get that in our 10 course meal of chicken, duck and normal shaped dumplings. There was even a pot of soup with dumplings in it. After a big meal, we were all ready for bed. But on the walk back, we stopped at a few street venders to buy dried fruits, paintings and roses. Sadly the next morning after a bike ride on the city wall and shopping for 6 sent candy boxes (little candy boxes about the size of a normal deck of playing cards cost about 6 cents) and little ceramic figures. We got on a train that Waters didn’t get on. He was going back to Shanghai. After a very uncomfortable night we hopped of the train and met our new guide Junyi (Junnie). After spending the day in Chongqing, we boarded a river cruise boat going down the Yangtze, to THREE GORDGES DAM.

That’s all that’s happened so far. Try to e-mail me back soon

Sincerely, Max

P.S. Catarina, what is the name of your grandparent’s restaurant in Tucson?

P.S.S. I wrote this e-mail from various different places so it might say that I’m writing from this place then say I am writing from a different place. (Sorry major run on sentence.)

P.P.S.S. Notice Ms. Burianek, I wrote a lot like “a lot” instead of “alot”. (Ha ha ha)

P.P.S.S.S. I have been keeping up to date with my reading.

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