United States of America · 106 Days · 277 Moments · July 2016


Rio's Ramblings


A great Muslim restaurant in Nanning. Interesting concept here of stabbing your paid ticket with the order and the cooks prepare it. Good stuff.

2 days ago

This is a Jumbotron about the size of a football field...#big #windows #error
Hanoi bound with Visa in hand. This deal is going down. Vietnam, here we come...#hanoi #rocks #vietnam
Never too early to celebrate the rea$on for the $ea$on in non-religious, non-capitalism China...#christmas #holiday #modern #china
One foot in. One foot out. #nanning #china #siesta #bestjourni

3 days ago

Wok n Roll...
Check 1,2...#shymc #bestjourni
#safety #first #bestjourni
Market day in Nanning...

4 days ago

Gnawing on a chicken foot...#bestjourni

5 days ago

These subways can get a little blurry at times. This should be the last time I encounter one here in China for a while... I am in route to the Nanjing Railway Station to embark on a 27 hour journi to Nanning, in south central China (blue dot on map). From there, it's Visa business at the consulate for a few days before entering Vietnam for the #bestjourni a boy could hope for. I will be staying with a Chinese couple in Nanning arranged via #couchsurfing. The quest continues along the wish-path. Stay tuned...#nanjing #nanning #china #vietnam

6 days ago

#nanjing #china #kitchen
A 100 day birthday party. #culture
#street #side #bestjourni

8 days ago

Your chariot awaits...
Nanjing, China
That's what they used to call me back in high school...
Porcelain Tower in Nanjing. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/16/travel/nanjing-china-reconstructed-porcelain-tower/index.html
Clown spotting...
Good form...#bestjourni

9 days ago


10 days ago

Street side strings...
A supreme hike up the Purple Mountain of Nanjing. https://en.m.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Nanjing#Purple_Mountain_.E7.B4.AB.E9.87.91.E5.B1.B1
Some pretty trippy ceiling art above the escalators in the Nanjing Subway Station.

10 October 2016

Not quite...
A day at the market...

8 October 2016

The weapon of choice is strings today...

4 October 2016

3 October 2016

This place is grrrrrreat...
Maybe a little long for a name of a bar...#smwaccb

1 October 2016

Holiday in Nanjing...
Holiday travel in China at the train station in Shanghai. Insanity. I'm done with the city lol. I'm negotiating for a teaching position in the southern part of a rural part of the country in Yunnan Province about 100 miles from the Vietnam border. Lots of rivers, lakes, indigenous and even a wine growing region in the area that looks promising 😜. Stay tuned...

29 September 2016


28 September 2016

Teaching a little "vocab" 😜
My first Chinese surprise birthday party 😳.
Motorbikes as far as the eye can see...Wow.
A common fixture here in Shanghai. I read where in the mid 90's I believe, during a huge growth phase, HALF of ALL of the cranes in the world were in Shanghai! Wow. It shows... The development and density of people is almost overwhelming but I guess they manage it as well as anyone could. Impressive to say the least...

27 September 2016

Late night street theater...
After & Before
Opted for wind versus strings today...

26 September 2016

Meat Buns to Break the Fast...
Ahhh, to be a cat...

25 September 2016

One Team One Dream...

24 September 2016

The Chinese love Mike Tyson! He's in the movie https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ip_Man_3, which won all kinds of awards at the 2016 Shanghai International Film Festival.

22 September 2016

Early morning jam...

21 September 2016

What a great year...
too dark to see...

19 September 2016


17 September 2016


14 September 2016

The Eye of Nanjing. An amazing pedestrian only bridge constructed for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Wow.

13 September 2016


12 September 2016

A Monday night stroll thru Shanghai...
The secret to a good pizza is allowing it time to cool...
This place is jamming for Lunch. Menu board on the wall. No registers. 3 employees total.
Cool architecture.
First Chinese haircut. High and tight...

11 September 2016

Lining up for Mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooncake?wprov=sfsi1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival?wprov=sfsi1

10 September 2016

From China to the World at a $1.20 US for a 20oz.+ beer. Don't mind if I do...
Skate or Die
Dancing at the Shanghai Train Station. Saturday night.

9 September 2016

Yummy. #vegetarian
The Jina'an Temple is right next to the center where I teach. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jing'an_Temple?wprov=sfsi1
Lego school lol

8 September 2016

A little Teacher Training...

7 September 2016

Nanjing, China

6 September 2016

First speed train. 188mph.
Back in the People's Republic....

5 September 2016

Stayed at this little hostel in Hong Kong. Not much to write Home about but it did sport a little Kung fu dojo and is owned by a student of the same master that taught Bruce Lee. #hongkongsux
Who knew Houston was known for it's leather?
Some scenery coming from the island of the HK airport via bus. This was the highlight of this short trip...
Descent into Hong Kong. The runway is on the edge of the island...
1 of 2 airports in Shanghai and this is 1 of 2 major terminals at the Pudong Airport. I am in route to Hong Kong for a bit of passport biz. I am here on a 10 year Chinese Tourist Visa but must leave mainland China every 60 days. A great excuse to visit different parts on this side of the globe such as Taiwan, Vietnam, etc. This all until I get my Work Visa for my new teaching gig in Shanghai which is much more to my liking and spirit...

4 September 2016

A little morning street art.

3 September 2016

Shanghai 2016

1 September 2016

Still keeping time...

31 August 2016

Shanghai. 59th Floor.

30 August 2016

A little window shopping...

28 August 2016


27 August 2016

I believe this bike has been chained here since 74'...
Bamboo used on a high rise construction project in the central part of Shanghai, China in 2016. Cool.
Why not dance a jig at 7am?
I have arrived. One week ago today, I slept in the lobby of a subway station all night in far west China not knowing my next move. Now I sit atop the skyline on the 38th floor of the J.W. Marriott in Shanghai, China. The wonderous turns of the road...

26 August 2016

New friends.

25 August 2016

I can't make this stuff up. For a second time, I have bought a "Standing" ticket and told that was all that was left. So I post up sitting on my pack in that little area in between cars. I get curious looks before the Attendants send someone over that somewhat speaks English. He asks where I'm going. I say Shanghai, which is 36 hours & 1300 miles away. He punches in his translator app asking if I would like a Sleeper. For an extra $35US, I am afforded a little more comfort. The pleasures of being a single white male in The People's Republic of China... Very hospitable people, at least to my demographic 😜.
Getting on the train at the Kunming Station. The same station I arrived at 5 days ago from Beijing. It doesn't pay to look behind you. It's usually a clusterfuck. Keep moving forward... It's like the Running of the Bulls getting onto the train as everyone is jocking for good seats and luggage space.
My way of communicating my desires lol. Need a taxi to the train station and a train ticket to Shanghai.
Hotel receipt. Works for me...

24 August 2016

Interesting turn of events. I reached out to a Mentor of mine & asked if he had any biz in China. Turns out he's gonna be in Shanghai on Saturday & asked me to join him for the week. We're gonna look @ new equipment & meet with his China Partners 😳. This could be interesting. Stay tuned.. In the meantime, got stranded in Kunming last night as there were 0 train tickets available on the "Last Train to Shanghai" (good song title 😁). I got a ticket leaving today on Thursday @ 7pm (it's 13 hours AHEAD here) & was gonna do the street thing. I'm wondering around @ midnight looking 4 this Hostel that has vanished & was just gonna sit it out near the station. This guy insists I get on back & he'll find me a place. We buzz around to 4 or 5 different places within my budget & everything was full. We end up @ the Qianlvchen Hotel & I made a decision to splurge. Besides, I can't be looking road tired when I hook up with my Friend. Even got a hot Bfast buffet. Shanghai bound...#safety1st
Adios Dali...
This ain't your Grandma's sweet iced tea lol. I'm becoming a hot tea drinker 😳. Serious biz here in China. You put the leaves in that little filter in the bottom of the water bottle, poor boiling water inside and Voila, Hot Tea! Pretty nifty...
All 3 for $5US. Best bargain yet... Vegetarian buffet at Tibetan temple that tastes as good as any steak I've had lol. $.75US. Second best bargain... Peeling potatoes for the night shift...

23 August 2016

New friends...
Pre vs. Post
ADA compliant
Using the sickle & hammer as bulletpoints lol.
#freeballin #comfy #grubtime

22 August 2016

What a novel idea. The trash truck rolls around with a siren like the old ice cream trucks when we were kids. Everyone runs out with their waste and dumps it. Duh.
Definitely the highlight of my trip so far. A Buddhist Temple run by monks and they have a lunch & dinner vegetarian buffet each day. It costs $.75US ($5RMB) and tasted awesome! There is chanting over the loud speakers and the place was very peaceful. Complete with a scale outside lol.
My view this morning...

21 August 2016

My domain for the next few nights. A very peaceful cool Hostel. I've got a comfortable bed in a dorm room all to myself with a private bathroom and western toilet 😳. All for $15US for 3 nights. I'm gonna light here while I do my homework on entering Myanmar to the West. Supposed to have a Visa to enter but who's got time or money for that? Stay tuned...
These guys behind me were jamming Boyz in the Hood by Eazy E lol.
I popped into this little joint called Gala and these guys are jamming Creep by Radiohead. Dali beer probably brewed in Beijing 😜. Complete with a rose petal entrance.
These guys were dancing to some techno while milling flour in this barrel lol.
I'm gonna take a shitload of pics tomorrow but Old Town Dali is one of the coolest places I have ever seen. Lots of Chinese tourists but it has a real cool vibe. Lots of authenticity and not a lot of hounding and hustling. There were two handfuls of bars that were playing live music that was more rock/folk than anything. One woman was jamming Jolene by Dolly. Groovy place. Lots of handmade items like clothing, jewelry and leather stuff. There were bone/horn combs that were very cool. Pics coming soon...
A new Starbucks :( being built in old town Dali, one of the Top 5 places I have ever been. Lots of pics coming tomorrow.
Rollin thru Old Town Dali.
This place has been discovered...
The Buddhists have sacrifices such as this all along the sidewalks and such.
Pepper plants growing to make braided pepper strands in the back of a house.
Farmer hand planting seeds one by one.
Puji Buddhist Temple. Notice the third eye and halo in the murals. I'm headed to Myanmar (formerly Burma) in a few days to seriously dig into some meditation.
A cool hillside village.
Fresh walnuts from a street vendor.

20 August 2016

Made it to Dali at the back door of Tibet and scored a sweet little room. It's got a shitter, shower and washer for my clothes all in one!
A couple of funny signs.
This place is trippin over mushrooms. Longchuan, China in the Yunnan Province. Obviously shroom country.
These guys are crazy. This is a huge water bong and they rip the filter off of their cigarette and smoke it. The second guy was a bus driver that stopped here and got out to burn one. It was raining and he had his Handler hold the umbrella for him while he finished his smoke. Lol.
These are my last architecture/building pics but I can't get over the attention to detail. Very impressive.
Too early for ice cream or I would have given it a try.
When the pack gets a little heavy, I will think of these two that are both at least double my age 😜.
Food really is the universal language. This little creation is a pancake type thing that hit the spot for breakfast. Batter, sugar, egg, oil, hot pan and there you have it. Very feeling and tasty for $0.53US. #street And this guy rocking the woc at at lunch.
Lots of older men are out stretching and doing yoga and such next to the river early in the morning. This second guy was a trip. I watched him for 15-20 minutes. He was doing all kinds of exercises to this Chinese disco music, all the while watching the bottom of these steps into the water where he would scoop these small eel looking creatures out every once in a while.
Reminds me of this song. Go get it now. Classic Roger Miller. River in the rain Sometimes at night you look like a long white train Winding your way away somewhere River I Love You, don't you care? If you're on the run Winding some place just trying to find the sun Whether the sunshine, weather the rain River I Love You just the same. -RM
Super friendly woman at the subway station in Kunming giving me a letter in Chinese to get on down the road.
This is MUCH more manageable compared to Beijing.

19 August 2016

Train Attendant saluting as we rolled into our station. These guys take this stuff serious.
Stocking up. This little snack/produce cart comes down the aisle every few hours.
This guy puts in a little meat snack in his fake, MSG laden ramen.
The dominant toilet in China. You gotta be a squatter to make here 😳...
Breakfast. $2.25US. Complete with a poached egg and all...
In the Hunan Province about 500 miles from my destination. This is the China I am looking for. I could teach English here 😃.

18 August 2016

Wicked moon on the flipside. These pics don't do it justice...
Zhengzhou from my sleeper...
A wicked looking sun in the countryside.
Hanging with the crew...
This was my original perch opposite this smoking spot on one of the last tickets available on this train. STANDING lol. So I'm talking to one of the crew and I ask him about Tibet and he thinks I say "To Bed". He says to wait a bit. Long story short, he tells me to go to Car 14. I head up there and this young lady in the white shirt comes up and says she hears I need some help. After a little haggling, I end up with a Sleeper. Ahh, the turn of the curve in travel...
This is the journey I'm making. Roughly 1,300 miles.
Scalding hot water lol. Lots of fake ramen being consumed in this train station...
Eastern Ingenuity. #movingproduce
Damn! Shoulder strap broke. Omen or Blessing...
These guys know how to go BIG. The Beijing Railway Station. An absolute MAD HOUSE... Looks like it's Tibet. Caught a train headed West to Kunming. It looked good on the map 😜. Gonna go trek up into The Himalayas and learn to meditate with some nature 😳. True story. Stay tuned...
An Omen or Blessing? Rain on my departure from Beijing. My teaching career is over. I had to bump. Too much city for me. I can't help but think that enlightenment lies ahead out in the countryside. The decision now is Mongolia or Tibet? My Passport expires in 26 days so Mongolia would give me another 60 days in China. We shall see which way the road leads...

17 August 2016

Catching a little scum...

16 August 2016

This is a Caution area on the road that is common but it looks like a carnival or something with the lights and such.

15 August 2016

"Wekipedia" Foods lol. These guys are the kings of the ripoff. My first Live Sushi Conveyor...
A girl's gotta make a buck...
Headed to do an audio recording in English for a little part time gig at a recording studio on my day off. $40US cash for 1 1/2 hours of reading sentences. EZ money... My first sight of graffiti at a Subway Station along the way... Nothing like helping the Regime in their propaganda efforts!

13 August 2016

Yum, ox intestines in duck blood. This second place is all things pork. The entire store is filled with pork products. Pork is to China what chicken is to the US and more...

10 August 2016


9 August 2016

Linkin Park seems to be big here with the Asians... This is the parcel delivery system in the neighborhoods similar to FedEx. These guys are forever delivering packages...
Trip to central Beijing...

8 August 2016

Chinese Valentine's Day is today.
Getting a bit burnt out on Chinese fare. Good burgers at this brewpub.

4 August 2016

Some Subway directionals...

3 August 2016

I enjoy these little mystery meats snacks... $2.41 US meal.
Getting ready for class...

30 July 2016

Streetside view outside my apartment complex.
Give me a "C"...
Not quite ready to belly up to one of those street tables alone. This is my seat and fare for the evening. This is drinkable yogurt that is like a sweet buttermilk. Yummy. Some orange drink that may in fact be malt liquor.
These seem to still be in play here although everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, from 10 to 110 has a cellphone and is glued to it.
If you say so...
This seems to be a phenomenon at parks around the city. Some sort of senior, dance, exercise thing going on to Chinese music. Kind of a Far East Curves...
I love how China brings it out to the street...
Out front of my apartment. The only foreigner for miles...😳
Creepy paintings in my apartment elevator.
Gas notice on my neighbor's door. Socialism my ass...

25 July 2016

Universal. Military Marketing.
Rush Hour Subway. Wow.
Adorable class tonight. The second from the left is a little shit. Don't let her fool you...

24 July 2016

Make note of "Bathroom". 😳

23 July 2016

#nofilter That's the sun I believe. Smog is an issue here in Beijing, to say the least...
My first class. 9-11 year olds. They are smarter than me 😳.
First day on the Subway alone. Baby steps...I passed Training and will begin observing classes for a week or so. Almost a Maestro...😳

22 July 2016

I've heard that during big rains, people have been known to fall into manholes and disappear. 😳

21 July 2016

Rush hour.
Lunch. Tasty. Cold noodle dish. Good stuff. Strawberry lemonade with a BIG straw.
Parents can watch (not hear) their kids in the classrooms. I am working for www.bestlearning.cn. So far so good. It is an English immersion school so only English is spoken in each center. I am training this week but will have a Chinese counterpart teaching with me when I begin actually teaching next week in a classroom. There are 10 centers throughout Beijing and I'll be assigned to one specific one tomorrow. If China isn't the dominant Superpower today, they will be soon. Chinese children are super busy with all kinds of classes, schools, etc. It's fascinating learning the different customs and ways of the Chinese people. Beijing is a BIG city (20+ million ppl) and would not have been my first choice but I'm just going with the flow. It's fairly inexpensive to live here regarding food, transportation, etc. I'm a little nervous about Housing as I have to find a place to live next week on my own 😳. Stay tuned...
A little morning street theater...

20 July 2016


19 July 2016

First trip on the massive subway system. Yawza!!!!
I never imagined it raining in China 😳.

18 July 2016

A good first day. Ate at my first restaurant. Chinese children's life are busy. All kinds of classes from swimming to violin to English not to mention regular secondary school. From where I sit, the US is going down as far as the major world superpower. China is rolling. There were a mix of other teachers starting with me. Many have travelled and taught English before. I'm definitely the Elder of the group lol. I feel good after the first day. Stay tuned...
This little guy in the middle is not 1 dollar lol. More like 10 cents. I got a strange look from the Cashier 😜.
A little "overcast" today 😳...
Made it...

17 July 2016

Brand new roll of toilet paper in Hotel. Interesting size...
Safety first 😜. I'm DavidPrichard on WeChat, the best texting and chat app. Download it now at http://wechat.com/dl/ccg5%2Blzt5XQ%3D and add me to communicate!
Old school...
First day at the Supermarket. Baby steps...
No exchange rate on Sunday. Who knew? 😜
The view from my Hotel entrance. This is the first time I've been out during the day since arriving Friday evening lol. My clock was a little jacked up...
Getting more adventurous...
Don't believe the hype...
Just say No...
BIG intersections...
Good score! A "Food Palace". May try tomorrow...
A 24 hour restaurant. I don't have the balls to go in lol. Maybe next week. It smells delicious... I should get some assistance on Monday when I report to my teaching gig. For now, I guess it's a pre-packaged noodle dish or something 😜.
Yes! ED seems to be Universal.
A little over $2US for a 6 pack of beer. Sponsored by the NBA of course...
This seems to be a common occurrence with parking and I assume it works.
The Facilities. Power doesn't work without the hotel key inserted. Smart. I guess I need to take up tea 🈲. Electric kettle in every room. This white box is for drinking water. No Dasani here 😜. The only English speaking station from CCTV, Chinese TV. Africa Live is on. A whole different slant to the "news". This seems to have more credibility. Complementary toothbrushes and herbal tea toothpaste. Good teeth here in China 😁.
I keep getting these cards slid under my Hotel room. Word must be out there's an American staying here...

16 July 2016

My first official Chinese meal. About $2.50US if my math is correct...
My Home for 2 weeks...
Shit ton of bikes everywhere with no locks or no chains in a city of 20+million. An observation...
This place looks exotic. Especially at 3am...

15 July 2016

7:45pm on a Friday night and this city is surprisingly very quiet. Not a lot of honking, noise, etc. Interesting...
Touch down...
Good grub on the trip over. 6K miles took 12 hours. LL on the in flight entertainment!
This deal is going down...
Final stretch...
San Fran. BARTing it to the airport.
Moon. 18 Wheeler. I-5 b/t LA & San Fran.

13 July 2016

Last leg to San Francisco.
Street Art in the Little Tokyo District of LA.
Welcome to the jungle...LAX Amtrak Station.
Welcome to Los Angeles, California, United States. I really hope there are no Homeless Tent Camps in China.
Yuma, AZ

12 July 2016

Desert sunset in San Simon, AZ.
The Big River. Mexico Border. Border Patrol Lookout.
El Paso Train Station. $2 pocket rockets. This woman sold 100+ burritos out in 5 minutes. "God Bless You beautiful" were her parting words. I like this town.
The Prada building in the middle of nowhere outside of Valentine, TX. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prada_Marfa
I enjoy travel. It sort of feeds my existence...
Marfa, TX
Downtown Alpine.
The Pecos River High Bridge in Langtry, between Del Rio & Sanderson. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecos_River_High_Bridge
Lake Amistad NW of Del Rio from the Observation Car...
My chariot awaits me headed to the City of Angels...

11 July 2016

Cool hood around the corner from Casbeer's
Shit! This IS my last Tex-Mex meal for at least a year. Teacher's Honor 😜... Casbeer's. This place is a San Antonio institution. My good buddy Reece introduced me to this place back in the early 00's. Cold Beer, Live Music and Killer Enchiladas were the recipe. These are the best cheese enchiladas on the planet. Hands down! The place was started by a German family in the 1939 and the legend is that they got the enchilada recipe from one of the "help". The Von Erich's used to wrestle across the street here. The area is called Beacon Hill. The Casbeer's sold out in the 90's. A couple ran it for 10 years or so & then stole the recipe and name and tried to open across town. Since then, it's changed hands 10 or 12 times. The current Owner Dave is old school SA and has had the place for 2+ years. They went to court and got the recipe back. He's added a Philly cheesecake sandwich that looks great. It's BYOB but they're expecting a beer license in September. Live Music every Friday.
Great score via @airbnb! My train leaves San Antone at 2:45am early on Tuesday headed for LA where I'll take a bus to San Fran to catch my flight to Beijing on Thurs. I didn't want to pay for 2 full days of lodging so my plan was to camp out at the train station until Monday am and then get to a place as early as possible to rest, shower & do some laundry before heading to the station in the evening. I reached out to Jana from the band www.TheLavens.com via Airbnb and asked how early I could get to her place on Monday. Not only did she offer for me to stay Sunday night and only pay for one night's stay but she also upgraded my room that includes this cool wall of talent! Off to a good start. Stay tuned...

10 July 2016

Dinner at Mi Tierra's which will likely be my last Tex-Mex meal for at least a year...
About to board a @megabus in Austin in route to San Antonio...
We shall see...
Part of my Road Crew making sure I'm secure for the trip...

8 July 2016


7 July 2016

Good score with this late night, roadside taquito stand in South Austin...
The old with the new. In route to Austin from Coleman...