. . . AROUND THE WORLD 2001/02
Africa 1999
Around-the-World 2001/02

The Team

Jeff Willner
1. Start: Recipe for Adventure
2. Zimbabwe: Hyperinflation
3. Namibia: Southern Circuit
4. South Africa: Circuit 2
5. Zambia/Malawi: Sketches
7. Kenya: Bandit Country
8. Ethiopia: Diary
9. Ethiopia: Border Run
10. Sudan: Across the Sahara
11. Egypt: Cape to Cairo
12. Jordan/Syria: Sept. 11th
13. Turkey: Hospitality
14. Bulgaria/Romania/ Hungary
15. Slovakia/Austria/Poland
16. The Baltics & Russia
17. Scandinavia
18. Western Europe
19. Brazil: Clearning Customs
20. Argentina: Revolution
21. Argentina: To Ushuaia
22. Patagonia Disaster
23. Buenos Aires Beautiful
24. Uruguay: Beaches
25. Chile: Expedition Life
26. Bolivia: Atacama
27. Peru: Transit
28. Galapagos: Gorgeous
29. Ecuador: Jungle Run
30. Knifepoint
31. Dubai: Lay over
32. Singapore/Malaysia
33. Thailand: Hospitality
34. Cambodia: Ankor Wat
35. Vietnam: Hanoi & Halong
36. Laos: Back to Basics
37. China: Beijing Tour
38. China: Shanxi
39. China: Western Province
40. China: Tibet
41: Nepal: Mountains
42. India: Driving Struggle
43. Pakistan: Dodging War
44. Iran: Overcharging
45. End: One Last Laugh

Sally DeFina
1. Cape Town: Robben Island
2. Zanzibar: Mike & I
3. Kenya: African Driving School
4. Sudan: Mud Crossing
5. Patagonia: Goodbye Max
6. Malaysia: Mike Update
7. Thailand: Ko Phangan
8. Cambodia: Phnom Penh
9. Vietnam: By Train
10. Laos: Vang Vieng
11. China: Meet Mr. Chen

Jody Finver
1. Start: Surreal Solipse
2. Great Zimbabwe
3. Brokedown in Kenyan Desert
4. Egypt: So Should I Hyphenate
5. Poland: Home is Where the Truck Is

Gulin Akoz
1. Start: Bits and Pieces
2. Zambia: Diaries
3. Egypt: Africa Memories
4. Turkey: For Your Information
5. The Team and The Bean
6. Somebody Else's Child
7. On My Own
8. Long Lost Memories of Childhood
9. The Tree and the Boy
10. Jealous
11. The Aftermath


Panamerican 2003
Various Trips
Planning an Expedition


Kensington Tours can help you plan your own expedition anywhere in the world.



#11 - Meet Mr. Chen
Sally deFina -  April 20, 2002

Meet Mr. Chen, or Allen as we call him.  He is our guide for the next three weeks while we traverse China.  "A Guide?!?", you ask.  Yes, well, we haven't had a guide up until this point in the junglerunner trip, but we are obliged to have one for our drive through China by the Chinese government.  You see, although foreign tourists may now travel China independently, driving your own car through China is a different matter. At first we were very apprehensive about having an unknown person in the car, but Allen is turning out to be invaluable (and likeable!).   

Allen is 27 years old, is married, and has a 2-year old little girl (about whom he delights in telling us).  Originally a middle-school teacher in history, his chosen degree at University, he switched to tourism upon relocating to Beijing.  We imagine there is probably much more money in tourism than in teaching given how much money the tourist attractions in China have been costing us so far (wow is China expensive - who would've thought!). Far from simply sitting in the car and making sure we don't get into trouble, Allen explains some of the sights we are seeing (if he has knowledge of the particular site), translates for us (few Chinese speak English outside of the main cities), makes sure we drive in the right direction (most street signs are written in indecipherable Chinese), gets us lost anyway (but then finds us again), makes sure we aren't ordering dog meat or intestines at restaurants (eeeeew!), and gets us discounts on hotels, food, and tourist attractions. He also patiently answers some of the "politically sensitive" questions we have about Falun Gong, Tianammen Square, the One-Child policy, state run banks, economics, you name it (we are rather inquisitive, as you can well imagine).    

With Allen in the car, we are becoming very spoilt.  It is nice to be able to get along so easily in a completely different culture and language.  This is a new experience for us, since normally we have to mime our way through most everything when in non-English speaking countries.  Right before we enter Tibet, we will have another guide taking Allen's place, so we will be spoiled until we reach Nepal. But since we really can't post anything about China until we leave it (for reasons we'll explain later),  we will give you an update on the China portion of our trip in about 3 weeks.  In the meantime...let me just say that we are enjoying the Northern Chinese food immensely and hope to go on diets when we hit (mainly) vegetarian India.  Later! 

Copyright January 1999-2011
All rights reserved - Jeff Willner
Contact: jeffwillner@yahoo.com