This is really a crazy crossing – starting from Beijing, crossing 13 countries, taking a ride 88 times, marching more than 16,000 kilometers, crossing the sea to go to Berlin, Germany to see his girlfriend.
On June 8, 2009, two dark-skinned Chinese men stood on the seashore in Beijing. According to the standards of this place, their looks are not weird, but one is small and one is long.
They frequently waved to passing vehicles, unlike other travelers, with their thumbs up, this gesture means taking a ride.
In more than an hour, all the taxis or black cars stopped. After listening to the two people’s car-ride declarations, the driver will reveal the expression of “your neuropathy” and quickly slam the door.
Their destination is Berlin, Germany. Even on the map, the linear distance between the two is 7755 kilometers.
On the yellow calendar that day, “Yes: travel, crown, marriage, open eyes, trading. Avoid: bed, shipping money, making stoves, moving soil, breaking ground.”
For both of them, this does not seem to be a good day for travel.
What’s more, the Meteorological Observatory recorded that Beijing had the strongest rainfall of the year.
It was really nothing, the two had to take a taxi to the Dujiakan toll station in Beijing, and change their place to try their luck.
The craziest crossing
At the end of 2008, Ika intends to return to Berlin, Germany. The salary of teaching German in Beijing is meager, she wants to try to go home and try.
The most reluctant is her boyfriend Gu Yue. Two and a half years ago, the two were in the hometown of Gu Yue, Beijing, watching Ika’s hometown Germany host the World Cup, and then fell in love.
Occupational traveler Gu Yue does not like the word “professional”. He feels that it is too serious to “play money while playing,” but it is difficult to have a more precise word to describe his life.
Six years ago, in Rotorua, New Zealand, Gu Yue stood on the side of the road for the first time. “This is a gesture of pleading for help from strangers, and it seems to be whispering.” A few seconds later, the shy Gu Yue retracted his thumb. He made a paper card, tried it again and again, and gave up again and again. A woman in her 40s stopped the car. The feeling of being trusted by strangers makes Gu Yue feel that the world is very beautiful.
Time can be traced back to earlier. At the age of 6, the elementary school student Gu Yue was in the marathon at school, and the north-south bus was shut down. He walked 10 kilometers and returned to the home of Deshengmen from the school of Tianqiao.
At the age of 11, Gu Yue immigrated to the United States with her mother. Sitting in the stepfather’s car, the family traveled around the United States.
At the age of 19, Gu Yue worked in Europe for half a year. At that time, he was just fascinated by the self-help tour, but he did not expect that this would be almost all of his future life.
At the age of 24, after working at GE for two years, Gu Yue finally got tired of the data, reports, and risk assessment. “Life is comfortable but empty. I want to see the world and experience the feeling of being alive.” So he resigned, sold his family, traveled around the world, and traveled to 18 countries in two years and a week to return to Beijing.
After that, more than half of Gu Yue spent on the road, and the deposit never exceeded 50,000 yuan. Sometimes I go with Ika who also likes to travel, sometimes I go there.
The DV with you will record the trip of Gu Yue, send it to the TV station, and pay for the travel expenses. If Ika is not in the same industry, Gu Yue’s audience will often see that this tall and handsome boy doesn’t leave “my girlfriend…” and he even shouts when he sees other couples show sweetness: I really want to be with my girlfriend!” It’s very embarrassing to get a ticket: “His girlfriend is too white! It’s not like the skin of Gu Yue.”
Before Christmas 2008, Ika set foot on the plane to go home. Gu Yue said: “I will go see you.”
He really wants to go.
If you fly, it can take up to 17 hours, but Gu Yue decided to take a ride, which needs to travel through 13 countries and travel more than 16,000 kilometers. How many hours do you need? God knows.
Even after having been a traveler for six years, Gu Yue has never tried such a crazy thing. In New Zealand, he used to ride for two and a half months, more than 50 times, but that is the place where there is a tradition of hitchhiking. This time, people who have crossed more than half of the area have almost no idea what the ride is.
Gu Yue found a friend Liu Chang and hoped to go with him. The two hit it off.
The documentary film director Liu Chang has a long hair and a moustache. Even if he smiles, he looks serious and is very different from the sunny-loving Gu Yue. The same thing is that both of them are believers in Kailuak’s “On the Road.”
Liu Chang, who was once impressed by “Happy Knight” and “Motor Diary”, wanted to make a road movie and was stuck in a long script writing. This time, he wanted to find a story on the way to the windmill.
The two men who didn’t have the heart tried to carry a big bag and stood on the thirteenth road to raise their thumbs. Some people stopped on the mountain road and asked where to go. This gave them a lot of confidence.
Preparations are officially started. First of all, to solve the problem of money, after half a year of tossing, Gu Yue and Liu Chang pulled up an outdoor brand-sponsored clothing and equipment – friends and friendship sponsored. “Travel TV” promised to broadcast a documentary about the trip, which in turn solved part of the travel expenses.
The most difficult thing is the visa, there is no secret or insider, just go to the embassy “one by one, one by one.” They often got up early and ran to the embassy to line up. On average, each embassy ran for six or seven.
There are always more people waiting in line than they think. Even a small country is lined up with a long line of dressed migrant workers, bosses, and government workers. “As far as we wear T-shirts, it looks special. garish.”
Gu Yue showed each visa officer their schedule, his photo with Ica, and said that the travel documentary he had filmed would be broadcast on TV, which would have a good impact on your country. He knows the difficulty of each visa. It is simple to do first. Then he will look at the hard-to-do country: “You have signed the country in front of you, and you have signed it.” If you are not insured, I went to the cultural counsellors of the embassies in various countries. Liu Chang praised this powerfully: “This guy can be fully engaged in visas for self-help backpackers.”
The Uzbek visa officer, who rarely sees a backpacker, enthusiastically points to the photo of the Tianshan hanging on the wall, pointing out which place is more fun. The Georgian visa officer even seriously invited the two to attend the Georgian National Day party organized by the Embassy. The two were happy to promise on the spot, and went back and hesitated because there was no decent dress. Renting clothes was too laborious, and the two called and refused to invite.
After more than two months, Gu Yue’s US passport required three visas to be obtained, and Liu Chang’s Chinese passport required nine visas to be sent to one Azerbaijan. For this reason, they had to take the first plane and jump in the middle. Over the Caspian Sea.
In this way, on June 8, 2009, they were on the road.
Half a toilet and a crazy trip
Leaving the city is the hardest part of the journey.
”Who is interested can try, from Houhai to Dujiakan, the difficulty coefficient is estimated to be similar to Berlin.” Liu Chang said that he summed up the experience: the city center is difficult to get on the bus, the opportunity is on the highway outside the city.
The situation in Dujiakan is still more bleak than the Houhai. More than 4 hours of heavy rain drenched their hair clothes. Raise your hand and write a brand and try it all. No car stops. Occasionally there are long-distance bus enthusiasm to stop, “open the door out of the individual, shouting on the bus is cheap, I can’t wait to grab the bag.” The two quickly said that we are taking a ride, emphasizing means free “shunfeng”.
“Hitchhiking? Impossible.” The staff at the toll booth came forward: “You don’t want to go back, or change places.”
It’s getting dark, and I can only ask for help from a friend with a car. The two were carried to the Beijing-Shijiazhuang Expressway Doudian Service Area, which is more than 20 kilometers away. The starting point of the ride is changed again.
This is really a bad start.
Fortunately, according to Dante’s definition, it is a comedy from bad to good.
In the Doudian service area, Gu Yue Liu Chang tried to convince people to eat, cheer people to catch them, and then refused and shirked more than 30 times. A young single man who went to Shijiazhuang finally got them on the bus. The two men shook the wet jacket and got into the first ride on this trip.
This is the first ride that Liu Chang took in 35 years. He held DV excitedly and said thank you to the driver, licking the wet hair, shaking his left and right outside the dark window, the red electronic signboards crossed. His bag was stuffed with the book “On the Road”. This book has been with him for 10 years. He has not read the final chapter for 4 times. He intends to leave the last page for this trip.
Liu Chang has never tried to live nine to five, and has never even participated in a job interview. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy’s graphic photography major, he entered the TV station. But I still feel restrained and simply become a freelancer.
He filmed the film “The Promise” and made a promo for the movie “World”. Explore the documentary for DISCOVERY in the steep places of the Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon, the Yangtze River source and so on. The latter is called “rice ticket” by him, and he can’t deny it if he finds a door. Therefore, Liu Chang, a freelancer, was not free at the time of his trip to Istanbul. He had to follow the “meal ticket” call, fly back to China for a week to shoot Haba Snow Mountain, then fly to Romania to chase Gu Yue, and return the ticket to save money. .
Liu Chang also took his own documentary. In addition to this ride to Berlin, he went to Beichuan to film “Reconstruction” after the earthquake. The film is still being filmed now. The pre-funds from the TV station have already been spent, and then contacted with many places to pay for it. The other party just faintly said, “Look at it.” Liu Chang had to slap his own money to support it.
After being invited by Gu Yue, Liu Chang calculated the account, assuming that the cost of the trip was 60,000 yuan, and only half of the toilets could be bought in Beijing. Between half a toilet and a crazy trip, Liu Chang quickly chose the latter. “Some things are not done now, and I will not do it in my life. I can still buy a toilet after 10 years, but I will not move after 10 years.”
When you are on the other side of the mountain
Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Xinjiang… 17 days out of the country, into Kyrgyzstan. Under the snow line is all grass, and the grass is full of big horses. “The horses are used to drink horse milk, like cows.” Sky blue makes people want to melt in. Liu Chang said that this is the most beautiful scenery he has seen along the way.
Entering the Russian-speaking area, the language of the two people is not working. Careful Gu Yue in Beijing asked a friend to prepare a Russian card with four words: “We both have to take a ride from China to Germany / if you are convenient, can you take us all the way? Sorry, we may not have money.” For you, but there are cigarettes and smiles / thank you very much.”
In fact, it is very good to stop the car here. Because of the lack of long-distance transportation, the locals often rely on the car to travel far away, but they are all paid.
Gu Yue smiled and showed his shiny white teeth and raised a small card. Seeing the third sentence, the driver always walks away. Occasionally, someone waved and came up.
The two quickly figured out the tricks of traveling abroad. Learn 1 to 10 numbers first, cheap and expensive, and easy to bargain with people. You can use your mobile phone to make a numerical comparison before you learn. “The most useful ones are ‘here’ and ‘there’. Primary school English class teaches this and that, and I think this is useful! Now I know.” Liu Chang draws a map in the air: “When asked for directions, pointing to the map, We have to go from ‘here’ to ‘there’, can we take a section. Specially good.”
Gu Yue also has a variety of magic weapons to draw local residents, this time is a big Bluetooth printer. Photographed the herdsmen and printed them on the spot. The herdsmen who had been politely laughed took photos, looked at their family portrait, laughed up, and were happy in the corners of the pleats. “I heard about other villages, and immediately rushed to take pictures.” 100 sheets of photo paper quickly used up.
Another way to like people is to cook. The bag is filled with soy sauce, pepper, aniseed, dried chili, and the two showcase bad cooking in youth hostels all over the place. “If you go abroad, you will be a master, and every time you will be onlookers.” In the orphanage in Romania, the two found a Chinese wok, so they showed their talents, the potatoes were cut into potato chips, and the cola chicken wings became chicken legs. Even if half of the raw materials are fried, they are now from the ground. This is the first time they have cooked for more than a dozen people, and all the meals have been eaten up.
The only adventure in Georgia was that they accidentally got on a drunken car. The owner drove the speed to more than 100 kilometers on the winding mountain road. After several times, he ran into the opposite car. The two people who closed their eyes and were ready to accept the crash opened their eyes every time and saw themselves falling from one thrilling adventure to another. When the two men stopped and the car owners stopped, the car became more and more crazy. When they finally stopped, the two quickly threw things out of the car and escaped.
When it was approaching Turkey, the “seventh five-year” incident occurred in Xinjiang, and family members and embassies all sent text messages to suggest that they should be bypassed. The visa date was forced and the two had to plan to face the possible hostility. However, just entering the country, I met the second enthusiastic rider on the trip. The young university vice president not only invited them to eat at home, but also took the time to take the two to see the monuments the next day.
The first enthusiastic rider is also in Turkey. At 10 o’clock in the evening, the two are sent to the place where they are not in the way. In the middle of the night, they take a tour of the city and take the initiative to contact the residence – a four-star hotel with a house price of more than 100 US dollars. “We are going crazy, we are going to take him away, and then find a cheap place.” The rich second generation said: “You took my car, it was my guest. I have already paid for the hotel money.”
In Gu Yue’s diary, “This is why I love to travel, and life is always full of unpredictable things that make me feel alive.”
They met a booze-only Russian sailor at the seaside, listening to him who missed the once splendid Russia, and the hot and sultry vodka.
This is one of the stories Liu Chang found for his road movie.
At the Muynak fishing port in Uzbekistan, Liu Chang found the story that most impressed him. A golden lighter with Chairman Mao’s relief was given to the old sailor Drucker. He actually pronounced the word “Mao Zedong” in standard Chinese. Dozens of hulks ran aground in the former Aral Sea, the current desert, the iron mottled, the keel, like a fishing boat’s cemetery. And Drucker is the tomb guard here.
In the dry salty seaside of Muynak, Gu Yue took out his mobile phone and played the song “Thinking is a disease.”
”When you are on the other side of the mountain, I have no end in the lonely road. How many of my life is too late, I found that I have lost, the most important thing, suddenly realized that I have already gone.”
Drucker, who is completely obsessed with Chinese, can pick up the phone and think about it.
The end that is unmatched in his view
On September 17, 2009, at the junction of Germany and the Czech Republic, Gu Yue and Liu Chang prepared to take the last car directly to Berlin. While holding the tripod and preparing to take a commemorative photo, a car has stopped. Gu Yue and Liu Chang actually gave birth to some disappointment.
After arriving in Berlin, the two men took the city rail to the Ika home in West Berlin. Gu Yue brewed a word of numbness: “I have been walking towards the setting sun every day for three months, because in the direction of the setting sun, it is Berlin, and Ika is waiting for me.”
Walking in the middle of a narrow street, Gu Yue heard Ika calling his name. Turning around, the girl in black and black hat is holding the bicycle and standing behind her. He refused to put down a bag of 80 pounds, she refused to let go of the bicycle. The two kissed in the middle of the street.
5 minutes ago, Gu Yueqi Liu Chang, Ika did not take the camera to shoot, Ika character introverted. The actual situation is, “I just take a picture, the two simply ignore me.”
Two weeks later, Gu Yue took Ika back to Beijing, leaving only 3,000 yuan in his pocket. The first thing after landing is to urge magazine editors to pay the bills quickly, and the rent should be paid. Ika is still back to school to teach German. The two rented a house and lived together.
If Gu Yue is flying by plane instead of going through the mountains, will Ika come back with him? Gu Yue’s words answered “No” in a round and round, but couldn’t help but laugh.
In Kyrgyzstan, Gu Yue met a Swiss, father, mother, 11-year-old boy and a dog. Dad transformed the military off-road vehicle into a RV with a table, sofa, washroom, refrigerator and kitchen. The two adults resigned from Switzerland, crossed the entire Eurasia, went to Laos and Thailand for the winter, planned to travel for one year, and the children received family education. This is the future that Gu Yue envy.
Gu Yue said that he and Ika still don’t want to settle down, like sometimes in Beijing, sometimes in Germany.
This travel Liu Chang spent more than 50,000 yuan, Gu Yue spent more than 30,000 yuan, except for the documentary broadcast, each person will get more than 10,000 yuan, the rest are at their own expense. “We are three people: no room, no car, no fixed work.”
On the large piece of paper on the wall, “Life is a legendary journey.” A row of small notes next to it says, “The accuracy and stability of the long-term goal does not mean that you have solved your advancement on the winding road.” “Everyone, I wish you good luck in the flame of greed, fear and inflation in the first quarter of next year.”
A more eye-catching place, with a blue poster with a ride to Berlin. The smallest two lines of words are the most touching: “If you really want to do something, the world will help you.”
On the sleeper of a bumpy truck cab on that trip, Liu Chang read the last page of “On the Road”. At this moment, “When and where the window is outside, the scenery is no longer important.”
The end that he seemed unbeatable wrote: “But no one knows what will happen to him besides sadly aging.”