my version of the ricshaw adventure
Oct 9th, 2009 by Tessa

My mom managed to write down her side before me, but here is my view of the story:

The streets were swarmed with people, most of who would stop and stare at us. Rickshaws followed us down the side walk on the bike lane

“Hello!? Miss-a Lady!? Won’t-ya ride-a rickshaw?” I’ve made the observation that instead of actually using articles they add a quick “a” to the back of words to make it seem like they are saying the articles.

“No-a ride-a me rickshaw, I-a pay-a less!”

“No, no, no! I pay-a good-a price!”

Dad repeatedly looked at his watch. Announcing the time after a minute had past. “Oh now we only have 37 minutes,” He said. Phoebe danced on the small strip of cement between the road and the bike lane- trying her best to flag down the full taxis that hurried past. We were starting to become desperate. If we didn’t catch this last train, there weren’t any more trains for 3 days.

“If we find a four person rickshaw- we’ll take it!” Mom finally declared as her power walked down the dirty side walk. Right on cue, a 4 person rickshaw glided up to us. Dad showed him where we wanted to go on the map.

“60,” He said


“I only-a take-a for 60,” He hesitated, “but-a for you-a I give-a for 40.”

“15,” I repeated, as I walked on. He slowly pedaled after us. He could see that mom was interested.



“25,” He snorted, “Last offer.”

“20 and you’ve got yourself a deal.” My mom cut in.


I got in and sat down on the bigger seat facing forward. Mom objected. “Dad and I get the bigger seats because we’re bigger.”

“But you freak out when the driver takes a sharp turn!” I objected. We had been in a rickshaw before…. She sat down on the seat- wasn’t like I didn’t warn her.

He swerved left where we were supposed to go strait. We were now on the wrong side of the large swamp like field that the freeway ran over. Going down the abandoned road full of potholes, we could see the station on the other side of the marshy area. It smelled horrible and continued to get worse as we went. We passed decaying buildings on either side. The station was soon obscured by the mass of windowless apartments. Soon after the road had turned into a dirt road, the guy pulled over. A man with frizzy, grease covered hair and missing teeth was standing in the alley next to us. We were close enough to see his missing teeth and the bandages wrapped around his hands. The rickshaw driver hollered to the man and mom grabbed my arm and continued to squeeze it like she did when a car came to close to us on the street. The man walked closer to us and pointed the way we’d been going.

The man continued on the bumpy road until we started to doubt the route again. Dad was now checking his watch at least 6 times ever minute and announcing the glum results to us every half a minute now. We came upon 2 people this time. Our driver was obviously lost. The monotonous clucking (for it was more like a clucking then a ticking) abruptly halted for the moment as we slid to a stop. The man once again, shouted something at the 2 workers standing in front of a dirt road leading across the swamp. The man pointed across the dirt road. Mom brought her hand to her forehead and whispered “Oh god…” as she shook here head. So of course the man jerks the dilapidated cart onto this dirt road in the middle of who knows where, and we cross the smelly swamp. Litter gathers in clumps in the damp grass like flies in a swarm. The man lights a cigarette and I am so close to phoebe that I can feel her gagging. We cross the swamp to find ourselves next to the freeway. Dad looked at his watch and mumbled something.

For the third time, the man pulls over onto the side of the road and asks for directions, this time from a family of 3. Just like every other child that we’ve seen at the age of 7-ish the little girl leaned out towards us and slowly said, “hello, welcome to Beijing.” I smiled and said “thank you” back. The girl instantly realized what she’d done and ran behind her mother. The man pointed to the freeway and my mom mumbled something along the lines of Oh god again.

So the rickshaw man grunted and then turned the rickshaw on. He went onto the freeway. The rickshaw was going at a good 40 mph and mom had put her leg up between me and the gaping area where there was no door. Everyone’s hair was whipping around and mom started screaming. We were bouncing up and down when suddenly a siren came from behind us. The man cursed and increased speed to the fastest the little rickshaw had probably ever gone in its life. We were avoiding cars left and right. And at this precise moment dad decided to check his watch again. The rickshaw man took a quick leap and bounded over the foot high sidewalk separating the pedestrian/bike lane from the regular lane. The rickshaw driver continued cursing as the police car went to the “official” entrance to the pedestrian lane. We swerved though stalls, dodged a truck unloading fruit, and almost ran over quite a few people while going about 60 mph. Mom started screaming “LET US OUT LET US OUT!” and then we zoomed right past the station and onto the pedestrian over pass.

Phoebe screamed over the wind, “SHOULD WE JUMP!?”


“TESSA JUST BELIEVES SHE HAS NINJA POWERS- THEY AREN’T REAL!” I couldn’t tell who was shouting it but it sure made Phoebe shut up. I am still very annoyed with whoever said that though- for I have repeatedly tried to convince myself that I could become a ninja and we all know that full support from parents is the best assistance in a child’s choice of career.

Dad yanked the money out of his pocket and shoved it in the drivers face. Mom continued to repeat, “someone’s gonna get hurt! Hold on as tight as possible! We’re gonna die! Someone’s gonna get hurt!”

The driver looked behind him to see that the car was a decent distance away. I checked that I had everything in one quick glance and jumped out of the cart laughing as the driver quickly took the money from us and drove off… for some reason there were more people staring at us then usual.

$5 if you can run that man over!
Sep 28th, 2009 by Tessa

For those of you who don’t know, we’re in China now.

China is VERY different from Japan. As our host kindly tells us, the only rule here is that there are no rules unless you are caught. So unless the police men is standing next to you (and actually WANTS to turn you in) then you can basically get away with anything.

A couple other facts about China:

  • It is safer to cross the street on a red light, because everyone “starts to turn right but then changes their mind to go strait” when there is a green light.
  • There is a food chain: Buses rule everything, no one gets in their way, Cars are next on the line- bikes and pedestrians get out of THEIR way, bicycles come next, and then pedestrians.
  • Motor bikes/mopeds (which are VERY popular) come between bikes and cars if the only thing on them is a person. If they are carrying a giant load of Styrofoam that is bigger then a car, then they go in between car and bus.

So, there you have it! Everything we’ve experienced in China rolled up into a couple little paragraphs!

Sep 9th, 2009 by Tessa
I summon you minions...

I summon you minions...

Pigeon "falconry"

Pigeon "falconry"

What’s the only thing better then a puppy or a school of giant koi bigger then my leg? A FLOCK OF CHEEKY PIDGEONS!

One of the markets we went to was along side a beautiful river. The water was so clear it almost looked like you were gazing into liquid glass. There was  a traditionalstyle,  vermilion bridge stretched across the length of the river. Under the bridge was a School of MASSIVE koi. One of the vendors at the market sold fish food. As we walked over to bye some, I kept my eyes on the ground, marveling at how clean the street was. We bought some food and hurried over to the river. The river was more like a large canal. The sides of it were made of river rock and cement with some grass poking out here and there. The ideal place for pigeons. We stopped at the steep slope and started throwing the small round pellets at the koi. The pigeons on the rocks slowly gathered under us to catch all of the poorly aimed pieces bouncing off of the slope. The foraging pigeons in the market behind us started to close in from the back. We were quickly surrounded on the wide sidewalk, about 10 yards away from the closest stall. Flustered by the pigeons and half flustered by my Mom hollering at them and running away (pigeons and camping without air mattresses are her week points), I started throwing the food as far as I could to get them away. My mom laughed.  ”You know you could probably get them to eat out of you hands!” She said as a joke, but I can never tell so I put some food in my hand and held it out thinking, what the heck! These pigeons have got to be the cleanest pigeons in the world!. Phoebe quickly picked up on it. After a little, I decided to try something cooler. I put the food in my hand and stood up with me hand in the air. Five  pigeons instantly jumped onto my hand and ate right from it.

Nacho Takayama

Sep 2nd, 2009 by Tessa

I walked out of the airport. It looked like any other street that one would walk on, with a whole lot of busses and cars and what-not. But as I walked down the road to our bus stop it occured to me that we were in Japan. The sky was Japanese, the ground was Japanese, the signs were Japanese the ABC gum on the side walk was Japanese ABC gum! It can all be summarised in a couple words.

“Wow, we’re in Japan….”

Na na na na na…
Aug 17th, 2009 by Tessa

You’re in school and I’m not :P

Proud parent moment… Tessa wins Grand Bahama Sailing Club Award!
Jul 27th, 2009 by Kate

Tessa hiking

So you need to bear with me know for a second while I brag about my kid… Tessa has been taking part in a sailing camp at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club for the past few weeks, and at the end of camp it was announced that she won 3rd place overall in the advanced division of the sailing regetta!

But that’s not it – she also won the Sir Jack Heyward Award for the best all-around sailor/sportsman for the entire camp.  It is a really big deal here, and the Commendant came and awarded her with the trophy which is a beautiful carved wooden sailboat.  Today she got interviewed by the Freeport newspaper, and she was asked to return and be a Jr. councelor.  I have added a couple of pics of her sailing and one of her getting her award.

wasp on a stick!
Jul 20th, 2009 by Tessa

I was staying back one day at camp with all of the assistant counselors and one of my friends, Tom, when our counselor, David decided to show us a cool trick.

David, the guy counselor, decided to show us how to put a bee or wasp on a stick. You see, when a bee or wasp gets cold, they go into a dormant stage where they fall asleep, and as soon as it becomes warm again, they wake up. So we got a 2 foot stick, a foot long string, and a wasp from outside. We stuck the wasp in the freezer and waited for it to fall asleep. In the mean time we tied the string to the end of the stick. As soon as it fell asleep, we took it out, and while it was still cold, we  tied the string around it. This made us a “wasp on a stick”. As soon as it woke up, it couldn’t sting us because the stick was long enough that it couldn’t reach us (since it is on a string). I wasn’t involved in this activity, I simply watched them.  (at least I am obliged to say that so I don’t have bad wasp Karma) Now that it had woke up, it flew around on the stick and we walked it around. Before we left, we let it go though, either by cutting the string and running or by freezing it again and untying it.

Jul 8th, 2009 by Tessa

lately I have had a hard time trying to get away from the computer… I can be commonly seen with my game boy trying to hold it up at different heights to get a better wiifii connection. It is horrible! half way through whatever I am doing it blanks out  -__- …..

My mom has had to wwrench me away from the computer too. It is sooooooooo adicting to think we’ll only go on every other day on our trip!!!!!!!!

Happy 4th of July!
Jul 4th, 2009 by Tessa
Phoebe, cousin Jack, and Tessa with contraband sparklers...

Phoebe, cousin Jack, and Tessa with contraband sparklers...

My mom bought sparklers in the Bahamas so we were playing with them outside tonight. my mom put her camera on shutter something or the other and it made it so it captured all of our movement in 5 seconds. So we used the sparklers to spell USA, cool.

trouble responding…..
Jul 1st, 2009 by Tessa

I still am trying to figure out how everything works our here… so I may be late to respond (I can only respond to the last 4 posts it looks like…

So to comment back on some of your comments-

  • To Carl: yes we will post as often as we can
  • To Jennifer: there were like a bigillion people on the air plane and I hadn’t eaten anything since 4 in the morning so I had the bisuit all to myself and didn’t share it with my fellow “coachers”  because i was half starved 
  • To Becky: my mom has a website that lists all the Aveda salons in the whole world
  • To Chloe:  Yes I miss you sooooooooo much….
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