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My expenditures yesterday:

Food (two meals): $3.50

Bottled Water (eight or so): $1.90

Paintings for friends and family: $8.75

Bus Ticket: $0.75

Hotel and Bicycle rental: $2.50

One hour in the Mud Caves: $15.00

Let me explain the mud cave bit.

When I was in Shanghai, I met a few people who were finishing their tour of China that week. Throughout the conversation they had been talking about this or that sight to see or thing to do if you were here or there, and I asked them what the best part of their trip was. They all agreed that it was Yangshuo’s Buddah Water Cave, where you get caked with mud from your head to your toes and generally have a grand old time. Now this might not sound so enticing to you, but I was sold.

They said it was 100 yuan ($12.50) and worth it. The price had risen since they were there and was now 120 yuan. Obviously $2.50 was not going to deter me from this experience. They gave out free sandals and shorts for people who needed them, but the shorts they gave me were too small and ripped in half about 50 steps into the cave. The guide told me it was because I was too fat. I solemnly trugded onward, dragging behind me my depreciated self-image.

We arrived at the “Muddy,” which is what the guide, with his limited though understandable English, called the pit where the mud was. I thought I was going to rip my twig and berries half to shreds since parts of the mud had many sharp exposed pebbles. Taking into account how much of myself was exposed, I was scared, but I did it anyway and emerged with only minor scratches. The place would be a lot more expensive if it was available in America since the dangers involved in actually getting to the mud would result in some tremendous insurance costs. I cut myself in a bunch of different places and lost my footing mulitple times.

No injuries I received detracted from my stay in the mud pit. I covered myself in clay and walked around like a big ‘ol mud monster. I made mud castles. I threw mud all over the place. I slathered myself with the glorious stuff and fell back into the water into the cool, refreshing MUD. There was a lot of mud in that place. I can imagine it would have been a tad more fun if I was with a bunch of other people, but I was content just being myself, playing in the mud.

The guide took a whole bunch of pictures (hover aside) of me in the cave, and when I post them here, you will laugh. I already wrote the captions for a few of them. Don’t worry; I don’t think you’ll be able to see my naughty bits in any of the photos.

I’d say I had a pretty cool day for $30, but when you get a hotel room for $1.25, you get what you pay for.

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