China by train with a little help from some friends

Posted December 14, 2010 Photos: Mike Rusczyk Photo of the moment »
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Years ago I was asked if I wanted to go to China for the then Asian X-Games. The people promoting the event in China would provide the plane ticket and hotel for two days, the rest was up to me. I was ridiculously broke at the time and my life was kind of in a tailspin, the trip would be hard to pull off on no money and if I wanted to go I would have to go alone. I had a friend who helped set the whole trip up and he was living in Shanghai, I knew if I could get there I could crash at his place and he would show me around.

So I ended up asking the promoters to book a ticket for a two week stay in China, I would fly into Beijing and fly out of Shanghai. It would be up to me to make my way up to Shanghai to make it to my return flight. My goal was get over there skate the contest and travel to Shanghai and stay with my friend for the remaining 10 or so days.

As I arrived in Beijing I started to realize that my situation was kinda of jacked I had no idea on how I would make things work let alone get up to Shanghai for my return flight. Looking back on that trip I realized how sketchy it was to be in China for two weeks with $300 and no place to stay. I entered the contest and received an award for dead last. The contest was really low budget and sketchy, it was held at the desolate and very surreal Happy Valley amusement park. Over the next two weeks I had the luck of meeting some really awesome people that took care of me and helped me to get around. We ended up traveling the country on trains and buses and partying and skating. Nate, Jay, and George from Australia, I owe everything to these dudes and want to thank them for all the help.

In all the trip was epic, but really surreal.

- Mike

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