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How Did Great Zhao Xiangjie Start His Road Trip Jo
浏览次数:194次 更新时间:2021-02-28

 I was born in 1950, and I went to a primary school on Huohou Street in Changsha in 1957. My family lived in the Changsha Public Security Bureau Compound, and my primary school was beside it. I was a boy full of curiosities, and I wanted to go out because the Public Security Bureau Compound was gated. I liked to venture into the lanes and streets in Changsha and observe the unique custom and lifestyles. When I was ten years old, my father was transferred to Beijing to work, so I went to Beijing with my father. My family lived in the Chinese Academic of Science's hotel in Qianmen Street temporarily, and my school was around Xizhimen. Therefore, I had to take the bus to school, so my mother paid 2 CNY to buy me a monthly bus ticket within the city limit.

 

  I entered a different and colorful world with this monthly bus ticket. Whenever I was on the bus, I would stand behind the bus driver, whether I got on from the front door or the back door. Why did I do that? It was because, first, I could see how the driver drove; second, I could have a broad view and see the entire Beijing. How to drive imprinted in my brain because of this action; I remembered first gear, second gear, third gear, and fourth gear, and step on the clutch with two feet then step on the gas when shifting to low from high gear. When I went to the countryside in 1968, I tried to secretly drive the Jiefang truck parked on the company's threshing floor. I stepped on the clutch with both of my feet during driving, and the driver said, "you are so clever, and you know to step on the clutch with two feet." I replied, "I learned this by watching the bus driver driving when I was in primary school."

 

  Ever since my parents took me to Beijing, I have had this unique interest, that's why I had grown to love road trips.





There were 50 students in my class, but I was the only one who liked to take the bus when I had the time because I had monthly bus tickets and others didn't. Every Saturday afternoon and Sunday, I would leave home early with my monthly bus ticket and go to places I had never been to before. I would take a bus and stand until it arrived at its final stop, then change into a different bus. I wanted to take all the bus routes in Beijing, which was over 100, and this was my job on Sunday. After I finished, I would found a good movie theater and watch a science and education film.

 

  I used to speak the Hunan dialect, and my Beijing Mandarin was not very well, so I was not particularly eager to communicate with other people. I enjoyed playing by myself on the bus, and I had been to every place in Beijing. The second year, I asked my mother to buy me a monthly bus ticket that could be used in the urban and suburb. So in the second year, I started to venture to the suburb from the urban. Beijing's suburb has weird names such as Heishanhu, Xiangshan, and Guijianchou. I wondered what the color of Heishanhu was and what it meant. I chose to go to places with weird names because it was fun, and I was curious about those uncharted territories.

 

  In 1962, my family moved to Zhongshancun, and I enrolled in the Chinese best primary school—— Zhongguancun Primary School. Many of my classmates came from educated families, so I learned a lot in the world-famous knowledge palace. In 1963, I enrolled in Beijing's Nineteenth Middle School, and I practically stopped sightseeing by bus after I lost my monthly bus ticket. While I was in middle school, my favorite classes were geography and history. The history and geography class that I took when I was a teenager triggered my interest in travel. The geography teacher made me a geography class president because I was good at it. And I learned many things about geography from this teacher. I am good at geography now because I worked hard in middle school and benefit from my opportunity in Beijing Nineteenth Middle School.

 

  When I was in the northern wilderness, I had a home-leave every two years. Once when I took a train from northern wildness to Beijing, I found a to see. I wondered why I had to take the train from Mudan River to Harbin first and then took a train from Harbin to Beijing? Was there any other choice? Then I found a different and better route; I could go to Dunhua from Mudan River, then went to Changbai Mountain city from Changbai Mountain, and arrived at Beijing in the end. I started to plan my route since then. Once I went to Jinghu Lake from Mudan River and then went home.

 

  In 1990, I was 40 years old; China was reforming and opening-up. I was transferred to the Ministry of Culture's China Children's Art Theater from the northern wildness. I thought I could never leave that rural area. Unexpectedly, the reforming and opening-up opened a new chapter for me. 


 China Children's Art Theater did not require employees to come in every day, and everyone only needed to come in once a week. Because I worked hard and contributed a lot to the China Children's Art Theater, they promoted me as the liaison department chief, a department-level job. Around a year later, I raised over three millions fund for the theater. The leader thought I was excellent at my job, so he made me the commercial department's general manager. The theater president said that the liaison department and the commercial department's jobs were quite similar, so he let me lead the commercial department.

 

  Once I took over the commercial and liaison department, my intelligence was inspired by the China Children's Art Theater vice-president Zhou Zhiqiang( a famous Chinese voice actor), who was the direct supervisor of me, because he valued me. I raised millions of CNY for the theater with the education and help of Vice-President Zhou Zhiqiang. One day, Vice-president Zhou Zhiqiang asked me whether I could drive. I said, "I always want to, and I do know how to drive because I secretly learned when I was in the northern wildness." Zhou Zhiqiang said, "You go and get a driver's license, and I will pay for it." Then I got my driver's license in 1991.

 

  Having a car was like having the wind behind my back; my comfort zone was wider, and I became friends with many people. Later, I became friends with Liu Zhenlong, a member of the Beijing Sports Bureau Competition Management Center. Liu Zhenlong said, "Zhao Xiangjie, you are a talent of China Children's Art Theater's commercial department. I am going to look at the activity schedule and see whether we can cooperate." I saw a Beijing-Lhasa Touring Rally Competition, so I expressed my interest, and I had been to Lhasa before. They were all curious and asked me when did I go. I said that I went there when I was sixteen. He said, great, and we cooperated on this project. But this project needed to reconnoiter the road. In 1999, twelve of us and four cars entered Lhasa, Tibet, to reconnoiter the road from Beijing, and journalists from the tour section of People's Daily, Auto Fan, and so on went with us.






We left Beijing and drove across Lanzhou, Xining, Golmud. There was no expressway, so we followed the national highway the whole journey. Driving from Beijing to Lhasa took five days, and I entered Tibet for the second time.

 

  My third trip to Tibet was in 2000 when the competition started officially after reconnoitered the road. Thirty-two cars lined up in Tiananmen Square( it was still able to hold activities in Tiananmen Square at that time); the blue sky and grand opening ignited the competitors' enthusiasm. A journalist from CCTV interviewed me and asked me what my job was. I said that I was the deputy secretary-general of this activity. Then he asked me to talked about the meaning and aim of this activity, and I spoke as much. That night, people called and told me that I was on CCTV, but I did not see it for myself. I wondered why he interviewed me; he should've interviewed men in charge. But my friends told me that CCTV's interview was random.






   

 There were thirty-three cars in total, twenty-eight Beijing 2020 cars, and five Cherokee cars. We set off with a sticker of the rally activity on our vehicles. When we arrived at Jiayu Pass, we held a mock competition on a small dirt slope. The drivers were driving really fast, and I wanted to try. So I put on a racing suit and got in a racing car. It was the only time I nearly lost control of the vehicle and rolled over. One car rolled over, but it wasn't me. I remember that I was covered in sweat afterward, and it was thrilling as well as dangerous.

 

   For the first time, I experienced how thrilling car racing is. When my wife Li Li learned about this, she argued with the committee because staff couldn't join the completion according to the regulations. Later, our fleet passed Dunhuang, Golmud, and entered Qinghai-Tibet National Highway. When we were driving down from the Tanggula Mountains, one of our 2020S crashed with a truck. When I arrived, many drivers parked beside the road and were watching the crash in a crowd. I got off my staff car and saw that it was one of ours. I was only responsible for organizing the vehicles. I wasn't responsible for the rescue, but I was the only staff member on the scene, so I had to act. I got off my car, and when I saw the driver was caught in the driver's side, I was very anxious. I had zero rescue experience, but I saw many drivers there, so I asked one of the drivers to tie his truck with the car through a rope and drag the vehicle. But the driver in distress yell," no, no, no, I can't take it." It turned out that the driver's leg was stuck. Many Tibetan drivers brought their jacks and put over a dozen jacks under the tin that the driver's leg was stuck in. We used jacks to elevated the tin and dragged him out. I saw the driver's leg had already been broken and could see the bones. I lied the driver on the ground. When a bus came our way, I stopped the bus and asked the driver to take him to the hospital in Anduo County for treatment.

 

  Because I was the only staff on the scene, so they said that they would leave me with a car and a driver, and everyone else was gone. Many competitors stopped their car to watch, which jammed the road, so I asked them to leave. The altitude was 5,231 meters above sea level, and I waited for three hours alone. The polices arrived, and after writing down my statement and examining the route, the policeman said that our driver had to take full responsibility. I said that no matter whose fault it was, just finish your job so we could leave. I went back to Lhasa after everything was done.

 

  That was the first time I encountered a huge event during a road trip activity. A Guangdong employer recommended the driver who was in the accident. Later, when I saw the driver again, he was grateful. By then, his leg was cured, and the insurance we paid converted fifty thousand. He thanked me and said that without me, he would lose his leg. I said that I just did what the staff would do, and it was also a first for me, and please forgive me. This was the vehicle rally competition I commanded during my third time in Tibet.

 

  Just like this, I got into the road trip business without notice.


 In 2000, I took early retirement and registered Target Auto Club, which was the beginning of my new career —— road trip business.

  

  From 2000 to 2020, I am fully invested in touring life, which was my childhood favorite, and started to go on road trips. I had transformed into a traveler from an artist. In the past two decades, I organized nearly a thousand road trip activities. I gradually grow into an experienced organizer and road trip business leader from a road trip lover. In 2011, I was elected as the vice-president of the CTACA Road Trip Tour and Camping & Caravanning Branch by the National Road Trip Association. In 2015, I was selected as the vice-president of the Beijing Road Trip Association. In 2016, the Travel Bureau of Xining City, Qinghai Province appointed me as the Chinese Western Road Trip Alliance chief. After the epidemic in 2020, Beijing City founded the Road Trip Tour Professional Committee of the Beijing Travel Agents Association, and I was hired as the honorable president. I also published a book, 100 Elaborate Chinese Road Trip Routes, and road trip clubs around China thought it was good in the past years. I am seventy years old now, and I organized my students from all around China to have a road trip in Xinjiang( I was a primary school teacher in northern wildness when I was 24 years old.) We traveled over ten thousand miles and covered northwestern China and Xinjiang. My road trip dream had blossomed.

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