Well, over the last weeks, we all have had experiences that we will cherish for a lifetime. The Summer Palace was extraordinary, the Great Wall was indescribable, meals tend bring interesting stories, the nightlife has been a good time, and so on, everyday has held a wealth of enjoyment. That being established, there is one part of this China experience that out-classes any excursion… and his name is China Baba, or Wheelman as we like to call him. Wheelman is our driver when we go out on our CAAS excursions. His company is always appreciated, even when he is not wowing us with his top-class driving skills, there is never a dull moment around the legendary Wheelman. Even though he speaks very little English [he knows the important words] Wheelman is always good for a laugh, he is the center of attention. You never know when you will round a corned and see Wheelman sprawled out on one of the lobby couches enjoying an afternoon smoke, or being chummy with his cronies in a local restaurant. Here are just a few bright spots and classic memories that came from hanging around Wheelman. First off, his superior driving skills… He doesn’t take any business out on the crazy Beijing streets, his graceful top speed maneuverability skills are off the charts, his driving commands much respect. Also, meals with Wheelman are always and enjoyable experience. He take charge of the entire restaurant, whether it be flagging down a waitress, checking into the kitchen to see what’s up, or even retrieving the food for the table himself. He also never lets a glass get anywhere near empty. We all were fortunate enough to see an entirely different side of Wheelman during our time in Inner Mongolia. Since he was just along for the ‘road trip’ and was not driving he was able to participate in the local Mongolian traditions… which is pretty much a barrage of mutton dishes and constant series of toasts between the hosts and the guests throughout the entirety of EVERY meal. During these afternoons and evening we were all entertained by his antics that included fantastic impressions, funny stories, and most importantly, frequent displays of his love for disco dancing. There is never a dull moment when the Wheelman is around. He is just another great example of one of the many incredible wonders that China and our study abroad experience has had to offer. I am very glad to have been able to meet Wheelman; I cherish our friendship, and look forward to every encounter and hopefully a future visit by him to Ohio State [fingers crossed].
And here is a video of me dancing with Wheelman. After one of our crazy Inner Mongolian parties, I was one of the only one's that would dance...despite me probably being the only sober one! Buckeye Sounds should be proud!