The First City of Dozens

1 min read by Dmitri and Betty. Published in Essays, Stories.
Dalian, China. 2013.

Betty and I spent over a year on the road. First moving around northern China, then gradually, by busses and trains, making our way down towards Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand.

The trip that has changed a significant amount of what we knew about Asia, the road, and ourselves, began in Toronto when we sold and gave away most of everything that we owned. Only backpacks on our shoulders remained.

Since the day we left our, now former, hometown — Toronto, we haven’t had a permanent bed or a room for a long time until Chiang Mai. Over the time we’ve forgotten about the rolls of film we shot on our tiny plastic cameras as we strolled through the many dozens of strange, beautiful cities.

A year in a backpack, shaking about the gravel roads, through x-ray scans, fog, and rain, the rolls have finally got a chemical bath they deserve. Though there are many more frames, this image is the first to light up the screen as we flipped through the files, jaws slightly unhinged; memories rushing back.

Dalian, the first city of dozens.