I’m hitting the asphalt again, logging more miles on the Sube (104K and counting). I’m staying at the Ontario Inn in charming Ontario, Oregon. It’s about the sixth or seventh time I’ve stayed here. The owners know me by name now. That’s how many times I’ve made the drive from SLC to Seattle and back.

It’s a decent place to stay. Relatively cheap and more importantly, it accepts pets — like Sadie the Terrible. Thankfully she’s passed out on her bed and not making a peep.

But after paying $45 for the room, it makes me a little sentimental about the budget hotels in China like the Home Inn and Hanting Express. $25 for a clean, well-appointed room in cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou.

And don’t even get me started on the price of food here. After paying nearly eight bucks for a mediocre teriyaki bowl in Boise, I long for the days when I could eat a meal — as good as any Chinese food I’ve ever had, second only to my mom’s cooking of course — for the cost of 12 RMB ($1.75).

Yes, I now compare everything — every check, every receipt, every purchase — to the yuan. And yes, I even annoy myself.