Sunday, February 28, 2010


The trip was an extraordinary experience - not always easy or enjoyable - but remarkable. February, as I knew, isn't a particularly good time to visit. Cold, cloudy weather added to the air pollution was a constant downer. We didn't see the sun and clear air until (believe it or not) Beijing - which was a delightful surprise. But what it lacked as a relaxing vacation, was more than replaced by exposure to a fascinating culture and people with more similarities than differences. There were plenty of differences though, some of them pretty annoying. Still, my mind went from "I'm not coming back here"; to "if I come back I'll . . ." ; to "when I come back I want to . . ." It was terrific to spend that kind of time and have those experiences with Jon. He's pretty conversational in Mandarin and it solved an endless number of problems. I thought of Susan a lot - mostly about how she would never have done this trip in this way! Maybe we'd have done a more comfortable, english-speaking tour - but never like Jon and I did it. However, she'd have gone nuts with the shopping opportunities!