Thursday, May 09, 2013

China retrospective

Standing guard at the Ming Tombs
One of the oddities of traveling over the international date line (west-to-east) is that you gain a day. So, even though I left Shanghai at 1pm on Wednesday and spent 22 and a half hours traveling, I arrived in Portland at 4:30pm, also on Wednesday.

Dragon boat off the Bund
It was a long journey. At the end of it, I was met by my smiling African girl, who'd prepared a wonderful homecoming meal.
May Day celebration on the Huangpu River
The anxiety and stress of getting from one side of the globe to the other is leaking out of me now, being replaced by the wonder and amazement of all I've seen in the past 2 weeks.

Dim sum lunch in Shanghai
A funny thing about travel: In the moment, when you're scrambling through airport security, when you're cooped up in coach at the back of a passenger jet for 12 hours, when you're doing the zombie shuffle through US Customs, travel seems like a big hassle and not a lot of fun.

Full appreciation of what you've experienced only comes with the perspective afforded by time. The wealth of images, smells, sounds, and sensations must settle into your being, changing you, changing the way you view the world. That, my friends, is the most sublime reward that travel offers.

Guardians in the temple of the City God
Back home in the Rose City. Thinking about China.

Beggar outside Shanghai Museum
Ancient painted tea cup
Fruit vendor
Ravenous coi
Delicate Chinese girl with porcelain skin
Chinese girl
Dig that pink hat!
Touching the dragon turtle instills longevity
Blind flute player in Beijing
Girl in Tiananmen Square
Setting sail on Beihai Lake
"The Naked Emperor" --painting in an art gallery
One thousand Buddhas (plus two)
Great Wall
Our Beijing guide, Sunflower
What a trip!

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