Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Tired of mysteriously fighting my browser or the internet or Blogger traffic or China or whatever it is that impedes my vociferous attempts to further delineate my transcendence in text. Lacking the necessary time and enthusiasm to pin down the problems, I will continue to complain about it from time to time. Waited a hapless two hours trying to establish a connection with Blogger, answering a backlog of e-mail in the meanwhile, and now with Angela looming, returning home from her office shortly, I must pause for the evening and hope to continue tomorrow.

You can read one of my poems in Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry. Download the PDF from my list of links on your left. Batting leadoff in this issue, which is always a nice honor, although, in this particular instance, I gather it has more to do with fortunate timing rather than my dominating poetry. I'll let you think what you like, though.

A picture, taken last week, of me and a part of The Great Wall, or Chang Cheng, as they call it in Chinese. There are many points at which to observe The Great Wall and, for this trip, we (Angela, Paola and me) traveled about three hours to reach a less touristic point, and it was well worth it as there were not too many visitors. Maybe you have heard that you can see The Great Wall from the Moon, but that is just a one of the popular myths that has developed.

Here is a picture of Angela holding on to her hat. Unfortunately, our camera's batteries were less than well charged and we didn't get to take as many pictures as we wanted, but we did get a few others before the batteries ran out on us. It wasn't cold while we were climbing, despite our bundled appearances, and we had climbed as high as we could safely go (some parts of the wall are not safe to walk on or simply closed due to dangerous conditions) before stopping to eat. After stopping to enjoy the sandwiches we had brought with us, seated on some sun-bleached bricks which sucked the heat out of us, we felt a little iced, and hurried to to finish so we could make the descent and warm up again.

The view was spectacular and we could see long portions of the dragon-esque wall slumbering off into the distance along the ridges of the jagged mountains. As there are in most places in China, especially popular tourist destinations such as this, there were numerous vendors along the wall selling the usual souvenirs and snacks. Additionally, there were a number of guides, or Chinese women, who would walk with tourists, perhaps assisting the more fragile climbers, with the expectation of earning small concessions for their assitance. One joined us and, although we weren't particularly feeble, it was impossible to suggest that we didn't require her assistance. She followed us for the length of our visit, a nearly three hour hike.

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