March 25, 2008
Anne Black Guest House/YWCA
Kowloon, Hong Kong
I have no idea what time it is, only that it’s still a dark time of morning, and few cars are passing on the usually busy streets of Kowloon, eleven stories below. I feel a fragile safety in my tiny cocoon of a room, about 10-by-8 feet, with a shared bathroom across the hall. It’s much like a college dorm room: clean, tiny, sterile, with two small twin beds and a sink, behind an anonymous door at the beginning of a brief row of anonymous doors.
I know many of you are waiting to read about my trip to China last week. However, that story will make better sense if I first tell you about my earlier trip, two years ago. China is the most surreal junction of cultures I’ve encountered. So, please allow me a rare indulgence, in hopes you’ll find it a treat: I’m going to retype my journals here with minimal editing, in a series called Tracing China’s Past. In each of these posts, I’ll share with you one of my days in China. Each of those days was an adventure unto itself. So, check in as often as you’d like and dip into a refreshing splash of culture shock. My first trip lasted three weeks. It started, as most overseas journeys do: on a plane….
At 6:15 a.m. it’s still twilight on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Indigo clings to everything: Redoubt Volcano’s ice-bitten crags across Kachemak Bay, and the evergreen hills and marsh grasses hemming nearby Deep Creek. Layers of clouds loll over the chilly August morning. A promising day for fly fishing, but not for comfort.