Saturday, September 27, 2008

And its weirdness. If anyone gets the impression from my yang posts (the yang TAO 61) that I don't like China, please let me correct that misunderstanding. I love China -- but I hasten to add, am NOT NOT NOT sympathetic with its government, although I think I understand it. (If Sarah Palin can be VP, can I be the Chinese ambassador? Pick me, pick me!) A Chinese librarian once told me, in Idaho in ~1971, "There is always chaos between dynasties." China is in chaos, the yin-yang of development, and some new dynasty is probably forming itself. The Walton dynasty? (The biggest Wal-Mart I have ever seen was last year in Beijing. As big as the Forbidden City maybe.)
The food, the culture, the arts, the people, the geography, the tai chao (the strange blended religion of Lao Tzu, Buddha and Confucius, and perhaps now, some Jesus thrown in--it started with Jesuits and continues with Baptists), the foibles and the triumphs...China is just intriguing.

Giant live grubs for sale in Xian (qv,yang TAO 61) just a five-minute walk from a perfect caramel macchiato at Starbucks. How about that "da grande" on the street?  

And Tony Leung Chiu-wai, but that's a whole 'nother topic, explored in Hong Kong. He is the star of Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, and Lust,Caution (and some others, DVDs of which I didn't have enough time to find). All fabulous Wong Kar Wai movies. As well as his Ashes of Time, an artistic kung fu film, although that movie has two Tony Leungs -- Chui-wai (Tiny Tony) and Ka-fai (Tall Tony) -- only in Hong Kong would you have two terrific actors with the same (English) name. TIny Tony is like a Chinese Clark Gable or Pierce Brosnan or Johnny Depp. I put my hands in both Tonys' paw prints on the Hong Kong Walk of Stars, but TIny ("Tiny" just because he's shorter than Ka-fai...) Tony is my favorite. Here he is, Tiny Tony...

Monday, September 22, 2008


At home again from my Journey to the West.  Like the kolea, I just flew off and did my thing and came back. Sorry couldn't post from China, email access was intermittent and no internet access for things that required more time and thought.  We had to  line up for access to the Camp Wudang machine, (a big Lenovo) where the desk clerks were usually involved in long competitive bouts of solitaire.  No web surfing for them! Card playing.  And not even mah johng, my usual default computer game.

Most difficult part about returning home apart from serious jet lag and immediately going back to an office: sorting accumulated snail mail.  I must train my house/cat sitter in this dreary decision making.  Among the pile, a few worthy things like bills, subscribed magazines, and a package of special pen refills I ordered before I left.  The rest, piles of glossy catalogs, charity offerings of address labels, greeting cards and pocket calendars (I used to chide my father for piling these things up--does anybody actually BUY address labels?) , political mail, real estate, insurance and credit card offers. And no "delete" button.  

I must investigate how to stop all this junk mail.  Monitoring on a daily basis is easy, but after you see the accumulation of a week or more, it is just ridiculous and irresponsible.  Need a snail mail spam filter!

Will be commenting on my crazy trip over the next few days... weeks ...months.  Have to edit the 1167 photos I took and figure out how to post them here.  This is all new to me.  Thank you for your patience!  But first I must finish sorting/trashing my mail.