Friday, October 15, 2010

What Just Happened Here

Nothing much; yesterday’s posting was just me doodling around, trying to write down some of my memories from a long trip I took to China in 1992. For some reason, lately I’ve been thinking not just of things that happened while I was there, but of the people I met as well.

China in 1992 was not a destination for everyone. You didn’t just find yourself there because, say, your Eurorail pass allowed you a few days at no extra charge. Most of the Westerners I met had been driven there by fairly powerful forces, and just about all of us could be divided into those who were looking for something, and those who were escaping something. Gunther was a seeker. He was quite a bit older than I was (exactly the age I am now, as a matter of fact), and at that point in my life, I was not as receptive to his new-age spirituality as I might be now.

Okay, actually, I still think the whole “hot stomach” thing is a little weird. But I did like the guy, and his words of advice on dealing with frustrating situations you have little hope of changing have stuck with me all these years.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the photo that ran yesterday is an actual photo of Gunther. He and I and a number of other backpackers I was traveling with at the time had just gone for a camel ride, and we were now playing on the enormous sand dunes that exist on the outskirts of Dunhuang.

Funny, I remembered him as being bigger.

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