Today I crossed paths with my old self.
…I had walked a day’s worth of the Great Wall west of the city back in the summer of 2006, and now there I was again:
Only this time I was going in a different direction – heading west into the grand spaces of Central Asia:
People had been warning me about this: “It’s a complete wasteland after Jiayuguan!” they had said, “you must really prepare yourself!”
And it seemed like they were right at first:
…but then I noticed these green little dots that were sprinkled across the scenery:
I like to think of them as oases:
A beautiful word.
At some point I ran into a good friend of mine:
Teacher Xie (Teacher Xie) – I think he had been waiting for me out here actually.
I said hello, and he said hello. We both smiled.
Then we decided to walk together for a while:
There’s something very nice about Teacher Xie: with him, you never run out of stuff to talk about.
The beautiful landscapes were just kind of floating by…
…as we were chatting away…
…discussing very important things…
…and cracking jokes about very unimportant things…
…and vice versa, until late at night, when we made camp somewhere in the desert.
My friend Teacher Xie had decided to treat me to a great outdoor meal:
I couldn’t believe how much good stuff there was in the back of his cart.
He even had baked beans!