written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Holiday Traveller: Day One: The Train to South East China

Haiyan, Yu Hua, and I boarded the sleeper train on Saturday, April 30th. The two of them are classmates from a Sunday lecture class in Chen Buddhism (popularly known by its Japanese name Zen Buddhism. Though Chen is apparently very different.)

I lucked out and got the relatively secluded top 4th tier bunk.

Haiyan looking up the word "vortex" and/or "dimension" as I was pseudo-informing her about Sedona, Arizona; and later, for some reason I gave her a rather needless history of the architect's Arcosanti's dream of thousands of people living in a single monster skyscraper in the middle of the Arizona desert. There was something about leaving Beijing, passing through miles and miles of unrelenting human settlement, that reminded me of that dream...That's Yu Hua eating a square of lima bean paste. He is a funny young business man who dresses and acts like a carefree student. He sang from a Buddhist hymnal book the whole trip. He is very good. He also kept showing up at random to give me whole packages of Mentos later in the trip when I ran into some pitying circumstances.
North to Southeast, Beijing to Nanchang, is about 780 miles, enough to pass through radical differences in landscape and climate: from grey to green, dry cool to hot humid, heavy industry to heavy agriculture. The soil is very fertile in these lands broken up by craggy limestone mountains and lying in the river basins of the Yangzi River (properly known as Chang Jiang).
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My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson