I wasn’t very clear about why I wanted to go to China. This was not unusual for me – I know or think it will be important for me to get to know a place, but what exactly its importance will be is only revealed during the journey. And even then it may not be obvious, more like a piece of a big puzzle, the human puzzle, falling into place. In the case of China, my desire to go there, and I knew it, was also tainted by a grain of masochism. I detest the noise and rawness of new cities, the Chinese tourists I had run into in other countries were vulgar and loud, and I knew that in China natural environments and anything old and traditional is now being destroyed at an alarming speed. On the positive side, I hoped to see beautiful and unique landscapes and the still preserved remains of a Buddhist civilization thousands of years old. Continue reading