Travel makes a schizophrenic of me. At any one time I want to completely vanish into the wilderness of my adventure, but at the same time immediately return to everything that is familiar and safe. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair to me. It’s like being a child and having to choose between the house of mirrors before me, and the people I care about waiting for me behind. Which is the right choice? Know thyself, Shakespeare says.
When I see people just a little older than myself getting married, I can’t imagine myself surrendering to that road. In fact, I’m asked almost every day whether or not I have a girlfriend or wife, and I am becoming increasingly proud to state No, I don’t. I think (perhaps hope) that I am destined to be a free spirit. There is something romantic about it, something that really appeals to me. Fate will of course decide, but I don’t think this post will count among the Famous Last Words section of history.
I might be getting my wish for a three-day weekend. I’ve bargained my way towards it, in fact. The school wants me to do some longer days at the Henan Provincial Kindergarten (the largest kindergarten in the world by the way), so in exchange I suggested they give me an extra day’s rest every week. Nothing’s finalized, but boy am I excited at the possibilities. I will be able to reach every destination in China save Tibet and Xinzheng in the far west.
Tomorrow evening I leave for San Men Xia, a town located on the western edge of Henan Province. Lonely Planet doesn’t know about it; a Chinese-language travel guide I found in Beijing convinced me it’s worth a trip. It’s a port city on the Yellow River that sports some potentially hikeable mountains. Its name actually means “Three Door Gorge”. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Have a nice week, and see you on the other side of my weekend.