It has been a long time since some of us have been in touch. I hope all is well at with you. I am looking forward to catching up with you in person as I have now returned to the “real” world. This will be my last mass email in this chapter of my life which I always liked to share with you. I promise this one will be shorter than the last one! (and less controversial) The last time I wrote I was taking Buddhism classes in the mountains of India. Since then, I traveled a little through parts of India, and then basically lived in New Zealand for over four months. As I sit hear trying to highlight my trip, I am frozen by the seemingly impossible task. How do I summarize a trip that has been so rewarding and meaningful in words that can’t come close to describing what one feels? Try! One must…..
I have returned home to Taiwan a few days ago, now wrapped in comfort of my own room, fresh clothes, home cooking and family by my side again. A vacation and a trip away from our familiar surroundings can change us. However, change is an understatement when considering the experiences encountered during a year away on a round-the-world trip -- some places being as far and different from home as one can imagine. Returning home, the familiar sights, sounds, people all seem much different. The simplest things that we never used to see become vivid; The things that we were so comfortable with now become foreign and unattractive.
Hope this email finds you all well and happy. It has been a long time since I last sent out such an email. Earlier, the moment did not feel right. I was in Shanghai on 9/11 when the cell phones throughout the restaurant started to ring all around and people chatted with energy as I never seen before. What I thought to be a vicious rumor brought me into a state of shock when I realized it was news. As the realization came to me slowly, a strong urge began to build inside me to be back in the US to be with my friends, family and fellow Americans who must have been going through an unimaginable confusion beyond what I was feeling while abroad. I immediately sent out emails to my friends in NYC and anxiously waited for their replies. Thankfully, they all replied saying that they are ok, but not without personal stories of the horror that they experienced and witnessed. I, as I am sure with many others, are lost for the realities of such an act and the continuing fear that we all now have to deal with. It all seems like a nightmare. But we all learn to cope and learn to move on..so in this way, I hope that we will all come to some rational for this in our own way...and to look at the difficulties to find a positive aspect of the event. On the positive side, I hope the incident has all driven us to learn and understand the greater society and community that we live in and that we all have developed a greater appreciation for ours and others' lives.
Hope you were all able to take a nice break..the great thing about computers is that you can always hit the delete button...
Anyway, continuing on from China..
I originally flew to ChongQing to see the beautiful old city set in the mountains. The roads are so steep that it is known as the the only city without bicycles. But again China proves that it can rip down a whole city and build a completely new one without any resemblance to the traditional alleyways, as it now is replaced by major roads, tall buildings and new malls!! So I left to ChengDu to fly to Lhasa, Tibet.