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« 17 Jan 06 | Main | 9 Jan 06 »

14 Jan 06

Greetings from the sunny, warm semi-tropical peaceful zone of spontaneous joy.

The university is quiet, all the students bailed out the last two days, heading home for spring festival. They dragged their bags and pulled rickety overloaded little luggage carts on trembling wheels toward black cars, SUV's and local minibuses for the long trek to their own beds, friends and family.

All the student shops, restaurants and school gates are locked. There are two ways I bike to the small town for supplies. One is a paved road filled with motorcycles and trucks. Blaring impatient horns. My preference is a dirt trail around the mountain temple, changing leaves, overlooking villages where women in red head scarves work the soil and haul water in black buckets suspended on bamboo poles.

Fields bloom with luscious green vegetables. Chickens prowl through trash along the road. Encroaching on fields, yellow bulldozers chop into hills removing heavy red clay, dumping dirt into old trucks. They haul it away. People move mountains here.

I recently took the local bus to the big town. Before boarding I took a leak down the hill behind a crude bamboo fence and, on the way back up through rocky terrain, unknowingly stepped in a pile of shit. I got on the magic bus and quickly picked up the scent. I jumped off and scrambled through rocks and dirt trying to erase the past. O my.

The poor ticket taker girl used a piece of a cardboard to collect dirt and spread it on bus steps. Her broom swept away. Crevices picked up just enough to make the one hour journey memorable as locals discussed the stupid foreign guy and fragrance. Miles of odorous delight.

The nose knows.

bird cage.jpg

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