« Vermont Beavers Gone WildLeaving for China »
11.12.2002

I Will Go To China

I'm going to China on Thursday, and apparently not a minute too soon.

I am a cheapskate and a control freak who feels lost at sea if he can't speak the language, perhaps not the best travel companion if you are headed to central China. But my boss ( who is Taiwanese ) went this spring to see the Three Gorges, and told me that I must go and see them, too, before they get flooded by the dam.

The Chinese government, you see, is building a very large dam - the largest dam in the world - to tame the Yangtze river. Whatever posesses socialist governments to build enormous dams, the Chinese have it in spades, and they have not let the massive environmental and historical impact of the flooding shake their resolve. The Three Gorges Dam is going to raise the water level by five hundred feet. Once the flooding begins, the gorges will become the Three Flat Stretches Of Artificial Lake ( and if you think it couldn't happen here, you're too late ).

Today I got a message from an alert coworker, warning me that as of last week, the Chinese have turned the stopcock, or however else it is that you start filling a giant artificial lake. So it appears I am going to get there in the nick of time.

Honestly, I am both terrified and delighted to be going to China. We are going as a triad - myself, the better half, and the better half's Mandarin-speaking brother, and we are going to eat. The journey starts in Beijing, followed by a flight to Chengdu, a bus ride down to where the river cruise begins in Chongqing, some kind of boat to Wuhan, and then a train to Shanghai, with a possible stop in Nanjing or excursion to a Buddhist mountain shrine.

In between feeling terrified and completely unprepared, I can't wait.

« Vermont Beavers Gone WildLeaving for China »
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