Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven !

Not really what you think it's all about.  It's a book I came across  the same night "Chapter 37" started to unfold.  Prior to that night's musings, I dropped by the bookstore to look for a good read.  I wandered past the "New Arrivals" section but decided to walk back and pick up this cool looking book with the most provocative cover and title !  It could have been the naked hottie covering herself up with her backpack or the title . . . but it was really the witty writing inside that really got me hooked.  The cover by the way was indeed awesome ! I got a paperback copy of that one and it most certainly cost a small fortune.  Today I was lucky to pass by an old bookstore and there it was again. This time though it's hardcover.  I've this insane preference over hardbound books over paper backs !  The sweetest thing though, it was selling for 1/10th of the original price ! So… history… I got the book and walked out smiling!

I've been traveling in an out of China through Hong Kong for the last decade.  There isn't a year that passes that I don't find myself walking through Mong Kok or checking in those backpacker's inns.  During my earlier travels, planes through Hong Kong land at the old airport located almost within arms reach from the tall buildings or at least that's what it looked like from the window seat.  I've also visited some of China during a time when their tourism was just taking off.  I've made good friends within that big country.  Memories flood through in the mere mention of China.

The story told by Susan Jane Gilman takes place in old China.  Traveling takes two girls fresh from college as far as Yangshuo and Guilin !  Been there and so it was fortunate that when I browsed the book I came across those two names most synonymous to today's climbing.  I simply just have to read on.  I had to get the book ! It's got references to the Bataan Death March and loads of vivid descriptions of some of the places I've already been to.  No mention of Getu Valley but I feel it could be a destination that still has a place in unmarked territories which may indeed be a setting for good stories !

Now I'm looking for more travel books like these.  It's a difficult selection and maybe rare.

In the meantime check out the The Stangie Travelogue for more to-date travels through China and then some !  One night of TsingTao = new friends, one night of more than 5 TsingTaos = lots of new friends!

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