Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Bookworm is Salvation

Today I cut econ to go to a book lecture in Sanlitun by an author that my Daoism professor always talked about. I was pretty excited when I recognized his name in That's Beijing. His name is Bill Porter. He does a lot of translations (of the Dao de Jing etc), but the book that I've been trying to get for forever is called Road to Heaven. He basically got curious one day about whether or not Chinese hermits still existed, so he literally had a taxi drop him at the foot of a mountain rumored to have them and set out on foot to find some. And he did. And he wrote a book. And it sounds awesome! And now I've chatted with him over coffee, and he's shown me his slides, and I feel substantially informed about Chinese hermits. I could totally find one (if I had the means). We also chatted about why I couldn't find his book - apparently he has some lame publisher who only makes so many copies a year, but keeps the copyright, so the publisher can continue to suck money out of the book. I guess he's involved in some legal action, and the book is consistantly sold out. But he says he gets his copyright back in 2009, and will switch to another publisher. It sounded like a nightmare.

He was wicked cool though, and I was pretty thrilled to hang out with him. He totally looks like you'd think he would, too - kind of like Santa, but in a Marlin's t-shirt. He got me really pumped up about traveling China, and now I'm especially hoping that I'll be able to make the Wutai Shan trip in a few weeks. I wish I could stay longer to travel around China. It's so difficult to squeeze in everything that I want to do. Hopefully I'll at least be able to get Shanghai and Xishuanbanna to work out.

After the lecture I hung out with some random people I met there for a bit. It was so nice to speak English and talk to nice intellectual people with accents over Mexican food. Followed by Baskin Robbins (or should I say: "American Flavored Ice Cream"?) It was a good night. Except that on the way home I got off the train and proceeded to stand at the bus stop for a good 20 minutes wondering why the heck my bus wasn't coming before I finally thought to look at the sign and read that the bus I wanted had stopped running for the night. Damn.

I hope everyone has been having a good semester so far. If you read this (if anyone reads this?) email me some updates on your life! I feel so cut off from everything. And if any ADPi's are reading - congrats on the new Alphas, you guys seem like you're having so much fun!



  1. Hi love, i'm SO SORRY i haven't been able to get back to you about the craziness of recruitment, but it killed my computer. I swear, mid recruitment, my mac was murdered. Anyway, we didn't take a little, but these girls are way cute-you'll love them. This weekend is retreat (although i did send in an excuse...). But ADPi misses you, as do i.
    I'm going to continue restoring my entire hard drive and eat Indian food. Expect something in the mail soon (as soon as i figure out how many stamps it needs)
    Be Safe

  2. Hi my love! I read your blog religiously, and I'm obsessed with you talking about your amazing adventures. If only I was as adventurous as you were when I was in Beijing. I really miss speaking Chinese too, which is why when I go to Japanese restaurants in Paris and hear Chinese, it makes my day. I hope everything is going well...that you haven't developed lung cancer yet, and that your shoes have stayed relatively pee free. Funniest thing is that Paris has those same exact problems...plus the problem of dog poo, everywhere.

    Je t'aime/ wo ai ni/ I love you