Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
6Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Annica: One Lost, Lonely Night on a Motorcycle in China

Annica: One Lost, Lonely Night on a Motorcycle in China

Ratings:

5.0

(5)
|Views: 95 |Likes:
Published by Carla King
At dusk I long for the miracle of a lodge where we can stop for the night and a trailhead where we might hike for a few hours in the morning, enjoying the clean cold air and the untouched wilderness. But this is not the Colorado Rockies or the Swiss Alps. This is China.
At dusk I long for the miracle of a lodge where we can stop for the night and a trailhead where we might hike for a few hours in the morning, enjoying the clean cold air and the untouched wilderness. But this is not the Colorado Rockies or the Swiss Alps. This is China.

More info:

Published by: Carla King on Apr 26, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/27/2013

pdf

text

original

 
AniccaOne lost lonely night on a motorcycle in China
by Carla King
Page
1
Annica Carla KingOne Lost Lonely Night on a Motorcycle in China
 
Our wheels scatter a blanket of golden aspen leaves across theroad as we crest the mountain pass and then a long stretch of TheGreat Wall of China comes into view. It’s lit by a cold, stark sunlightand the big round watchtowers loom over an endless sea of mountainssoft with autumn colors. A wild pheasant with bad timing flies directlyacross my path. I brake and stiffen in readiness for a hard blow to thehelmet but its tail-feathers only brush against my visor.We all ride Chinese Chang Jiang motorcycles with big sidecarsfull of gear for our ride from Beijing through the Heibi ProvinceMountains to Inner Mongolia. Following me is Teresa, a diplomat fromMichigan I met here on my last visit a decade ago, and Diny, aDutchwoman who’s just moved to Beijing with her hotelier husband,who brings up the rear.At the last town we were told that our destination was only abouteighty kilometers and one hour away but they were wrong and ourmaps are clearly out-of-date. We ride slowly along this twisty mountainbackroad lined with small lakes and streams and wooded groves. Atdusk I long for the miracle of a lodge where we can stop for the nightand a trailhead where we might hike for a few hours in the morning,enjoying the clean cold air and the untouched wilderness. But this isnot the Colorado Rockies or the Swiss Alps. This is China.Darkness falls and it’s a long, cold, tedious, ride. We should havetried to find a hotel in that last small town, now too far away to turnback. There might have only been a luguan, no frills bunk beds andmaybe no hot water. We would have brought sleeping bags, tents, if we’d known we were going to pass through such wilderness.
Shoulda coulda woulda…
 Teresa moves to the front. She’s fluent in Mandarin and, moreimportantly, can read the signs that are no longer in both Chinesecharacters and Pinyin. Not that there’s an overabundance of roadsigns.
Page
2
Annica Carla KingOne Lost Lonely Night on a Motorcycle in China
 
Diny rides too close, her headlight in my left mirror nearly blindsme as we curve around the mountain. Maybe she’ll back off if I slow toa crawl and then accelerate, but no, she hangs on, probably immersedin the kind of internal dialog monotony encourages. Finally, infrustration, I wave her ahead, then immediately regret it as she racesup to tailgate Teresa. I race up to tailgate Diny for a minute, myheadlights in her mirrors, then drop back, hoping she’ll see that sheneeds to create more space, but she doesn’t.
Shoulda woulda coulda…
My body is stiff from sitting in the same position for so long inthe cold and being jarred from the vibration of the engine and thethumps in the road. I catalogue each ache and pain, each
shouldawoulda
 
coulda
and then realize that I really must stop this before Ispiral down into a useless misery. I remember the lessons of aVipassana meditation course I took a year ago and give it a whirl,beginning the slow, tedious exercise of scanning the body, notingsensations from the top of the head to the tips of the toes and backagain, ignoring itches and pains that are not in the proximity of myimmediate attention. It is not as easy as it sounds. The results are surprising. The crown of my head is warm, myhair is plastered against my forehead, my left ear is bent backwardsinside my helmet, there’s a leak in my jacket zipper that’s letting in apinhole of icy air, elbows are good, fingertips are freezing and numb,my rear end aches, both knees are stiff, one little toe tingles, a big toeis jammed hard against my boot. I scan, become aware, resistassigning a value to these sensations—pleasure or pain, it will alwayschange—
anicca
.
 Anicca
is a Sanskrit word that means impermanence. More thanthat though, it implies the state of inevitable change so there’s no useassigning a value, a judgement to a sensation or a situation becauseit’s going to pass. Somehow, sometime, it’s going to pass.
Page
3
Annica Carla KingOne Lost Lonely Night on a Motorcycle in China

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Carla King liked this
Rose added this note
Real life! Awesome!
Helen Winslow Black added this note
"The road to freedom is riddled with traps." Love your stories Carla

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->