15 weeks, 11 countries, 30 cities and towns, 8 plane rides, 6 overnight trains, 2 overnight buses, 2 moleskine notebooks, 4 small tubes of toothpaste, a pair of sneakers, a blanket, two hand towels, half a package of orange rubber bands, a brush, a comb, two mini tubes of sunscreen, a bottle of deet, one bottle of hand sanitizer, half a bottle of probiotic pills, a sheet of cipro, a packet of azithromycin, a white skirt, a striped tank top, two scarves, two lightweight pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, a pair of nail clippers, two safety pins, half a box of water sterilization pills, and two small bottles of conditioner,
among other things.
This is the last day of my trip. After I get back I plan on spending some time uploading more pictures and probably reordering the entries and photos so they appear somewhat chronological.
I hate to end this the same way I started, but: I’m in Beijing, at the Forbidden City, writing in my notebook. A young Chinese girl comes up behind me and sits so she’s looking right over my shoulder. I smile and say, “nihao.” “Nihao,” she says shyly, still staring curiously at the page. Looking at the crazy curlicues of letters in places of the jagged strokes of characters, you can imagine she’s thinking….well. You know what I’m going to say.