After a particularly brutal workout with my trainer last night, I passed out cold on the sofa until about 2:30 a.m. I moved to my bed at the request of the cat, and got 3 hours of sleep there before said cat woke me for his breakfast. I had a half hour to sleep before the alarm went off, and during that time my subconcious went nuts about my trip. It was all about packing, which probably won't surprise you if you know me and my obsession with practice packing, pre-packing staging and the like.
Anyway, I had my new suitcase which Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas. I was aware that this was its inaugural journey and was unsure how much would fit. I insisted on packing my own bed pillow in the outside pocket (I never take a pillow with me) and then freaked out realizing that I was leaving for the airport and couldn't find all the Athleta clothes I bought 6 months ago and still hadn't dried my hair after a shower. So you tell me what's going on in my head! The general vibe of the dream was excited and anxious in a good way, until I realized I had to pack in 20 minutes!
I picked up Lost On Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation and am glad this is my first reading on China. This is the type of travel writing I hope to write someday. It's a fine balance between humor and snark and his honest observation. The chapter on Mao is hilarious, but also eye-opening. The way he describes how he felt on landing in Beijing for the first time, bogged down with jetlag but eager to get out into a world covered with Chinese characters rather than the English alphabet, really hit home for me. Mildly confused, and even more so after navigating his hotel lobby and 12 intersections on his way to Tiananmen Square, he made me feel as if I am right with him. Laughing all the way.
His experience in the Square though, did enlighten me in that I may have made a minor mistake in not taking the time to visit Lenin's Tomb in Moscow, though. I didn't realize that there are only three Communist Dead Guys on display in the world, and with this trip I'd be able to see the second of them at Mao's mausoleum (a quick trip to Vietnam and I could see Ho Chi Minh). I mean, I collect experiences like this, like two of the three most extravagant collections of crown jewels (only Iran is left, don't tell Mom!), the Seven Wonders, the 35 Vermeers. How easy would the three Communist Dead Guys be? Sigh. Will just have to go back to Moscow, I suppose.