Across the Middle Kingdom

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9 August

Our Honeymoon in China

Some of you may remember the song "On a Slow Boat to China" (made famous, I believe, by Kay Kyser and his orchestra). The general idea of the song is that the singer is so in love with the person he or she is addressing that the singer would like to get the other person on a slow boat to China with nobody else around. The point being, perhaps, that you really have to be in love with somebody a whole lot to think that you can get them on a long trip and still be able to stand them at the end of it. The modern version of this sentiment was expressed by one of my relatives at the reception: "If you two can go to China for three weeks and not be ready to kill each other, you've got it made."

Well, we did go, and we didn't try to kill each other. Of course, we took a transpacific airline to get there, which is much faster than going by boat-- although when you fly economy class, you start to seriously wonder if it really is faster to fly, especially after the fifteenth hour aloft. On the other hand, we did take a slow boat in China. This was the fundamental point of the trip, and its centerpiece: a cruise up the Yangtze River to see the Three Gorges before they disappear forever.

Of course, we were there in August 1998, right in the middle of the worst Yangtze flooding in half a century. Timing is everything.

Anyway, this is an electronic transcription of the travel journal we kept during the trip. We have a good number of pictures up, although there are still a few pages which have yet to be so embellished. We hope you enjoy reading it even half as much as we enjoyed the trip itself.

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