“It’s cold up there,” the young man in front of me said. “You should rent a coat.”
I was in line for the cable car at the bottom of Cangshan Mountain in Dali, Yunnan province. It was sunny and around 80 F, and I was wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt and shorts. How cold could it possibly be at the top of the mountain?
“I’ll be fine,” I said. Continue reading
I think that in the course of building nearly every major temple and palace in ancient China, a conversation like this took place.
Architect: “It looks great, but there’s something missing.”
Lead foreman: “What is it boss?”
Architect: “I just can’t put my finger on it … .”
Lead foreman: “Bigger Lions? Higher walls to keep the bad guys out?”
Architect: “No, that’s not it … I know! More stairs! We need more stairs. Immediately assemble 100 of your fastest working men and add an additional 1,000 stairs to every entrance of this temple.”
Lead foreman: (Sigh). Yes sir. Continue reading