Sunday, September 6, 2009
A pagoda with a view
Downtown Lengshuijiang is pure grit. Smokestacks from a coal-powered factory cough up clouds of gray, and thick black exhaust trails the buses. There seems to be a road construction project on every street. Broken-up concrete piles up next to trash.
But a respite from this industrial backwash does exist. In the middle of the city is a hill; at the top of the hill a pagoda.
The climb to the top takes about 30 minutes. Along the way, I realized I could inhale deeply and not have to hack up half a lung after doing so. I realized, too, I could hear birds chirping.
At the top of the pagoda, I could see the river curve through the city and into green hills. Buildings and houses became more sparse until there were only layers of trees upon layers of trees.
After feeling isolated and lost and lonely for a few days -- and doubting myself for coming to China -- I was reminded that I had made the right decision.