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China, July 24, 2000

Looking Up While Floating Down the Yangzi

In eight years its gonna be a scuba tour of the Three Gorges

Ride that wave!
Getting a tow upstream
Yeah, it could take your breath away
Beautiful, eh?
Ma and I are now in Wuhan, the terminus of our Three Gorges boat ride from Chongqing, and in need of a neck massage. No, the neck aches are not from bad beds, for the ferry's accommodations were very comfortable; we have cramps from staring up at the amazing river-carved gorges along the Yangzi and down at the mad card-game contests with our Chinese cabin mates.

Similar to the Colorado River's Grand Canyon excavations, the Yangzi has a slightly shorter and shallower tumble through mountain ravines. Our ferry floated easily with the fast current through the main Three Gorges, while we fought the strong current in a small and slightly overcrowded longboat up a tributary to see the 'little' Three Gorges.

We feel fortunate to witness the beauty that nature can perform now, for China will submerge the whole area behind the massive Three Gorges Dam in 2008. Evidence of the staggering relocation process (150 million+ people) is already visible all along the river, though there is no sign that international pressure is slowing the controversial project.

I feel fortunate to report another wonder. Somehow I've fallen for a woman who has the smarts and the luck to be accepted by Oxford's MBA program. Yes, that Oxford. With the usual adventurous spirit you know me for, I'm off to the UK with Jingmei in the middle of this month to attempt a Belly Button Window on England.

Due to Chinese red tape beyond comprehension, I will be off to apartment hunt two weeks before Jingmei can cut/dig her way out of the Middle Kingdom. If you have any advice, connections, or piles of cash you could part with in this endeavour, please let me know, for I haven't dealt with Western landlords in a few moons, and Oxford's housing reputation isn't the best.

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