Xian guards tunnel near Bell Tower

When I was 24 and innocently presumptuous, I lectured about China in my classes on politics at Colby College. In 1962, the “East was Red” and Mao was its Sun God. My roommate then was the scion of a wealthy Shanghai family that fled from the Revolution to Brazil; he taught English literature at the College. Over the years, the conflicting sources of my knowledge about China grew ever more complex due to the surprising developments in that country. I also became wiser so as to acknowledge my inability to really comprehend “China”. The word now evoked a mostly visual response in me: I pictured the vast size of China on the map. It was in the hope of better managing the formidable concept of China that I decided to embark on a journey across its width, from the east seas to the western mountains. I sought a sense of the place. The sights of China beguiled me, and the variety of its people intrigued me. This report, however, is more about me, my experience in China.

Kashgar*Lanzhou*Dunhaung* Turpan * Urumqi* Xian* Shanghai* Beijing* Labrang* Silk Road*

Keyvan Tabari is an international lawyer in San Francisco. He holds a PhD and a JD, and has taught at Colby College, the University of Colorado, and the University of Tehran. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or otherwise distributed without the prior written authorization of Keyvan Tabari.

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