The only other Oprah book I've read (that I know of because of that seal of approval) was Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth which kept me occupied, also at 3 a.m., during Hurricane Jeanne in Florida a few years ago. I was staying in a decrepit roadside inn that I liked to call the Motel Viet Nam, a revived Florida classic motel run by Vietnamese immigrants. My father made the reservation for me: "You'll like them, they're Chinese," he said, " you can speak Chinese with them." "They're Vietnamese, Dad, and I don't speak Chinese." I read the Chinese story, The Good Earth, with a mini mag lite while the wind was ripping the roof off the not too-well-restored Vin Mar Motel. Next morning, Miss Saigon made green tea for us all --including the 24/7 drunk who looked exactly like the aged Robert Mitchum and bunch of Cuban construction workers--in a big Mr. Coffee pot with a portable generator in the parking lot because the power was gone...for four days.
Even though I never will have need to stay at the Motel Viet Nam again, I still send the proprietors a card at the Lunar New Year.
I don't expect to spend much time with the Gothic cathedrals (having other temples as destinations) and will probably just lug this tome around and finish it at home. Today's plan...run in to Kowloon on the train, buy some toothpaste (you always forget something) and pay homage to the Bruce Lee statue that has been erected at the harbor.
I sure hope there is no da feng/typhoon (that's big wind, and I know the Chinese characters now) on the way. There was one that passed through just a week or so ago, giving Hong Kongers much excuse to stay inside and drink. But if there is a storm brewing I am prepared...with an Oprah book and plenty of batteries for my mag lite.
Sybil--I hope to post some photos (dependent on internet access and the time to upload and process them)...perhaps the first will be one of the bronze Bruce Lee...it will have to do because I didn't get a chance to get a picture of the ultra attractive and attentive Japanese flight attendant on the HNL-Narita run. Ah, business class.
And speaking of da feng, I see on BBC that Mr. Bush is rushing to New Orleans with the troops. Good excuse to miss the convention. Kind of like how the earthquake sent me to Wudang instead of Qingshenshan.
Half an hour left on my internet access charge--need to send some emails.
Next stop, Xi'an. That means Western Peace. I know the characters!