We arrived from Beijing on an internal flight, stayed at the only western hotel in town…all week, saw but one other westerner. We were looked at, scrutinized, in town, very friendly…the hotel had a karaoke bar on the top floor…a friend brought in cigars for us, rare in china…we ate so well, people were so great…we had a limo, an original zil, plus driver, at our disposal. Each day, someone new would appear to take us places…or shopping. The mayor of Anqing gave me a souvenir, and i tried the local hooch…at lunch…we couldn’t drink without giving a toast to someone at the table…the whole turtles, the real peking ducks, the dim sum…on the way back our flights had not been confirmed and we were escorted off the plane by smiling local officials…driven downtown at night to the offices of air china…explained that we had to stay one more night…so apologetic…BA flew us out via shanghai the next day…i wonder if all those people are still there….and if it is still anything like it was…over 6 years ago
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Taught a course at a hotel near Alghero to a group of academics…we took the afternoons off to swim and then worked in the evening…no cell phones, no email, nothing but the sun, the heat, ourselves….afterwards, rented a car and drove round the island with a friend, a week of showing up somewhere and finding a place to stay, swimming on deserted beaches, crashing in cheap hotels, drinking wine, taking photos, losing my camera, discovering….capriccioli….nowhere, but nowhere, so breathtakingly perfect…peroni…cheese and tomato sandwiches…suntans…oil…sleep…over 6 years ago