Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I couldn't sleep last night so in an effort to take my mind off whatever-the-heck was keeping me up I tried a virtual vacation. This is the problem with being fascinated with global history of certain times, and the drawback of having read so very much on so very many topics. With all the things I could have been thinking off to try and steer my dreams back on point I had to choose China.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Quite. Has everyone heard of the terra cotta army that was buried way back when? They're at the British Museum this winter, as part of a special exhibit. Unfortunately you can never quite get the full feeling of the thing unless you're there, standing in front of hundreds and thousands of these lifesize sculptures. Dialaflight is having a special deal on Terracotta Warriors tours right now, if you live in/near the UK and can get away. I think the Chinese culture and history are so fascinating because in one sense it's so far away from everything I grew up with. And living in the same spot where your immigrant ancestors landed and settled 400 years ago can really instill a certain sense of history in a person! It wasn't just that my mother the family historian could give me chapter and verse on the ancestors and family legends. She could drive me to the actual plots of land and point things out. I grew up a mile or two from their graves. Morbid, maybe, but it makes you feel connected. Countries that have a similar sense of history are endlessly fascinating to me. Most of Europe, for example. But how much more so the Orient, where written languages and traditions peaked when Europe shivered in the little ice age? Tours of foreign countries are absolutely the best; you're guided through the best of the best, sheltered from miscommunication with locals (if like me, you don't have a large language capacity and get scared of being lost in a country where you can't talk to anyone), where the arrangements are mostly all laid out ahead of time for you and you just have to follow the leader for days on end. Personally, I think it's worth it. Look for good deals with reliable companies. Dialaflight has a good reputation for helping people pick the package that's right for them and for making the entire experience as painless as possible.

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