On the bus to Mianyang Jiaozi was climbing all over Catherine and whoever her seatmate happened to be. First it was Holly then when she came back to give the dog his own seat it ended up filled with a guy we picked up on the side of the road. The terror on his face that he had to share a seat with a dog was pretty priceless. Holly was embarrassed about the dog, but Catherine doesn’t seem to mind. When Jiaozi got extra antsy she tried opening the window a bit but had some trouble. The guy leapt to assistance. I’m sure he was hoping the dog would leap out. But it didn’t help that much. When we arrived the guy bolted so fast.
From Mianyang to Chengdu we took a cab instead of a bus and that driver liked Jiaozi. Petted him at least. Catherine was in shotgun for that trip so the dog couldn’t crawl all over the rest of us and Holly could chat with the fourth passenger, a 26-year-old designer of some product that gets exported. His girlfriend was a 21-year-old student which he was sort of sheepish about.
The cab ride was quite pleasant. We were going 130 as much as we could on our little natural gas powered cab (interesting side effect: the fuel gauge reads empty all the time), dodging big trucks and amateur drivers. Holly talked to the designer, Catherine slept and read Marriages that Work. There were fireworks and four planes in one region of the sky.
On the road between Jiangyou and Mianyang they’d painted all the buildings traditional black and white in honour of the Xth (1400th?) anniversary of Li Bai (Li Po in my collection of his poems). As we drove through both that in the afternoon and the night expressway I felt very in the present. We were driving through Sichuan. I don’t know why but that was very fulfilling to me. My biggest pet peeve about travelling is people talking about it being a “once in a lifetime experience.” No. Or at least no more than any other. I’ll go back to Sichuan (China is pretty much a given). There’s no anxiety over what I’ve missed. Life is long.bus cab catherine mckinley happy holly jiangyou jiaozithedog li bai mianyang sichuan the hangman