So proclaims my guide Ilian as we reach the top of the mountain.
Ilian may be impressed. But I am not sure whether to feel proud or to feel duped. An hour ago, after breakfast, Illian casually suggests, "Let's take a stroll to see the Confucius Temple." Was I impressed into this vigorous constitutional?
During my brief visit to the livestock market in Shaxi, I recalled the ditty “Mules” that I learned at Boy Scout Camp. As I trod the grounds among horses, cows, bulls and other assorted browsers, I paid strict attention to the lyric.*
Shaxi is an historic town along the Ancient Tea Horse Road that connects China to Burma to Tibet to India. But Shaxi is unlike Lijiang, another caravan stop to the northth. Lijiang boasts an airport that dismounts herds of visitors. Shaxi retains an “ancient” atmosphere.
Does anyone remember the insufferable strains of The Blue Danube Waltz from a movie released in 1969?
In his epic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the director Stanley Kubrickused that Johann Strauss tune as a backdrop to the flight of the space ship Discovery as it hurtled towards Jupiter.
That shot of the Discovery out in dark space lingered on the screen for what seemed like an endless light year. Why use such a technique? Would it alienate the moviegoer? Didn’t we all squirm in our seats and feel impatient and uncomfortable?